Maths Staff Meeting

Once again I'm very grateful to be able to sit in on a staff meeting where great learning happens.  Our staff meeting tonight was presented by Nicky Knight and was all about what good maths lessons and teaching is.

Some of the highlights of the afternoon ....

  • Being reminded about the beauty of mathematics through watching a video where numbers have been manipulated to make different things.  Illustrating the numerical values of attitude, hardwork and knowledge.  It's all about attitude! 
  • Nicky sharing warm up ideas that include the ability for students to debate and defend their answers and also encourage conversation and working in groups in the classroom. 
  • Looking closely at the basic structure of a maths block that includes a warm up focused on knowledge gaps, short, sharp oral and written instructions and group teaching time.  It also includes early finishers planning and reflection time that isn't limited to the end of a lesson.
  • Sharing reflection time ideas like using beach balls, dice, stars in a bag.
  • The importance of grouping based on assessment and evidence
  • Watching a teacher on video teaching a maths lesson 
  • The importance of relating what we're teaching back to real life, giving learning a purpose not just because we have to
  • Starting group teaching with a knowledge warm up and checking for prior knowledge of the strategy and knowledge needed for the approaching lesson
  • Using small groups within a group to discuss and problem solve - thinking groups

Final Reflection - So What was useful? 
Confirming what is needed in a maths lesson, it's always helpful to remember what needs to happen within a maths lesson.  It was interesting to go through a lesson in depth again and remind myself about making sure that we relate things back to real life - How is this going to work in my life outside of school?  It's also so important to give children enough time to work with materials.  
I found it useful to watch the video of a lesson as it went through the questioning that needs to go on before you get into a lesson.  Making sure children are ready for the strategy but also checking that this isn't something they already know.