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Cross-curricular maths teaching and National Poetry Day

Thursday, 28 September 2017
National Poetry Day comes round each September and it is definitely a good time to introduce some poems into your maths lessons. However, thinking about it, every day is a good day to bring some sort of creative, fun, thought-provoking ideas into your mathematics. This may be in the form of poetry, but it could also be through art or stories or science or any other creative context.

A lot of the support I give to schools involves helping to make the maths purposeful and engaging for the children (and the teachers). This sits nicely alongside making the maths challenging and based around problem-solving.
Planning for cross-curricular maths opportunities should be up there in the Top 5 things to do when planning maths, perhaps even the top 3 (building on previous learning and appropriate representation is up there somewhere!). During the ‘idea-gathering, heads-together, creative-thinking’ moments of planning we should always consider ways of putting the mathematics into a context to show its application. This is within the maths lessons, but most importantly we should also include ways of explicitly using mathematics to enrich other areas of the curriculum.
So, make the most of opportunities during English, science, technology, geography or any other topic being taught to use the maths the children have learnt. It will show how important mathematics is in everyday life and it will also show children the purpose for learning the mathematical concepts, skills and procedures they are introduced to each day. 


Back to the poetry! There are some rich and creative poems out there that use maths ideas and some that are written for maths, to help learn ideas being taught.
Here is one of my favourites. Simplicity itself, a wonderful rhythm and written by Michael Rosen with illustrations by Quentin Blake (it doesn’t get much better than that!). It is from the book ‘Mind Your Own Business’ which every class I taught loved to read.

to the moon
rocket 2
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