The monthly topic in the junior classes

The monthly topic in the junior classes

In the junior classes (i.e. junior infants to second class) the Operation Maths TRBs also list a monthly topic in the plans. This posts explains the rationale behind the monthly topics.

For each of the ten months of the school year, a topic around a particular maths concept is integrated with the planned curricular work eg see data  and 3D objects above. The purpose of the monthly topic is for the children to experience a strand unit in an informal way before deeper learning through a more formal approach.

As the integration of these topics takes place throughout the school year (see linkage above), the children’s knowledge in these vital areas is deepened and consolidated as a matter of daily routine. The relevant vocabulary is also gently introduced.

In the TRBs, there are suggestions of how each monthly topic might be incorporated (see below) and, of course, teachers can incorporate the topics further using their own activities.

This approach of using a monthly topic has been recommended by the PDST, in their junior infant scheme and senior infant scheme, where they state “Traditionally, other strand units such as ‘capacity’ would have been addressed in one two-week block, not allowing time for any number work. By exploring ‘capacity’ 2 days/week but extended over a 3 or 4 week-period, it is envisaged that pupils will retain their conceptual understanding of this strand unit, whilst Number and EMA conceptual development is on-going. Teachers using this planning approach have found that pupils are more likely to make connections between their Number work and the other strand unit.”