An article overviewing SURF has now been published in the journal, Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom.


Overview of SURF Maths: Let’s go SURFing

SURF is an organising framework for the teaching of mental mathematics and related concepts. In a similar manner to Daily CAFE, SURF Maths is an acronym which stands for Strategies, Understanding, Reading and Fast Facts. The meaning of these terms in the context of the SURF framework is as follows:

  • Strategies: “I know how to use different math strategies, when to use them and can explain my thinking to others.”
  • Understanding: “I understand the big ideas in maths and know how to solve math problems in many different ways.”
  • Reading: “I can read the language of maths and know what its symbols mean.”
  • Fast Facts: “I know important number facts and patterns off by heart.”

At the outset, it is important to emphasise that the majority of the potential content of SURF is available in other mathematical texts (e.g., QCA, 1999), in particular, all of the Strategies and Fast Facts, which comprise most of mental mathematics as it is currently understood. The strength of the SURF framework is that it makes further explicit the notion that mental maths is about deepening mathematical understanding and building mental flexibility. In addition, it attempts to horizontally organise and integrate key concepts, in order to make mental maths both more ‘teachable’ and ‘learnable’.