As all teachers know, getting primary pupils up to a level four and above in maths by the time they move on to secondary school can be tough.
The key to breathing life into any lesson is through the good delivery of a well thought out plan and the smart use of resources. This last aspect is especially true in maths lessons, where pupils often need to try practical techniques for themselves or are able to grasp alien concepts through visual learning.
If you’re in the middle of working out your own plans, consider the following five resources that can help to do just that…
LEGO is one of those iconic toys that has always been able to capture the imagination. Its appeal has only grown recently thanks to the box office success of The LEGO Movie. Given that it is familiar for most children, it’s particularly effective to introduce this into the classroom to aid learning. This blog post highlights how LEGO bricks can be used for sorting, counting, fractions and shapes.
It’s about time
Time can often be one of the trickier concepts to impart on primary pupils and it’s important to be able to use visual aids to get your children to translate what they see on the clock face into an actual figure. There are plenty of good clock resources you can use to do that. It’s also worth trying time dominoes – a neat game that requires pupils to match up digital and analogue time readings.
There’s an app for that
Increasing numbers of schools have access to a set of iPads and tablet computers. The trick to get the most of these expensive pieces of kit is being able to download and use the most effective apps. There are some particularly good ones available to enhance primary maths lessons. For example, 123 Tracing uses the touchscreen to good effect when teaching children how to draw the numbers. With a selection of difficulty levels, there is a wide variety of games that can be put to good use in a way that will be natural for this tech-savvy generation.
Made for measure
Measuring is one of the most practical aspects of primary mathematics and cries out for resources. At a basic level it’s important to have rulers, tape measures, counting sticks and scales. When it comes to volume, Hope’s ‘measuring volume kit’ is popular as a tool to help children to practice what they’re being taught.
It contains all the core requirements for the curriculum, with five graduated beakers, a litre cube set of six, a set of three liquid measurement jugs, seven graduated cylinders and six measuring spoons. This should cover all the bases and give children the good, practical experience they need.
Sometimes simple resources can be the most effective. A pack of cards can be a really effective tool to have to hand in the classroom. There are a whole host of different ways to use these and the games children can play with cards will help to improve their memory skills, times tables and ability to think quickly with numbers. Card games also get children to talk about numbers and encourage them to learn in a fun way.