3 April 2017


The Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU) programme is well underway in the early years here at Scotch College Junior School. EMU provides students with explicit instruction on key mathematical concepts and strategies, along with providing added support to the Year 1 and Year 2 class mathematics programme.

For the introduction of new concepts, The EMU approach to learning relies heavily on concrete materials so students can see and display their understandings. Once the concrete phase of learning is accomplished we direct the boys to develop their partial understandings. The boys do this by imagining or visualising what a mathematical problem or concept might look like. Once this is achieved, the boys are ready to go to the abstract phase of learning whereby they can translate their knowledge and understanding into the written or symbolic form.

Rather than learning procedurally or by rote, the EMU boys learn through teacher and peer questioning; prompting and probing to get a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.

I encourage you to try using the following prompts with your child at home to further develop their conceptual mathematical understandings:

  • Explain your thinking. What does that look on a number line?
  • Is there an easier way to do this? Show me!
  • Are you sure? Can you prove it!
  • What did you find? Explain your thinking
  • Can you show it a different way?
  • How do you know your answer is right? Prove it!
  • What do you notice?
  • What number is 1 more? 10 more? 100 more? How do you know?
  • What number is 1 less? 10 less? 100 less? How do you know?

Emerson McNally, Levy Kulasekara and George Saicic finding one more and one less on a number line.

Mrs Janet Lopez
Head of Academic Support