## 2. Atomisation (Naveen Rizvi)

As detailed in my previous blog I recently went to #MathsConf18. If you haven’t read my first blog you can find it here. In this blog I want to detail the second session that I went to.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Naveen I would highly recommend following her on twitter. Although we have been in teaching for the same amount of time she has a much deeper insight into the methodology of teaching mathematics than I do, to which end Naveen is currently working for a MAT developing year 7 & 8 resources. In fact (& I happened to mention this to her tonight at a completely different CPD event) she has the job that I would love to have!

So back to the session…

This session was aimed at atomising a topic into its individual sub-topics, the idea being that when you spend some time thinking about all the different elements that make up a topic you won’t flit around between the sub-topics & (most likely) miss some out.

## What are the positives of Atomisation?

- When you take the time to really think about all the sub-topics of an element of mathematics you will identify 100% of the domain that needs teaching
- Once you have all the sub-topics identified, you can order them in a way that builds up the knowledge required in an accessible manner
- If you don’t consider each element you might end up teaching to the assessment as you try to identify what’s needed
- By considering each individual sub-topic you end up differentiating for every ability group (the lower ability groups can access the first few elements & progress whilst the higher ability groups gain a greater insight as well as being challenged by the later elements)
- If you have ordered your sub-topics correctly then the next element is building on the previously taught content, it also means that each step introduces new knowledge in smaller manageable chunks

## What are the negatives of Atomisation?

- When you first start using atomisation it takes a while to really consider what every element is in a topic (this improves with practice)
- It also takes longer to teach the earlier elements as, again, you are focusing on EVERY element of a topic. This obviously means that the earlier elements are covered in as much detail as the later elements (the pay back is massive as you have built the knowledge up slowly)

## What’s the best practice to implement it?

Naveen heavily recommends that this isn’t a process to be undertaken by a lone teacher, it needs to be a team effort. The recommended approach is to take a topic every week & as a faculty discuss what sub-topics it contains. Once you have the list you should decide on which order to teach them in. The whole process should take around 15-20 minutes. After this it is a case of creating resources & pedagogy to best deliver each element, you should meet again & QA them so that they can be used again (or improved upon) the next time you teach it.

Having now attended two separate sessions by Naveen covering this I am building up a pretty decent picture of how best to create a scheme of work based upon this concept.

Here is the example that Naveen delivered to us at LIME Oldham

__Perimeter__

- Perimeter of irregular polygons
- Perimeter of rectangles
- Perimeter of parallelograms
- Perimeter of regular polygons
- include polygons of different sides but with equal perimeter

- Manipulating perimeter of regular polygons
- what’s the side length given the perimeter?
- if different polygons have equal perimeters but different number of sides, which has the longest sides?

- Manipulating the perimeter of a rectangle
- what’s the missing side length when you’re given the perimeter
- write the different side lengths allowed given a perimeter

- Manipulating isosceles triangles & isosceles trapeziums
- Perimeter of compound shapes
- give non examples of a compound shape as well as examples to build the understanding of what a compound shape is

- Manipulating the perimeter of a compound shape
- Finding the short length (subtraction)
- Finding the long length (addition)

- Combine regular polygons to find the perimeter of the new compound shape
- Perimeter: given a shape does another shape have greater, less or equal perimeter
- Can you draw all the possible rectangles on a grid for a given perimeter
- Match various rectangles on a grid to given perimeters