It is important for pupils to develop their procedural fluency alongside conceptual understanding and practice is an important part of achieving this.

However, mechanical practice should be avoided. Pupils need to be supplied with tasks which require ‘intelligent practice’ and have been designed using the principles of variation theory. There is variation in questions rather than variety.

Regular homework is set and pupils are encouraged to monitor their own achievements and understanding.

Source |
Guidance/Examples/Links/Stimuli |

Variation | An article by Lai and Murray. |

Variation and Mathematical Structure | A paper by Anne Watson and John Mason on variation. |

Teaching and Learning Mathematics through Variation | A book by Huang and Li about variation and confucian heritage meeting western theories. |

Lo Variation Theory (2012) | A short book on Variation Theory and the improvement of Teaching and Learning by Mun Ling Lo. |

Variation Example | An example of variation taken from Mike Askew's book entitled 'Transforming Primary Mathematics, with notes. |

Column Addition - Variation Column Subtraction - Variation Short Multiplication - Variation Short Division - Variation |
Extracts from NCETM's Primary Magazine's NC in Focus. |

Variation | A video of a presentation given by Dr Debbie Morgan about variation theory. |

A series of files produced by a group of Kent Teachers about using variation with Fractions. These are provied as is and feedback is welcome. |