It all helps when we pull together as a team so let’s share some ideas! Here’s one called ‘The Magic Chair’, an activity I have seen many times over the years but that you might be unaware of. This activity involves sitting a child on the teacher’s comfy computer chair (or any chair with wheels) and sticking a number on the back of the chair so the child cannot see it. The teacher then wheels the child around the circle of children so all but the child can see the number (you could recite a little poem along the lines of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ only it’s more like ‘We’re going on a number hunt, will it be a big one? will it be a small one? we’re not scared…’). When the chair comes to a stand still the child has to ask his friends for three clues about the number: e.g. it’s one more than seven, it looks like a snowman, it’s an even number…should lead the child to the correct answer of number 8! Why not adapt this activity to different themes (e.g. if the class theme is space she might change the rhyme to ‘We’re blasting into space today, we need to find a number…) and ideas (animals, words, letters,shape)?
Another good idea for maths has recently been shared with me – number towers. There were 2 different types of tower: Number tower 1 and Number tower 2 . The first had four columns of numbers and should be folded into a square tower, held together with paper clips. This number tower is used by an adult with the children, either as a mental maths exercise with a large group, where the teacher points to a number and asks a question with the number as a starting point (e.g. what is four more than this number? for young children, or what is the answer when you multiply this number by 9, for older/more able ones), or for small group work at a table. By laminating the towers you can write on mathematical symbols or focus on negative numbers – just make changes every day. The second tower should be folder into a triangular tower with each side having 2 columns of numbers with a clear space in between. These could be used for anything from number bonds to quick calculations – there are lots of possibilities!
My ICT tip today involves the use of Google Maps: something I blogged about a while ago but I’ve now found more uses for, like using the distance measuring tool to find out which child in the class lives closest or farthest away from the school, drawing on a route or using the street view to look at places pupils are going to be visiting. You could also use the photos included to inspire story telling (I could pretty much retell Pie Corbett’s ‘Chalie’s story’ using photos around the our area). Why not have a go?