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Primary Curriculum

Maths can be FUN!

Maths, Primary Curriculum, SATs, Teaching Strategies, Year 2, Year 6

Let’s make students fall in love with Maths againimage

I wanted to start to talk about Maths on my blog, because as a teacher a phrase I always struggle to hear is ‘I hate Maths.’ During my work in schools it was always my secret mission to help students fall in love with Maths. This will probably become a major topic on the blog. I discover new strategies about Maths.

1. ENCOURAGE and BE PATIENT! – Maths is the trickiest subject to grasp if you don’t have a mathematical mindset, but with the right teacher, students can reach the required potential to be successful. Go over and over with them because they will get there. It is such a good moment when the light bulb goes on.
2. Build the relationship – You are probably wondering what I am on about. I worked with a student who thrived on the fact I used both of us to explain the problem. He kept saying you need Miss B’s Bag as well as mine.
3. Set High Expectations – I think society has predetermined that all maths is hard, I think in some cases this has transferred into students. This is why in some cases I push my expectations a little harder, because I know they can do it.
4. Try novel themes to increase engagement. – My favourite one so far has to be my Beat the Teacher Addition Edition you can check it out here at www.bit.ly/BTTRETPT and you can check out my other editions here at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store www.bit.ly/HappyEducatorsTpT

There you have my top four strategies I am using in my Maths teaching at the moment in my classroom. Let me know your maths strategies teacher friends. You can comment down below or find me on social media @happyeducators.

Happy Wishes Teacher Friends
Kathryn Alison

Transition Day

End of School Year, Primary Curriculum, Transition, Uncategorized

So, it is that time of year again where we are all closing out the year but prepping for the next year. A big part of this is the transition day or even week/fortnight, however long you get, it is sometimes tough to fill the space with useful meaningful learning that won’t be lost over the summer. It is probably one of the most frequently asked questions in UK Teaching Facebook Groups too. So, I thought I would share with you some of the ideas I may use for my transition day.

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Activities for Transition Day/Week

  1. Have a selection of books on stand by for students to read independently or in a group or with you as a class. This is a great way for you to see their reading dislikes and likes, those who are avid readers or those you are not. They can be anything from non fiction books to comics to magazines to novels short or long. I would also sneakily chuck in a few of the reading scheme they are going to follow because their reading score may be low because they find the mandatory texts boring, because once you have identified this you put rewards systems in place to engage them in mandatory texts.
  2. Take selfies for your classroom. This idea is based on the words of a famous educator called Hope King (Elementary Shenanigans) from the Ron Clark Academy. (Seriously if you haven’t heard about the Ron Clark Academy you need to google it. I have learned so much). In the words of Hope students need to feel comfortable and familiar in their classroom, because it is where they are going to spend of the year. A great way to do this is to have photos in photo frames so it feels more like community and you are on this journey together. Bring out the selfie stick.
  3. Talk to your students. What do you mean I already talk to my students? I mean that you could ask your students their hopes and dreams for the year. What THEY think will be expected of them? Then from this agree on the top 5 must follow at all times together.
  4. Do cool science experiments and problem solving tasks to see where the students are at in both maths and science.
  5. Quizzes with prizes – to see what they know already and more about their interests.

Hope this helps you in your transition day teacher friends, let me know how you get to know your new students either in the comments below or on social media @happyeducators

Happy Wishes Teacher Friends!

Kathryn A

Students, Teachers and Testing

Creativity, Primary Curriculum, SATs, Testing, Year 2, Year 6

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It is coming to that time of year again here in England – the SATs. It is a tough time for both teacher and students. The pressure to achieve and succeed overtakes the teaching of a love for learning. It has been quoted in UK media that the SATs are making schools become factories rather than places of learning, with even headteachers resigning from their roles because they disagree with what’s going on in regards to testing.

As a student, even in my late teens, I found testing season to be a very anxious time but as a teacher it is always my aim to make sure I give testing a purpose and outcome and work with students to know that testing is their time to really show the world how far they have come. So I thought I would share with you a few things I am doing to support students during testing.

  1. Letting the students know the classroom door is always open. I tell students that this time of year is very difficult for them, but I tell them they are not alone in this journey. I want them to showcase their best talents during this test. So, anytime they need me they should know where to find me during lunchtimes and break times. I will happily listen to their woes, rants or meltdowns, whatever it takes to make sure they achieve the possible grade they can.
  2. I know this one we all tend to do as teachers, because we get questions like ‘Why am I doing this?’ and remarks ‘I am never going to use this’. However, I believe that by helping students see that they are tackling strategies that are harder to learn when you are older.  Get students to set their own expectations with your support, if you set your own expectations you are creating your own future which is what education is all about.
  3. Create fun events for after testing such as topic days, classroom flips you name it is about FUN. Let your creativity list you have had saved up in the few months prior to testing season go. Be BOLD!
  4. Organise cool people to come in who would not come in before, because you had to extra dedicate time to English and Maths.

Let me know what you are doing after testing season I would love to know. You can comment down below or let me know on my social media channels @happyeducators.

Have a good weekend, educators.

KA