To be confident with maths, children need to be secure with certain basic knowledge and processes. These may be first learned through an exploratory approach, regular practice will then be necessary to ensure fluency.
The temptation is to give children a large number of examples of a particular skill to work through in one lesson. While this may result in good test scores in the short term, the longer-term retention of processes learned in this way has been shown to be poor. Much more effective is to give children a smaller number of examples to work through and to spend the rest of the lesson practising other skills that have been learned previously.
What is most important is to engage children in discussion about errors and why these have occurred. The following section explores this further.