Tag Archives: learning

#MathsRocks Round Up! 28/05/18

It’s the holidays!! Hope you all have a nice, relaxing break planned – or nothing planned at all! Either way, read on for some relaxing Maths ideas which will engage your learners and make Maths rock!

1. Classic Top Trumps – F/D/P

Last time, we shared a great entry by @misslkfidler where the children learnt about fraction, decimal and percentage equivalents using the game ‘Go Fish’. This week, another way to practise and learn essential maths facts, like these equivalences. Top Trumps is a classroom classic and this twist on the Top Trumps with fractions, decimals and percentages is a great idea!


2. Maths4Everyone!!

This is a great shout by @crisp_aholic! Thousands of FREE maths resources  from @Maths4Everyone. The link is here: https://www.tes.com/teaching-resources/shop/Maths4Everyone
Don’t really have much more to say on that – just click and download.


3. Conversion Chart

And finally, a great visual support shared by @crisp_aholic:


Conversion of metric units can cause great confusion. Some sort of visual support initially will support learning in the class. Of course they will not be able to use these beyond the classroom but any amount of support and visualisation will help.

That’s your lot for this week! Have a wonderful break and good luck for Summer 2!


#MathsRocks Round Up! 14/05/18

Hope all of you are enjoying another exciting week. Of course, for those Year 6 teachers of us you will be having a ‘testing’ week but I’m hoping your first day at the SATs with the children has been a positive experience! Enjoy losing yourself in the wonderful Maths ideas and problems!

1. Which One Doesn’t Belong?

Want a reasoning resource with a difference? http://wodb.ca/ gives you that!
There is a big push towards developing children’s reasoning, including giving problems that have been solved slightly incorrectly and you have to find the error. Well, this website is different. It presents different sets of numbers, shapes and other objects. Children are required to select one of the options and reason why that one doesn’t belong. Simple right 🙂 but effective. Thank you to @Mister_Hubbard for sharing!


2. “Go Fish!”

I loved this idea by @misslkfidler. Great idea to use for fraction/decimal/percentage equivalence but this could work for a number of concepts also – such as ratios, types of shapes and so on. Here’s the picture…


3. Maths Starter for a Day

@7puzzle shared this idea which was brought to #MathsRocks attention by @MrBramley25. One day this can be a quick problem to get brains into gear:

Your task is to arrive at the target answer of 18 by using each of the four numbers 2, 6, 7, and 10 exactly once each and with + – × ÷ available.

Another great idea from this share is where you use the digits in the date (such as 1, 4, 0, 5, 2, 0, 1 and 8 from today) and try to get the closest to 100 using the four operations.

Enjoy the rest of your week – share on #MathsRocks, and good luch for the rest of this SATs week.!

Daily Whole Class Feedback Mark Two by @Mroberts90Matt

So, workload. It’s been shown to be quite high on the agenda by the DfE, Ofsted, Parliament and so on. Among the problem areas – marking has been highlighted. I previously posted a blog about whole class feedback which significantly cut back on the amount I was writing in children’s books and increased the engagement with the feedback. Find it here.

I have been using the method in the blog now for almost four years and would recommend it to anyone. What I have found is hours of freed up time to use to plan more quality interventions and next steps with the feedback I give to the children.

However, I have found something which may be even quicker (at least, in the week I have begun trialling it, when it used to take 20mins-30mins to mark a set of Maths books it now takes ~10-mins-15mins! To be honest, this web page explains it very well so I will leave it to do most of the explaining as I am considering my work-life balance 😉


It is well worth considering though – once again, my time has been freed even more and I have found (initially anyway) to have a much bigger impact on the children’s understanding through more regular, consistent verbal feedback. There have been a number of moments working with specific targeted children where they have had ‘a-ha’ moments because of the way this feedback approach enables the class to be moved forward with minimal effort from the teacher so they can plan an effective feedback time at the start of the next lesson.

#MathsRocks Round Up! 30/04/18

Here we are a couple of weeks into the new term! Hope all is going well! You have a wonderful Bank Holiday to look forward to next week also so it is all looking rosy :). Now, here is your regular dose of #MathsRocks ideas and problems to try out in the classroom.

1. Maths Bags for Home

This idea hits home (quite literally) for me. I have a 5 year old son and he is struggling with his Maths. One of the problems we have as a young family with two young children is finding the time to gather (and keep together) quality resources. @nurserycrookfur have shared a great Maths set that they send home which was shared by @CrookfurPC.


This is just one example of a great idea which I’m sure many schools are doing but it’s a classic worth sharing. In Year 6 we do something similar but with more appropriate material – revision packs, times tables…some homes may not use them but I’m sure many would appreciate it.

2. More CPA examples

Another great share by @crisp_aholic. The concrete-pictorial-abstract (CPA) is very much a focus now in general maths education, particularly those with a mastery approach. As such, it is always great to see practical ideas, like this one:



One great suggestion with this idea is asking children to come and draw their own examples and there you have fantastic discussion potential just from that exercise.

3. Dojo Problem

And finally, as we like on #MathsRocks, a little problem for you to try. Many of you will have heard of @classdojo and they make an appearance with this great problem shared by @busyteacher247. Not much explanation is needed – just have a go and share it with your class:


Have a great couple of weeks! Don’t forget to share your Maths ideas and suggestions on the #MathsRocks hashtag!

Oh and finally, we couldn’t let this one go without a mention by @Miss_B35, shared by @crisp_aholic…


#MathsRocks Round Up! 16/04/18

Hello all!! Here it is again – your fortnightly boost of Maths teaching ideas and suggestions! Everyone will be back at school by now – hope Summer 1 has had an excellent start! Here is this week’s ideas:

1. Food Maths!

I love food! I love Maths. Check out this wonderful idea by @J0H00K and shared by @Mister_Hubbard:


Maths is everywhere around us. The children sometimes do not recognise this and just how much Maths has an impact on them – even the food they eat! It would be great to see any more Food Arrays or just #FoodMaths in general that you see. Here is mine:


2. KS2 teaching Early Years

A great entry from @grove_road was shared. They had a #mathsrocks day!! Exciting or what!?? Would love to hear what else they did that day! Anyway, they shared a wonderful idea where their KS2 children went to the Early Years to support the younger children in creating brilliant number lines.


What I love about the idea of older children teaching others is their depth of understanding MUST be on point. Some training will be required but when they then go to try and teach others with a weaker knowledge they will inevitably be asked questions – and they will need to answer. However, they will quickly learn they have to be clear with their explanations…

3. The Golden Cube Problem

We like to finish with a problem for you to try in the classroom. This one, shared by @Mroberts90Matt, is aimed mainly at Year 6’s who are grasping the concept of volume. This gets them to think about the number of cubes in each layer, the actual volume and a practical context where the deconstruct a 3D object. That’s enough from me – have a go yourself!

We hope you find at least one of these ideas or challenges useful – try them out! Even better, if you have another idea you have tried in your classroom, please share with the #MathsRocks hashtag so others can benefit!

#MathsRocks Round Up 19/03/18!

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!

#MathsRocks Round Up! 19/02/18

Welcome back after another half term and here we are embarking on Spring 2! Lighter mornings, going home when it’s not dark – looking forward to summer. And of course another #MathsRocks round up! Let’s do this!

1. Number Day 2018!


This great idea was brought up by @lea_forest_dht. Friday 2nd February was Number Day driven by the @NSPCC. It seems like a great idea where Maths activities can take centre stage, Maths can get everyone involved and even the odd dressing up event also. Unfortunately the day has passed but it may be worthwhile pencilling in to look this up December-time so the preparations can begin.

2. Gary Hall Resources


Wondering where to begin resourcing lessons for Maths? @leah_moo highlighted a great website where every curriculum objective is linked to a number of potential sources or resources to use for Years 1-6. It’s very much worth bookmarking this on your laptop so that when you are planning you can quickly refer to this. Not only are there unique resources to use but there are the occasional links to other activities such as on nRich and NCETM so it will hopefully challenge all your learners as well! See the link below:


3. Brutal Challenge!


And finally, here at #MathsRocks the majority of things we share are great resource ideas or ways to enhance your mathematics teaching in the classroom. However we occasionally like to give you a challenge to solve yourself and this time we have one from @Mister_Hubbard which (I’ll be honest with you) will take some time and patience for you to solve. He has also provided a solution which I will post at the bottom of this #MathsRocks Round Up…happy number crunching!

Please don’t forget to share any great Maths ideas, resources, displays, lessons, manipulatives, challenges…and so on to #MathsRocks  on Twitter. There are more and more items being shared and it’s really appreciated! Please share the @MathsRocks_2 handle as well so more can join the Maths fun!


(PS Here is the solution to @Mister_Hubbard’s problem)


#MathsRocks Round Up! 05/02/18

Welcome again to another #MathsRocks Round Up – where you can find useful ideas for teaching Primary Maths! Let’s jump straight in – and guess what, one more week until another break. You can do it!

1. Books to inspire Maths


Recently on #PrimaryRocks there was a wonderful focus on Maths. It was a magical, mathematical evening! One of the questions was a great one – what books do teachers use to inspire and generate discussion on Maths? It was incredible but a little overwhelming to see the replies flowing in. Fortunately @Mister_Hubbard who led the discussion has collected the suggestions and they can be found here on an editable document – link here

2. Visual fraction games

Spring term is a wonderful time of year where Fractions are often on the agenda for a number of year groups. The question is – how do we make fractions engaging, purposeful and give the children a wide variety of models to interact with? @MissSDoherty shared a wonderful, eye-catching activity where children had to sort a variety of 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 models as a group. This allows them to see how one example of a 1/3 can look different to another but still indicate a 1/3 also!3

In a similar vein to this, at our school (@Mroberts90Matt) to round off our Fractions unit in Year 6, we created a fraction game. This game was based on the @nrichmaths activity found here: https://nrich.maths.org/8283

The game requires children to understand different ways of representing fractions and matching equivalent proportions. They were then able to go to various Year 3 and 4 classes to have to explain and teach how to play this game. Not only does this requite a secure grasp of equivalent fractions but also explain it to younger children.


3. Curriculum Mapping Tools (nRich and NCETM)

You may or may not already know about this incredibly useful tool but nonetheless it is absolutely worth a share!

@goulds_mr drew attention to the @nrichmaths one first on #MathsRocks but whilst we mention it we may as well draw attention to the @NCETM version also. @nrichmaths and @NCETM are absolute gifts to any Primary Maths teacher. They take the concepts and provide deeper problem solving challenges which will stretch and challenge all children of any ability. However, the difficulty in using these sites is that it can sometimes be a challenge finding the right activity. These guides that nRich and NCETM provide solve that issue, allowing teachers to pinpoint the activities they need.



The links to the interactive pages can be found here:

nRich: https://nrich.maths.org/12662

NCETM: https://www.ncetm.org.uk/resources/41211

I really encourage you to save these documents/links as they will save many hours of your time. Have a great (final for most of you before a well-deserved week off) week! And remember – #MathsRocks!

#MathsRocks Round Up! 08/01/18

Wasn’t the most intelligent idea to try starting a #MathsRocks Round Up routine before Christmas holidays but here we are – the first Monday back for some, a few days in for others – and we have a new round up of Maths ideas and resources for you to peruse. Again, any ideas or resources you have for Primary Maths please use the #MathsRocks thread to share it and it may feature in the next fortnightly(ish) round up!

1. Quick practical activity


First up is a quick activity shared by @MissSDoherty a little while ago which is a great activity for KS2 in particular. It’s especially useful with Year 6 beginning Algebra in the next few weeks if other Y6 teachers are following the new @WhiteRoseMaths scheme of work. Only numbers 0-12 may be used. The rest is up to you/your class to work out!

2. Setting for Maths Issues


This topic has been at the forefront of my mind for the past few months as I have taken on the role of Maths Lead in my school. We currently are setting in year groups for Maths but I am becoming more and more against this practice. @MaryMyatt summaries my concerns brilliantly in this thought-provoking article. A must-read for all those responsible for teaching and learning of Maths in their school and the best way to proceed in considering how to provide access to the Maths curriculum for all children. Follow the link below:


3. Super Resource – MathsBot


For the final entry this week I went with a resource which hasn’t been necessarily mentioned on #MathsRocks (yet!) but it’s a website which EVERY teacher of Maths should have in their weaponry. Mathsbot is a Maths-specific site where you will find many things from manipulatives, worksheets, question generators, starters and tools. I really could spend a lot of time and I may dedicate a Mathsbot-specific blog post in future but I really just suggest you go NOW to the site Mathsbot and follow @StudyMaths to be given a lot of quick tools and visuals for the teaching of Maths. Dienes blocks, bar models, counters, counting stick, differentiated questions, worksheet generator, number of the day, fraction wall, sieve of Eratosthenes and much, much more! Go now and enhance your practice!

Please keep following and sharing to #MathsRocks for more Primary Maths gems!

#Nurture1718 by @Mroberts90Matt

2017 has been a great year! It has represented a number of developments for me in many areas and seeing the usual #Nuture posts has caused me to try and reflect over the year. So without further ado – here is 2017:


It’s been quite a routine year for my family. There have been very difficult moments with health scares and other things but we’re all here ready for a New Year. Our two children will become 6 and 4 – with our oldest beginning Year 2 at school! Time is certainly moving very fast and I’m hoping to make the most of it! We have made a tentative plan to travel to Disneyland in 2020 so we’re hopeful to create many exciting memories in the time that we have together. Birthday parties, trip to Chessington, Legoland and other things have made this year one to look back on.


So in terms of school there have been a number of great developments which I’m very pleased about. In the year I ended my 3rd year of teaching I have completed the work for my NPQML and will receive the result in around 13 days! There was something extremely satisfying in creating a whole-school development project, leading the educational change, trying to make it effective, long-lasting change and creating a 20 page pdf about it. Looking at the work that has gone into it, I feel a good sense of pride in the fact I’ve played some part in providing some change hopefully for the better at my school. The project was focused on developing an approach based on mathematical talk and vocabulary across the school and I’m looking forward to seeing how it continues.

Maths Lead:

This was the year that I was also given a new opportunity within my school. I was previously the PE and Sports Lead and we had great and exciting things happen in the school. It’s ironic actually because when I was originally asked to be the PE Lead I wasn’t sure at first. It was never something I had considered. However, I was asked to move to be the Maths Lead in the school and pass the PE Lead on and I was extremely excited (but a little sad to see the PE go). However, since it’s begun I’ve really enjoyed it. There’s been a lot of opportunities for development from it and I’m excited with a few ideas that we’ve had in place – including using Times Tables Rock Stars and considering how to include a mastery approach to teaching and learning in Maths looking at Shanghai and Singapore models.


On top of the Maths Lead, a potential opportunity came up from the local Maths Hubs – to become a Professional Development Lead. It was promoted early November from the NCETM and Maths Hubs and I was really interested but thought I wouldn’t be in the right position to apply. It requires you being sponsored by a Maths Hub and it allows you to be accredited to lead professional development courses. I was encouraged to apply by my Head and my previous KS Lead…and I got it! This was a big highlight in December to find out and I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes!

Assistant Head Interview:

This was a very interesting experience! In our school I applied for an AHT position and didn’t get it. Despite this, I was grateful for it! It was useful for the future and I received great feedback. It has given me a huge confidence boost for future opportunities.


In July I began using the gym…and I still am. Well, I say the gym – my parents have a garage which they’ve converted with a treadmill, exercise bike and weight benchpress (and a TV and portable fridge)! On top of this,  they live about a 2 minute drive away! I’m managing to get out twice a week and work at it so I’m feeling very good. I have to say I’ve noticed a difference in my health levels and resistance to illnesses so will hope to keep that going.

So now is the time to look into the New Year – as I have successfully been able to keep at tweeting and blogging for a whole year now I’m hoping that I will now be able to look back at this in 12 months time and see how I’ve managed to achieve things this year in 2018:


This next year with the family I hope to spend even more quality time with my family. The areas to improve on are the days where there isn’t anything particularly happening and the day slips away – I want to get out to the park more and such things like that.

Next Step…:

This is a bit of an unknown for me. Originally I wanted to try and be in a Senior Leadership position in September and I do think I still would like that. The ideal scenario is that I will be able to attain a position in my current school but of course that would require other things to happen. However, with my new Maths Lead position and the exciting opportunity of taking on the PD Lead Accreditation I might be happy to continue working on this a little more but then as well – Year 6 or not? I think I would definitely like to step away from Year 6 as it’s the only year I’ve known for 4 years now…I guess I’ll have a clearer picture in April time…

NCETM PD Lead Begins!:

Mentioned this already so won’t go into a lot of detail but I am very interested to see how this will go!


So, I am a little ashamed to say this but since I began teaching in 2014 I think I have read…1 book maybe? Not even sure as I sit here!! I know I will not be the only one but I want to get into reading more. So, 6 books for Christmas and I’m ready to go – I’m determined to start anew. My birthday is in April and (whilst I know only 6 books in 3 and a bit months isn’t necessarily impressive) I’m hoping to get some more then! Already read ‘Who Let the Gods Out?’ so a great start!


Well, the year ended with the epic ‘The Last Jedi’ and a surprisingly very enjoyable ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ and I’m looking forward to 2018’s offering of films. ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’, ‘Incredibles 2’, ‘Black Panther’, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, ”Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’, ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald’, ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’…even Hotel Transylvania 3! Lots to look forward to!


I have always tried to start a meaningful journal – not necessarily based on school matters but general. The most difficult thing I always found to keep it going was having to write by hand at night and keeping it interesting to read back. I found a brilliant app called ‘365 Journals’ which gives a simple question a day and I can use the ‘Speech-to-Text’ function on my phone to input it in! Easy! 🙂


Very simply – keep this going. And as it’s easily accessible, private and I get occasional treats from my parents on my way through (and a wonderful power shower) – I’m likely to!

2018 – here I come!