The aim of the Teachers' Handbooks are to assist teachers in teaching the strands of the Mathematics curriculum. The manuals are designed to complement and support the implementation of the Primary School Mathematics Curriculum, rather than replace it.
By providing additional guidance in the teaching and learning of each strand unit, the manuals attempt to illuminate an instructional framework (creat teagaisc), for enhancing mathematical thinking.
Instructional Framework/creat teagaisc
The manuals attempt to enhance mathematical thinking by attempting to illuminate an instructional framework (creat teagaisc) .
The framework advocates a model of eliciting (ag lorg), supporting (ag tacú) and extending (ag leathnú) higher order mathematics skills such as reasoning; communicating and expressing; integrating and connecting; and applying and problem solving. The instructional framework can be used for all strands and strand units of the Primary School Mathematics Curriculum. Although it does not explicitly refer to concrete materials or manipulatives, the use of these are often a prerequisite for developing mathematical thinking and can be used as a stimulus for this type of classroom discourse.
As advocated in the Primary School Mathematics Curriculum, a range of assessment tools, including pupil-led assessments are recommended. The assessment icon is used throughout the manuals to indicate opportunities for teacher and pupil led assessments. The assessment information garnered as pupils engage in the sample learning experiences within the manuals, will help to inform teaching and learning
The manuals are designed to support individual pupil difference. The trajectories describe the development stages pupils progress through to become fluent in their mathematical understanding. Supporting pupils through the concrete (coincréideach), pictorial (pictiúrtha) and abstract (teibí) stages, ensures each pupil has the opportunity to understand the concept being taught at their own pace. Some pupils will need to spend more time engaging in a variety of hands-on approaches in order to consolidate conceptual understanding. For most pupils, the content of the lesson will remain similar, however the support they receive can be adjusted, for example more individualised support from the teacher, the use of a variety of materials to scaffold understanding, use of appropriate ICT resources etc.