This resource illustrates practical activities to improve learning and teaching skills. It will support improvement by utilising higher order thinking skills by tackling the following key areas:
The resource specifically focuses on numeracy and mathematics, but the principles can be used across all curriculum areas. By focusing on Bloom's Revised Taxonomy of Learning, this resource provides a basis for:
Practitioners and those involved in supporting learners to develop their Higher order skills.
PowerPoint file: Staff CPD - Higher order thinking skills in mathematics (2.3 MB)
Word doc: SSLN findings - Improving Learners' Skills (295 KB)
PDF file: Learning Together: Mathematics (625 KB)
"One of the teaching approaches which contribute particularly well to successful learning in mathematics is - well planned opportunities for children and young people to learn through investigate, active approaches" Learning Together: Mathematics - HMIE
The following questions may provide a stimulus for discussion:
Well planned activities, incorporating Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy for Learning, are a useful tool for developing learners’ understanding and skills in numeracy and mathematics. The following activities have been developed to support staff to adopt the use of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy in their planning:
Word file: Bloom's Fans - A Brief Overview (1.2 MB)
Word file: Bloom's Fans - Blank template (34 KB)
Word file: Bloom's Fans – Plenary Questions (47 KB)
Word file: Blooms Revised Taxonomy Planning Tool (32 KB)
Word file: Bloom's Fans - Number and number processes (62 KB)
Word file: Bloom's Fans - Fractions, decimal fractions and percentages (79 KB)
Word file: Bloom's Fans - Measurement (71 KB)
This section is designed to support staff and learners by providing practical activities for the numeracy and mathematics classroom:
The Mathematics Excellence Group advocates strongly the planning of questions into lesson preparation. Such questions have been called 'hinge questions'. The idea is that the teacher plans every lesson with a 'hinge'; a point in the lesson when the teacher can check on student understanding, and then decide what to do next. 'Hinge' questions are typically designed to test learners' understanding of one important concept in a lesson—one that is critical for pupils to comprehend before the teacher moves on in the lesson.
Word file: Hinge Questions - Overview (168 KB)
Putting a different ‘spin’ on lesson starters is one way to stimulate thinking and problem solving and also generates some very interesting discussions between learners and staff. Longer starters could be used as stand-alone activities during lessons.
PowerPoint file: HOT Starters and Standalone activities (3.7 MB)
Word file - HOT Starters - Teacher notes (28 KB)
Peer assessment makes greater demands on dialogue between learners. It encourages learners to externalise their thinking, explaining their understanding to others. In endeavouring to support others in their understanding, the learner is involved in utilising higher order thinking skills.
Word file: Think Pair Share - Teacher notes (134 KB)
Through their use of effective questioning and discussion, teachers will use misconceptions and wrong answers as opportunities to improve and deepen children’s understanding of mathematical concepts.
Word file: Using wrong answers - Teacher notes (169 KB)
Using summative assessments in a meaningful way to raise learners’ awareness of their strengths and development needs is vital in promoting understanding in mathematics. High quality discussion and debate from analysing summative tests provides an opportunity for learners to further develop higher order thinking and questioning skills.
Word file: Assessment in Mathematics (287 KB)
This resource was created within Education Scotland’s Numeracy team in conjunction with Scottish Government.
Mathematics Inside the Black Box
Mathematics principles and practice paper