Ideas for Consolidating Maths Understanding
To get children to develop mastery in maths, we must provide them with opportunities and activities to consolidate their understanding. Remember that children need to practise in order to get better. Here are some ideas I have used again and again, they don’t require much prep at all.
1. Attendance register: when taking the register, ask children to respond to the register with a different type of number calculation. For example, call out the names and ask the children to respond with even numbers. Instead of saying, ‘present’ say 2, or 34 or 22 etc. Vary this to include odd numbers, multiples of 10, multiples of 5 etc.
2. Target envelopes: give pupils large envelopes with targets cards to work through. These cards may have a *calculation on one side and the answer on the reverse.* Train the children to have a go at working out the calculation first before turning the card over to check their answer. (This is also teaching them a virtue; honesty) Another good one is the *mistake cards*. Write a range of calculations on the cards with a mistake hidden in them. The children will need to find the mistake and explain it. To extend this further, ask them to work out the correct answers.
3. Password: set a password for the day. My pupils love this as I have used it over and over again, especially to consolidate spellings. In maths, you could tell them that the password for going home for the day will be, ‘an even number between 20 and 30, a square number between 2 and 50, all the prime numbers between 1 and 10 etc’ So just before they go home, they need to tell you the password.
4. What is the question; in this activity, you tell the children, ‘the answer is 20, what is the question?’ This can help you consolidate just about any topic. It could be addition, subtraction and so on.
Now your turn, *the answer is 50, write five different calculations that give the answer*
Aim to use a variety of calculations including fractions and percentages. For you clever clogs out there, try using BODMAS. I look forward to your responses.