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Part whole

The part whole relationship is essential to understand many mathematical concepts. Early understanding of number requires understanding of parts that make a whole and algebraic reasoning requires understanding of the the different parts of equations. Below is a summary is what it could look like in classrooms using only number as an example.


Year 1:

Part whole begins with number. Number bonds to 10 can be encouraged through the sentence stem:


___ is a part, ___ is a part, the whole is ___.



An example of progression with part whole: Year 1 to year 4


Year 2:

Part whole can be developed to consider many different ways to make a whole. It may be structured using sentence stems such as this one:


___ is a part, ___ is a part, ___ is a part, the whole is ___


Year 3:

Here we may start and introduce the formal method of addition and subtraction with the sentence stems running alongside it.


___ is a part, ___ is a part, the whole is ___.

___ is a part, ___ is a part, ___ is a part, the whole is ___

Another way to think of this for addition could be:

___ is an addend, ___ is an addend, ___ is the sum.


Year 4:

Here children should partition numbers up to 9999 is lots of different ways, not just into thousands, hundreds, tens and units.


___ is a part, ___ is a part, the whole is ___

___ is a part, ___ is a part, ___ is a part, the whole is ___


Year 5

Children proceed to partition numbers using part-whole relationships, here children go up to numbers to 1,000,000.


___ is a part, ___ is a part, the whole is ___

___ is a part, ___ is a part, ___ is a part, the whole is ___


Year 6:

Numbers up to 10,000,000 partitioned in many different ways.


___ is a part, ___ is a part, the whole is ___

___ is a part, ___ is a part, ___ is a part, the whole is ___



Of course, part whole extends far beyond place value and the four operations. It can (and should) be used in most areas of mathematics: fractions, decimals, percentages, algebra...



Using part whole across the mathematics curriculum: Fractions and decimals.








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