Practice is incredibly important for developing expertise, fluency, and understanding. However, not all practice is equally effective.

Some types of practice can be mechanical and repetitive, meaning that pupils no longer have to attend to the underlying mathematics, instead, they can complete the exercise on autopilot. 

More-same-less grids are a great way to make sure pupils are thinking while they practice, rather than just mechanically repeating the same thing.

Starting with the given centre object, pupils have to try and make the minimum change possible to complete the other boxes. Pupils have to change one aspect of the centre object, whilst simultaneously having to control for another change.

 

This means pupils have to attend to how changing one aspect of the centre objects changes another, meaning they have to think about *how* the change they are making affects the second property: what changes, what stays the same.

Many studies show that attention to key properties of a concept leads to learning about the concept, and so by forcing pupils to give that attention, pupils learn more!

These are inspired by the work of notable maths educator Professor John Mason, who shared the Area and Perimeter grid that is featured on the site, and who has kindly given us permission to reproduce it. He originally based the idea on something similar by Pessia Tsamir & Dina Tirosh.

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