How often do you feel like you’re just ‘trying to get through the curriculum’?

It’s such a common experience, **yet each new version of curriculum standards come out with just as much in it as the last.**

I believe if we change the way we look at curriculum content, then it’s far easier to go deeper with new skills and concepts – AND be less rushed.

**Putting Connections in the Centre**

Learning maths, according to your typical curriculum, involves going through a laundry list of skills, one by one and ticking each off as it’s ‘completed’ (with little intention of revisiting what’s been done).

Yet, **at the heart of mathematics lie connections** –

- connections to earlier content,
- connections to other topics, and
- (yes, even) connections to other subjects.

Let me show you why connections matter so much using a short memory quiz-

## A Memory Quiz!

This quiz comes in two short parts. Here’s Part 1-

- Study these letters and their relationships for 1 minute (yes, use a timer!) – try to commit them to memory.
- After 1 minute, cover up the image and write down the symbol for each letter
*a*through to*i*. - Once you’re done, check your work. How many did you get correct?

Now, see how you go with this second part. This time, the symbol is positioned around the letter, instead of next to it.

Again, the process is the same-

- Study these letters and their relationships – for 1 minute only.
- Then, cover up the image and write down the symbol for each letter, a-i.
- Once you’re done, check your work. How many did you get correct?

Take a moment to reflect on the differences between Parts 1 and 2-

- What did you notice?
- What might be the implications for teaching and learning maths?

## What does this quiz mean in practice?

Instead of thinking about each upcoming topic as, say, 7 skills to be covered, consider:

*What’s the ***most important*** thing I want my students to understand by the end?*

**This answer then becomes the focus for making connections.** All 7 skills will branch off from the focus – and, (this is where the time-saving bit comes in), some will become less important and require less class time as a result.

We don’t need to spend equal amounts of time on all parts of the curriculum – but we can reprioritise what matters most.