How many of us have one of those long duel coloured plastic sticks in the corner of our classroom? It is not quite a metre rule and it is too big to use as a pointer without taking somebody’s eye out.
The counting stick is a versatile tool for counting, which if done regularly and with variety will help children rehearse and ultimately learn number sequences. The coloured rectangles, some clever teacher prompts and questioning can provide hooks to help children to visualize position and increments. Indeed this humble stick can be a magic wand in the right hands.
I was reminded of this and indeed inspired to pick up the neglected stick, following a Primary Advantage Maths Course was at last week. Here our trainer showed us a shaky video of a teacher making use of Visual, Auditory and kinesthetic cues and a stick to teach the 17 times table. Once you get the hang of the tricks she used you can apply this to other number sequences. Following some careful rehearsal this week, I have proved that this method works well for both the 13 and 4 times table.
What is Primary Advantage Maths then?
This video explains a bit