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Mental Starters Assessment Project (MSAP): Mental Starters - Tasks and Assessments

Each Teacher Guide contains 6 Mental Mathematics Lesson Starter units for Grade 3 learners. A different calculation strategy is in focus in each unit. These calculation strategies are taken from the curriculum. Each unit covers a particular group of connected skills.

The aim is to move learners on from counting in ones on their fingers or with tally marks on paper. Counting in ones is time-consuming and leads to errors. It also becomes very inefficient as the number range increases. The strategies and skills support powerful number sense.

The model

Each unit is three weeks long; it begins and ends with a short test for the learners. Marking these tests provides information for the teacher and the learners about how much they have improved in using that particular set of skills during the three weeks. Within each unit, we focus on three types of calculations: fluency, strategic calculating and strategic thinking.

Working through the Lesson Starters in each unit with your class should lead to improvements in learners’ performance from the pre to post-tests. These improvements show progress in mental mathematics skills and number sense.

The Print Masters Book

There is a separate Print Masters booklet that has:

  • all the pre-tests and post-tests
  • all the take-home worksheets
  • all printable teaching support materials
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