I love teaching with Big Maths. I have been busy changing the way we teach maths in the classroom at my school. We have tried all sorts of curriculum and finally found a total winner! We are making the changes to become more inline with COBIS expectations and can already see, after a term of intensive maths teaching, the difference
We are avid fans of Rising Stars maths, complete with the optional Rising stars half term tests.
What Maths Curriculum Schemes Have We Used?
We first tried Nelson maths but the level of differentiation was dire. There was also very little hands on Maths happening there.
We then tried Hamilton maths, a scheme I loved but as there were no books, a huge photocopy bill followed as other staff didn’t follow a paperless way of working and printed out every page and worksheet, on top of which, there is no sternly assessment papers to go with it. We tried to use White Rose assessments but they don’t follow the same curriculum so it wasnt perfect.
White Rose has let all my students get to the end of the course pretty much the same time (I have 2 groups, the more independent and those needing a little more support), all of them love maths.
On top of which, I use Big Maths. I have completely misused this scheme and it works for me. We have a daily 2 minute test using it rather than a weekly test, and my kids love it. Indeed the kids demand extra https://www.math-drills.com/ worksheets to focus on getting their maths skills to such a fine level that they can beat the test.
I have a class of 8, three are special needs with learning difficulties ranging from severe to moderate, all have English as a second language, with 3 coming in in September with almost zero English. So getting the right curriculum is essential for me.
Everyone is on their own Big Maths level, but we all celebrate every one else’s successes as it motivates the class to all work harder.
Big Maths Helped Me Realize I need to Use More Hands On Resources
In addition, my class is now awash with items to help count, counters beans, buttons and the unit and 10 rods.
I also invested in baking trays with dips in them as you can put one bean in each section to add and subtract. I also tried doing it with baking trays, but with much less success.
We also, when I have time to make them, look at my YouTube channel to try to solve the daily maths puzzles I am making for them. It is a lot of fun for them to watch and I am all for that!
As for the best apps and online support I have used for teaching, the app ‘King of Maths’ was the first I used with my own kid.
What other resources do I use?
Also I highly recommend Khan Academy which has lots of really cool maths lessons, ideas and support.
I have also used Twinkl.com which has loads and loads of great resources. It is my daily go to for teaching in the classroom it has lots of great resources for everything. It is quite ironic that I make money selling teaching resources online at TES.com, but this isn’t where I personally go for resources.
Teaching maths has become fun again. My kids are happy. Their Rising star activities are well paced and if they needed extra homework , there is homework at the back of the teachers guide for them to do.
I would love to know from other teachers what resources they use for an effective lesson. What websites am I missing? How can I make things even better?