Maths activities to start or finish off a lesson


Hi guys, Holly Millican from South Grafton
High School here, bringing you my third video on Making Maths fun. Now in this video I’m
going to cover a few of the different activities that I try and use to start and finish off
my lesson. My first activity is called Djehuti Smart.
Now this is a South Grafton High School developed program which assists students who have not
achieved automaticity in their basic number facts, as well as reinforcing these number
facts for higher level students as well. Now this can be used to start or finish off a
lesson. To begin this activity a timer is set for two minutes and the students are to
open their speedsheets to a fresh page and are to try and complete as many questions
as they can in the time limit. They then graph their progress so they can measure their own
growth. Now many of my classes see it as a competition against themselves and they get
quite into beating their previous score. Now these booklets do start off quite easy, plus
and minus one, plus and minus two, and they do then move through onto multiplication and
division as well so it is something that can be done over the course of a term or over
the course of several terms with a class. Now my second activity is called Around the
World. Now this activity sees the kids in two positions, either seated in a circle on
the ground, or standing behind the seated student. Now the one student that is standing
behind the seated students, they are trying to answer the question that’s being posed
first. So they are trying to answer it before the person they are standing in front of because
that means they can pop to the next person and their goal is to try to make it all the
way around the world. Now the question is decided, rather than just by me writing it
up on the board or them having a flash card, they get to roll a die in this case and whatever
number comes up on the die, they’ll either be doing some sort of multiplication, addition
or subtraction and they will work through it and try and get around the world as quick
as they can. Now for my lower classes I will use an easy six-sided die, for some of the
older students or some of the top level classes, they got all the way up to the 20 -sided die
which really gets them excited when they’re trying to do 20 multiplications. Now this
activity is really great to finish off a lesson because it does get the kids thinking about
those basic mathematical concepts that they really do need to review quite often and I
really find that the kids get quite excited about it. We have a champion in my class and
the champion gets to keep the crown until the next around the world. So they’re really
engaged with it and really enjoy playing it as a game. Now this is a very versatile activity that
can be used across a range of topics to either start or finish a lesson. So for this activity
students are split into groups and they’re given a set of questions on the board. Now
usually I’ll set these up in a PowerPoint just so I can keep them hidden until everyone
is ready to go. Now my questions will either relate directly to what we are learning about,
reiterating what we may have learned in previous lessons, or they will work on those base numeracy
skills. Now once I have the students and the questions set up, students will treat it as
a relay race to try and answer the questions as quickly as they can. So one student runs
up to the board, answers a question, runs back and passes the marker to a friend within
their group. The winning group obviously being the students who answered the questions the
quickest. Now in some of my classes I do keep a tally as the students love the ongoing competition
of the end of class relay races. This activity is particularly useful for students who get
a bit antsy by the end of the lesson, the ones that really need to get up and out of
their seats and be moving around a little bit. Now I keep coming back to this idea that maths
has to be fun, it has to be engaging and it has to be exciting for the kids. So if you
can start or finish a lesson in a slightly different way to when you usually do, or use
a different activity of some description, I really feel like that is a solid step in
the right direction towards getting kids engaged and getting them excited about being in the
maths classroom.

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