Why the SURF Acronym?

There are many advantages to the SURF acronym:

  • In a similar manner to the CAFE framework for reading, each of the key terms captures an important goal of mental mathematics;
  • It keeps the number of goals highly manageable (i.e., four goals), allowing these goals to be held in mind by both teachers and students;
  • It provides a provocative visual image, which can be used to energise classroom displays for mental maths;
  • Surfing also serves as a powerful metaphor for mental mathematics. Just like surfing, mental maths requires you to concentrate, make decisions quickly, be flexible and take risks. Students have to have trust in themselves and the strategies they have learnt in order to put it all together. Like surfing, learning mental mathematics can be frustrating and takes considerable practice; however once you begin to develop some competence and confidence, learning becomes a lot of fun.