Monday, 30 September 2013

Factors, multiples, primes and Venn diagrams, all in one lesson!


Venn diagrams
We have all had the problem as teachers of thinking a class has understood a lesson we have taught only for the next time we see the class to despair they haven’t remembered  thing. 

It’s even worse for the poor learner, they may remember the aim of your lesson but as for the content it’s gone; what a loss of confidence in their own abilities. 

In an effort to help pupils remember I always try to use colour and imagery along with the other types of standard teaching techniques that all good teachers employ. These techniques are simple and work.

These two good friends of mine aid pupils’ retention of facts, techniques and concepts.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A taste of summer in the Maths classroom

Ode to autumn
Do you long for the summer now we are back at school? As I write it is an overcast day in the UK, the trees are shedding their leaves and we have already had to turn on the central heating. Not exactly as Keats stated

‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

Close bosom friend of the mature sun’

in his Ode to Autumn. You can bring a flavour of the summer to your life and classroom by playing ‘Fruit Salad’.


I really enjoy game playing and different activities in the classroom, it makes such a difference to the pupil’s enjoyment and learning, and brightens up your day as well, rather than what can sometimes seem like an endless diet of worksheets. I once read about a mathematical activity which was a game based upon transformations. This was a board game; unfortunately this game involved you making the boards. The preparing over thirty cards for each player! In a class of 30 children this means you have to make and manage 900 cards. I do not have to tell any experienced teacher the absolute nightmare of handing out and collecting these pieces of equipment. Fortunately ‘Fruit Salad' requires no equipment at all.