When most people are asked to think of an ‘active’ subject in school then P.E. is likely to spring to mind as the frontrunner with maths taking a backseat in most people’s thoughts.
But maths is not a spectator sport. It’s a subject oozing with countless opportunities to shake, rattle and roll.
In creative hands maths is an all singing and all dancing subject that can press all the right buttons and set young learners on the right track.
Making sense of mathematical concepts is best done through active learning via hands-on and minds-on activities that engage and challenge learners. This involves milking mathematical moments through an inspired use of equipment and resources to support learning mixed with canny learning strategies that foster interaction.
Maths can be brought to life and placed in the hands of learners through maths stories, drama, dance, art and music. This could involve using fantasy and real role-play, simulated settings, counting and singing games, drawing shape pictures, visualisation techniques, puppets, bringing in unusual objects and going on a maths journey.
With younger children there are some great opportunities to exploit maths concepts using hands-on resources such as large floor resources and action mats, Venn diagrams, playground 100 squares, multilink, wall and table lines, bead strings, arrow cards, number fans, dominoes, dice, playing cards, feely bags, 100 squares, mini-whiteboards and computers.
In addition there are a range of assessment strategies you can use to evaluate learning. For example, children can explore a true-false statement, design a puzzle poster, discuss odd one out problems, play matching games, or engage in a card activity. In each case, the overriding intention is to provoke thinking, get children talking and maker maths a social activity with inquiry at its heart. This is where concept cartoons are the best.
Break the maths mould of just sitting and listening by injecting your maths with interactive approaches so that teaching and learning is colourful, lively, personal, memorable and exciting.