What makes our materials special?
Our materials have students think first, solve later.
Many mathematics curricula stress the need to develop mathematical reasoning and problem solving. Mathematics is recognised as an interconnected subject, where fluency means moving between different representations of mathematical ideas. Students need to develop the ability to make conjectures about these relationships, generalise, argue, and justify their ideas. Our materials are designed to support these fundamental skills while developing deep understanding of key concepts and lasting fluency.
Our materials introduce contexts for thinking and mathematising. They promote exploration and discussion, supported by teaching guides that stress the importance of giving learners time to observe and to think for themselves. With teacher guidance, students can develop and articulate their own models of problem scenarios and bring these together in ways that give long-lasting meaning to key concepts in number, proportional reasoning, geometry, data handling and algebra.
Our PowerPoints plug directly into your classroom.
The COVID pandemic has accelerated the way in which learning is driven by digital applications. Our materials bring RME practices into the contemporary classroom in a flexible and easily accessible way. Using animated PowerPoints to guide lesson discussion, as well as printable Activity Sheets, this RME curriculum is ready for immediate classroom use.
You’ll recognise common pedagogical tools used in new ways…
Our materials are easy to share and annotate for direct use in your mathematics department. We encourage you, however, to refrain from altering these materials before trying them out. This is because RME uses common pedagogic devices in new ways. Take this example from our algebra module, Knowing the Unknown (A1):
Scales are a regular theme in early algebra lessons. However, this sequence of slides asks students to carefully observe how antique scales work. They then go on to expose students to informal strategies for thinking about what is going on (see three techniques below). Through a careful ordering of activities, the scales become more than a metaphor for balancing equations. They constitute an open problem space, where the class must make sense of multiple modes of reasoning. How would you explain Penka’s peculiar additive strategy?
When contexts are allowed to saturate the classroom—even become a bit messy or confusing—students take responsibility for making sense of a mathematical situation. Eventually, they begin to ask questions of their own.
…. and some new pedagogical tools too which build mathematical thinking.
As in the slide above, asking students to “Say what you see” forces them to verbalise their ideas before pursuing a particular question. In our geometry module, Exploring Space (G2), students examine the diameters of swimming pools, sewn circles, and household objects. Afterward, they are asked:
Linking up with the practice of close observations in “Say what you see”, students now experiment with how to “see” circumference as an amount of whole diameters. This work of synthesis happens through deliberate and multi-sensory (visual, gestural, oral) engagement with the diagram.
To read more about these and other tools, see our ‘getting started‘ pages.
We’ve tailored these materials to school experiences in the UK.
RME is founded on a theory- and evidence-based understanding that mathematical learning should be grounded in students’ own informal understanding of the world. This means that our materials focus on the contemporary “British” context. From recent elections to regional football teams to designing fair-trade jewelry, we aim to capture students’ interest and experiential knowledge for the sake of mathematical inquiry.
Of course, what it means to be “British” is constantly changing. We are keen to hear from you if you are interested in developing contexts suitable to your classroom. You can reach us here.
See our questions pages to support you in talking to parents/carers or school leaders about using RME. Read more on how our materials are organised and working with the National Curriculum in England.