The Gaps and Misconceptions Tool
Gaps and Misconceptions Diagnostic and Teaching Tool
The Gaps and Misconceptions Tool was developed by Devon LDP ©2011 and has been made available here by kind permission.
Research references: Devon Learning and Development Partnership
The Gaps and Misconceptions Tool is an interactive, web-based diagnostic tool to support teachers in dealing with children’s gaps and misconceptions in maths.
The Gaps and Misconceptions Tool deals with three key areas that the QCA regularly reports are areas of weakness exhibited by KS1 and KS2 children in end of KS SATs and optional QCA tests: subtraction, division and FDPRP (fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio and proportion). The Gaps and Misconceptions Tool includes guidance papers on what makes these areas difficult to teach.
The Gaps and Misconceptions Tool links objectives related to the three areas to appropriate probing questions to support diagnosis of specific misconceptions or gaps. These, in turn, are linked to teaching images to address the difficulties that children are encountering.
The Gaps and Misconceptions tool was written and created by the Devon Primary Maths Team (part of Devon Learning and Development Partnership) and is made available, with thanks, on the ATM website.
How does it work?
We have focused on three areas
First choose one of these.
Then decide whether to
- look at the Maths Framework objectives arranged by year group which will link to a table of examples of probing questions and possible misconceptions
- or go straight to the images, programmes and notes
Maths Framework Objectives
Identify the objectives where there are gaps or misconceptions or that you want to diagnose.
If you select the objectives route then choose the appropriate objective for your year group/topic.
Probing Diagnostic Questions
Use these questions to spot the gap and the links to teaching images to address the misconceptions.
Each objective is linked to a table with some examples of probing questions and possible misconceptions.
These misconceptions are addressed in the table under the column: ‘teaching/images/models’, to see the teaching image click on the hyperlink e.g. ‘counting stick’.
Teaching Images and Models
Use and adapt the images to support the teaching and learning that will address the gaps and misconceptions.
This leads you to an image sheet that can be downloaded, printed off or read from the screen.
Most of the teaching images/models are linked to pictorial representations and explanations like the above.
Some pictorial representations are hyperlinked to presentation packages or to interactive teaching programs (ITPs).
Images and teaching ideas directly
All the teaching/image/modelling ideas can be accessed from the ‘list of images’ in the subtraction, division or fractions indexes.
Implications for other (previous) year groups
If your children do display a misconception, there is a column headed: ‘Implications for other year groups’. This gives ideas of feedback you could give to the teachers of children younger than your own class or for children with special needs in your class.