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A Mathematics Teaching Breakthrough

Foundation helps students cope with Mathematical abstraction from Grade 1 to Grade 12. Success was demonstrated in an 18-month Grades 1/2 pilot project. It is an important mathematical discovery.

In the pilot project Foundation was motivating, engaging and easy to understand and learn. It worked with existing lesson plans and helped prepare students for mathematical exercises on paper. It was a powerful introduction to the physical manipulatives students used as well as the paperwork they did.

Foundation was originally developed to calculate any school mathematical expression directly from Mathematics notation (i.e., without coding) – as is demonstrated in the video below:

This provides a connection between Algebra and Arithmetic to help high school students having difficulty with mathematical abstraction. However, after a prototype had been developed, it was realised that this was a universal tool that could help all students with abstraction – which was tested in the pilot project. A production app is now available for Macintosh and Windows 8 computers under the name “Foundation Notation” and costing $9.99. An iPad version is expected soon.

This website contains two papers which are reached through the links below:

View Unlocking Mathematics guidance paper with videosThis paper describes, with videos, the results of the pilot project. It uses material that was contained in papers delivered at conferences. It includes some useful examples of lessons given. The authors are:   Don Watson, Lakehead University (retired) and Rachel Le Neve, Lambton Kent District School Board (retired).

View the offline Foundation Teacher GuideThis paper is an off-line copy of the on-line self-teaching Teacher Guide. It contains videos to demonstrate, but, being off-line, does not have access to the on-line exercises. Teachers can use it to see if they wish to use Foundation.