By Krystyna Smolenski, head of Foundation Years
St PETER’S has recently introduced Innovamat in our Foundation Years, a dynamic mathematics program that goes beyond traditional teaching methods, offering a manipulative, competency-based, and meaningful approach to learning that aligns with the principles of the Primary Years Programme (PYP).
At the core of Innovamat is the philosophy of presenting mathematical concepts—such as space, logic, number, geometry, and probability—in a way that allows our youngest learners to discover them gradually and manipulatively. The program encourages exploration, understanding, and application, fostering a love for mathematics from the very beginning of a child’s educational journey.
Innovamat recognizes the importance of manipulatives in the learning process. Manipulatives are physical objects used as teaching tools to engage students in hands-on learning of mathematics. Research indicates that using concrete manipulatives enhances conceptual understanding, linking concrete ideas to abstract concepts and informal approaches to formal ones. The program employs a Concrete, Representational, Abstract (CRA) instructional approach, guiding students from manipulation of concrete materials to abstract understanding. Concrete, Representational, Abstract (CRA) instruction is a method that starts with hands-on manipulation of concrete materials, progresses to the representational level, and culminates at the abstract level. This approach ensures a thorough understanding of mathematical concepts, allowing students to make meaningful associations throughout the learning process.
Classroom Dynamics and Resources:
Innovamat introduces two distinctive dynamics to the classroom. During workshops, teachers guide the entire group through a sequence of experiential and manipulative activities, building and sharing new knowledge collectively. The program also features “Innovamat spaces,” which are interdisciplinary and manipulative environments presenting a diverse range of mathematical challenges. In these spaces, children put their knowledge into practice, engaging in self-directed learning and autonomous exploration.
Innovamat App: A Personalized Learning Experience:
Students spend a short 15 minutes per week on the Innovamat app with their teacher, engaging in personalised practice that adapts in real-time to each child’s unique learning journey. Additionally, the app provides teachers with detailed insights into the progress of each student, allowing for tailored and effective support.
Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom:
While Innovamat enhances learning within the classroom, its impact extends beyond the school setting. Families play a crucial role in reinforcing abstract mathematical concepts, and the use of everyday household items can turn any home into a supportive learning environment. Together, we embark on this exciting mathematical adventure!
We recently had the opportunity to offer a St PETER’S TALK for parents in which we presented the Innovamat approach. You can watch the recording of this talk here below: