It tends to be one of the most dreaded things that student teachers must come to face and overcome – teaching maths.
In the second year of the B.Ed. programme at Strathclyde University, there is no maths provision, as this is an aspect that is deeply covered in your first year. In first year you also acquire the knowledge on how to go away and learn for yourself. While coming into B.Ed. 2, it dawned on me – I will have to teach maths to an upper school class on placement in the coming year! Quite nerve-wracking!
Knowing that others would be in the same position, and taking into account the fact that no initial teacher education institution can teach a teacher everything they will ever have to know - I decided to set up a maths focus group.
The purpose of the focus group was to work collaboratively, to share different pedagogies, resources and ideas, with the aim of developing our own practice and confidence when teaching maths.
After the first couple of sessions, we decided to set up a hash tag (#StrathMathBEd2) on twitter to share resources and connect with the wider education community.
This is something that has played a benefit to many people, and the resources shared – I hope, have inspired people and given them ideas when teaching maths.
So, that was the rationale behind #StrathMathBEd2, I just want to share some of the resources that have stood out for others and myself in the group (and beyond!).
1. Times Tables in 10 Minutes
Watch this – I bet you can list off the 17 times table now!
The group found this video to be excellent. Why?
- It was engaging and interactive.
- It was OKAY to make mistakes and that environment was established at the start.
- The numbers each had an association with something (a movement/ phrase). Which made it easier to remember.
- Each of the numbers were put on the number stick individually, and the different methods on how to get to that number were explored.
- Afterwards, StrathMathBEd2 were able to answer any multiplication of 17 up to 170, despite it not being in the video. (e.g. What is 17 x 8? = 136 (that’s the one she can’t remember!)
This website is rich with ideas and resources. There are also some excellent online CPD opportunities and materials – all you have to do is sign up (free of charge) and take part!
It is a really interesting report and I’d recommend you read it if you have time!
3. Another report that is definitely worth a read, is Good practice in Primary mathematics published by Ofsted in November 2011.
- Ofsted – Good practice in primary mathematics report – summary
- Ofsted – Good practice in primary mathematics
The report is contemporary – it looks at issues and the actually practicalities with teaching maths. Both documents are available for free download from the Ofsted website and the URL is:
4. Here is another video – an excellent way to teach fractions – recommended by @ajcorrigan.
(I can’t display the video here! You will have to follow the link – please do so!)
It, like the multiplication video, speaks for itself!
What the group loved about this video, was that:
- The children clearly understood fractions.
- The way in which the teacher hosted the lesson, accommodated for children of all different levels, everybody could be involved and perform at their own pace and level.
- The teacher was able to observe how the children were coping with the work with the white ‘show me’ boards.
- The chidden were able to apply their knowledge and were able to visualise the cups and different processes with the two different tables. This was also evident when they started to use cards.
5. I would also suggest the following 2 books:
- Haylock, D. (2010). Mathematics Explained for primary teachers (4th Edition ed.). London: SAGE Publications.
- Hodgen, J., & Wiliam, D. (2006). Mathematics Inside the Black Box. London: GL Assessment.
6. A lot of other resources and ideas have stimulated from other websites (see below).
- Primary teaching resources
- BBC Website
- “Great Maths teaching ideas” Web page: 1 & Web page: 2 - via @Maths_Master.
- ICTmagic – via @JanieT56
There are many many many more! So, feel free to follow #StrathMathBEd2. If you have any resources or different ideas you would like to share – tweet them or comment below!
Lastly, I would just like to say thank you to the group of people who have participated throughout – you can’t have collaboration without people!! Also, thanks to the wider education community for suggesting resources, articles, ideas and just general tips and opinions. It is great – get involved if you are not!