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Interactive maths kits - add a geoboard for 'show me' activities

Tuesday, 3 January 2017
'Show me' activities are great for whole class starters and each child having their own maths kit helps your classroom management as well as making maths motivating for children. On a training course recently, where I give out maths kits with counters, number cards,100-squares and other manipulatives, a teacher suggested adding a geoboard to help with shape 'starter' activities. 

If you are new to maths kits, they are easy to make and most of the resources you will already have in your classroom. 

What should be in each maths kit that can be used for 'Show me' activities?

There is no particular limitation - include whatever you use regularly. These are the basics though:

0-9 digit cards have one set for each pupil, for more challenge limit the number of digits for an activity. Good for all number work including place value and calculation. 

Fan numbers include one set each pupil, include a decimal point for KS2. They are good for showing multi-digit numbers.

Arrow cards  have one set for each pupil to show any numbers - HTU for KS1, to millions for KS2. Good for place value and expanded notation.

Place everything in a plastic wallet or re-sealable sandwich bag. Children will quickly get into the habit of having their maths kit ready at the start of a lesson. 

With thanks to TTS for this image from their catalogue of maths resources.

What are 'Show me' activities?

These are when everyone in the class holds up their answers at the same time.

 The great benefits of 'show me' include:    

• your whole class participating – rather than one child for each question.

• children gaining confidence in their mental agility

• differentiation within the same whole class activity.

• opportunities to assess a large group of pupils

KS1 interactive digit card activities

Show me....
 • a number 1 less than..., 2 more than...., between 4 and 6

•  an odd number less than 8, a set of two even numbers

•  show me two numbers that total 5, 10, 12
KS2 interactive digit card activities

Limit to 4 digits for more of a challenge.

Show me...
the largest number using digits 2, 3, 6 and 5, an odd number that rounds to 5000

• a square number that is even, a multiple of 4 and 6

• the largest total of two 2-digit numbers from the 4 digits, the smallest total, a total as near to 100 as possible.

Geoboard show me activites 

Using a small geoboard and an elastic band you can ask KS1 to show simple 2D shapes  squares, rectangles, triangles.

This is great to show that 2D shapes may be the same and different. Squares can be made in different sizes and positions. Even better are rectangles and triangles that can also change their dimensions - look at the different lengths of sides and their proportions. Ask them to make a triangle and now make another triangle that is different.

There are a many ways to use a geoboard for KS2. Ask them to show you different shapes: an isosceles triangle, a pentagon, hexagon. Say, ‘show me’ a shape with... parallel sides, a right angle, an acute angle, then compare some of the different shapes the class have made.

Ask how some shapes are the same and different -  different shapes may be the same as they all have a right angles: triangles, squares, rectangles.  Asking what is the same and what is different really reinforces their understanding of properties of shapes.

Broadbent Maths Planning Menu Users

Interactive Mathematics Teaching 
Strategies to support interactive teaching

Available to download for teachers of subscriber schools.
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