Every year, one of the earliest things to check is how the children use written methods for the four operations. Most times you get to see whether they can actually do the methods and get the right answer from the work in their books.
But how do we know where their level of understanding of these actually is?
We used Explain Everything for the children to create some examples of questions that would require a written method. From here, they had to complete the written method as they would normally using the pen and pointer tools, but also recording themselves, so that they could explain to parents or other children exactly what they were doing and why.
It helped to give us a better insight into where their true understanding was by listening to the recordings and any general misconceptions too. It also meant that the usual written methods lesson ‘came alive’ and had a greater purpose for the children.