This is not my idea at all but one that I discovered through Twitter and I think that it has made a real difference to my pupil’s retention of Mathematical ideas.
I spotted the idea one morning on Twitter. The excellent @corbettmaths posts daily 5 a day tasks for GCSE students at 3 different levels. I noticed that the numeracy level was well within the capability of my Year 6 pupils and used it as the starter for that day’s maths lesson. The children enjoyed it and it made a good start to the lesson as they could get going as soon as they came in. I created one of my own for the next day and made it slightly prettier (being a primary teacher:-) ) and the children again responded well.
I realised that it was a really good way of keeping lots of different concepts alive in their heads and the children quickly got into the routine of completing the questions quickly. Going over the answers is quick and reinforces methods on a regular basis. I choose a whole variety of different questions and it allows me to revisit tricky topics more frequently than I have done before. This frequent revisiting keeps the topics fresh in my pupil’s minds and helps to embed methods into their long term memories.
My teaching assistant and I have noticed a real difference in the children’s retention of methods and ideas and the pupils themselves like the idea of 5 a day for their ‘maths’ brains.
In our recent mock sats, I was really pleased by how well many of them did compared to their previous performance and I really feel that the daily 5 a day practice has had a real impact.