Q. I’ve recently been asked to a class of KS2 children. As a supply teacher I’m finding it quite difficult to engage some of the children in Maths lessons and keep them on task. I have more luck with this particular group when I take them for PE. What would you suggest?
F. Armstrong, Havant, Hants.
A. Despite its importance in everyday life Maths has a pretty poor profile in terms of fun and is definitely not among the favourite subjects to study at university, so anything you can do to encourage the idea that Maths is exciting will be of great and long lasting benefit to the children you teach.
Don’t try to over explain a Maths topic in the classroom; instead look for less traditional ways of teaching the subject. I’m sure you have a bulging folder of worksheets in your resource file and are already using Maths games that the children can do in small groups around the classroom, but if you’re ‘blessed’ with a particularly active class, you might want to consider combining Maths with some physical activity, so their brains and their bodies are stretched at the same time. Teaching Trends Number Cubes Inflatables are a good value, fun way of encouraging children to think about numbers as they move. You mentioned that you are a supply teacher and the number cubes pack small, are light to carry and priced so that you can include several packs among your resources. The kind of games you can initiate with the cubes are limitless. They can be used outdoors on mild days to give the children more space, or in a sitting circle in the classroom. The cubes range from basic number to multiplication quizzes, so you can pitch them at the right level for different groups. Good luck with teaching Maths!