Good Monday all! Hoping in the midst of Spring 2 you are all doing well and the excitement of this wonderful job you have is not overwhelming you! Not to mention the opportunity you have to teach Maths to eager young minds 🙂 here are some ideas and resources to help you out!
1. Multiplication Tables Check Letter
Hopefully the news from over a month ago (although let’s be fair, this has been announced for quite a while now…) that there will be a multiplication tables check has settled in with you. Anyway, #MathsRocks is not here to debate and discuss the ins and outs of it. However, we are here to signpost you towards a really useful resource by @TTRockStars to inform your parents about it. The great thing is that it is completely editable – there is a lot of information there and some may or may not be as important in your school’s opinion. So, you can adapt it and use it very quickly. Here’s the link: https://ttrockstars.com/page/mtc
2. Mastering Manipulatives
Being a Year 6 teacher, I don’t tend to reach for the concrete resources. Up until this year I didn’t really use many pictorial examples in my teaching. Not good, I know. Anyway, seeing this setup by @MissJ_2801 has inspired me to do something similar:
I suppose the ideal would be that all children will be given the opportunity that this great practitioner has given her class in every class they go into. If children are given the chance to access manipulatives in their Maths learning consistently, then hopefully they will be more confident selecting them in later Maths problems to assist them in reasoning and solving.
It doesn’t really matter how you get the concrete resources into the children’s hands – but they must have access to them.
3. Make It – Draw It – Abstract ‘Trick’
I love this idea by @crisp_aholic. We are being bombarded by the ‘Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract’ approach by a number of sources and for good reason. As such, this great #MathsRocker has been encouraging their class to not only be taught in this approach, but also to create their own examples in this process:
What is great about this is that the children do get to experience the Maths physically for themselves. This learning process then moves to a pictorial stage which they will find useful to structure themselves when they come across unfamiliar contexts where they can try to use those same skills to understand what is being asked. On top of this, the children can then begin to learn useful tricks which can make them more fluent in calculations. There is nothing wrong with children learning tricks (such as “divide by the bottom, times by the top”) but ONLY if they understand the Maths behind it. In other words, why are they dividing by the denominator (because it helps them find the unit fraction of the amount they are looking for and so on). If the understanding of the Maths is founded on concrete experiences and pictorial manipulation then they are more likely to understand why the abstract tricks apply and remember them more.
Try it out soon – Make-Draw-Trick.
Hopefully there will be one #MathsRocks share here that will be useful in the coming weeks – please try them out and share your own great Maths classroom practice with the hashtag #MathsRocks!