The Maths Recovery Programme focuses on the:
(a) identification of the lowest-attainers at the first-class level and
(b) provision of a programme of intensive, individualized, group or class-based teaching.
The key features of the Maths Recovery Programme are:
(a) intensive, individualized, group or class teaching of low-attaining first class pupils by specialist teachers;
(b) an extensive professional development course to prepare the specialist teachers, and on-going collegial and leader support for these teachers;
(c) use of a strong underpinning theory of young children's mathematical learning; and
(d) use of an especially developed instructional approach, and distinctive instructional activities and assessment procedures.
Maths Recovery Teaching
For each participant in Maths Recovery, a profile based on individual assessment is used to develop an individualised teaching framework. Maths Recovery teaching sessions emphasise on-going assessment through careful observation, hypothesising about the student's current knowledge and strategies, and selecting learning activities based on this information. In this way Maths Recovery teaching is always at the cutting edge of a student's knowledge.
The instructional approach in Maths Recovery is problem-based and from a constructivist perspective thus fitting with Ireland’s Revised Programme in Maths. Emphasis is placed on students reflecting on their own mathematical thinking. Direct and intensive teaching is a key feature of the instructional approach.
Additional benefits of the programme
Maths Recovery teachers consistently report they have learned new ways to understand young children's mathematical thinking and new methods of teaching maths. Additionally, in many of the participating schools, the project has resulted in important changes to classroom teaching methods in early maths. The theory and techniques learned by the participating teachers are equally applicable to average or able learners as well as low-attainers. Classroom teachers in the participating schools report that they have more time to focus on average and able learners and thus students of all ability levels benefit directly from the programme. Particularly gratifying is that students' participation in the programme typically is accompanied by dramatic improvements in self-esteem, classroom behaviour and attitude to learning. Because of its success to date the programme is gaining increasingly strong support from parents, teachers and principals.