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Broadbent Maths - creative primary maths

Reflect on your maths teaching and take a look at the bigger picture

Tuesday, 3 January 2017
Once the term has started it is likely that you focus on your teaching for each day or week with little chance to reflect and look at your teaching in a wider context. If possible, take some time to reflect on what education is all about for you and then look at the best way you can make this happen in action. 
Sir Ken Robinson is the Keynote Speaker at BETT 2017, a technology education show that is well worth visiting. If you can get to see him, I'm sure he will have an impact on your teaching and view of education.

He provides a good starting place to reflect on your own attitudes to teaching and learning, so take a look at these, there are many more online too.

A need for a new model in education (Sep 2016 10 mins)

How to change education  (Jul 2013  24 mins)

What is the role of the teacher? (May 2016 4 mins)

Now you've looked at some of the big picture ideas on education you'll recognise the importance of creativity within this. So what can you do in a practical sense in your school and in the classroom when teaching maths?

Be creative

Of course, the creative curriculum works well here in the UK, it suits our children who are lively and active and we have always encouraged them to be inquisitive and questioning. Once the skills and concepts have been taught the application and problem solving usually follows. Don't forget that it could be the other way round - set the problem and then they can learn the skills that are needed.
The criticism of a creative approach in teaching maths is that it is hard to manage and assess progress, with the maths getting lost somehow. However, a successful creative approach is dependent on great teaching and the more creative you become there is a very good chance that your teaching will improve, which impacts on children's learning. Simple... but it may involve doing things a little differently.

Take some risks

Try different approaches, unusual starting points, a story to set the scene, a picture to talk about, a visit, a visitor, a walk, a problem to solve that has a real impact, a puzzle, a game - something to create a buzz, fire the imagination, spark an interest and get children thinking and working as little mathematicians.

Teach within a context or around a theme

Teach maths in context - pirates walk the plank!

An activity that can be repeated looking at the properties of numbers

Teaching maths in context - using a load of potatoes
Maths ideas for each year group and a look at how a school approached it

Maths in a weather theme - which month has most rain
Rounding, ordering and comparing numbers, finding averages and using data handling

Maths activities for spring - growing vegetables
Measuring the plot, length, width and area, also a chance to use percentages

Growing plants and maths - 'sow' many reasons to get your class gardening
Some billiant ideas from the RHS Campaign for School Gardening

Counting pollen - seasonal counting activities
Accurate counting in a real-life context.

KS1 & KS2 maths activities for the Queen's birthday
Timeline looking at dates, counting the different birthday gun salutes.

Easter maths activities
Repeating patterns and egg rolling

Starting with a problem

Planning maths to include problem solving

Adapting maths problems to fit different themes

Maths planning - how to make the maths purposeful
Engaging children and teaching creatively

Maths mysteries
Encourage thinking skills and group problem solving

Problem solving, mathematical processes and natural powers
Getting stuck is an 'honourable state', then comes the 'Aha!' moment

Problem solving starting point with Logo
investigating spirals

Broadbent Maths Subscriber schools

Problem solving activities - new resources online
Teaching ideas and problems for each Planning Menu unit

Reasoning, problem solving and statistics
Record sheets to help with planning and assessment

Problem solving Small Steps of Progression
detailed progression steps from KS1 through to and a little beyond Y6
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