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I posted this in personal by mistake but would like to see what my primary colleagues think - good/outstanding Maths lessons.

Discussion in 'Primary' started by polly2, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. polly2

    polly2 New commenter

    My school has a real push on Maths at the moment and we are constantly being scrutinized and monitored. We don't get any warning, someone just walks in and watches the lesson. Ok, I am not grumbling about this, I mean all teaching should be good but I do feel less confident with Maths than any other subject (probably as a result of constant put downs by my own Maths teachers in the past). So, as I want to feel more on top of things and confident that I am doing a good job, what would you say constitutes as a good/outstanding Maths lesson?
  2. Andrew Jeffrey

    Andrew Jeffrey New commenter

    Huge question!
    Small answer off the top of my head:

    Teacher is clear what s/he hopes will happen but happy for things to take a different turn if necessary
    Teacher clear about the maths - not just the mechanical process
    Children given some degree of choice
    Children have clear mental imagery to support their understanding
    Work is planned based on assessment of previous level of ability/achievement
    Expectations are high, both in terms of behaviour and attainment
    Children engaged and interested in the work
    There is an investigative/problem-solving element to the lesson
    Children are aware that it is OK to try different things (and actually do so)
    Children know that making mistakes is OK and doesn't mean they are failing
    Starter has some sort of counting activity
    Children given lots of opportunities to share their thinking
    Equipment is used freely as and when it is needed
    Teacher will be aware of what different children are doing and intervene where necessary
    Better still children will be encouraged to support each other ("Ask 3 before you ask me")

    Sorry, if I had more time I would write a longer list - got to get back to what I should be doing(!) but I couldn't resist this great question!
  3. polly2

    polly2 New commenter

    Well I am so grateful for your answer. Maths is a subject which I will admit to feeling worried/scared about. Like I have said, I spent years at school constantly told how poor I was or getting asked "so where will your resit be?". I should be proud, I worked hard and I got where I needed to be but I must admit, I am less confident about Maths than any other subject. Does anyone else have any further thoughts?
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    A good maths lesson in primary is really the same as any other good lesson.

    Have the children been engaged and learning throughout the lesson?

    There is no lesson format that if used every single lesson would make 'good' maths teaching. You need to use a range of activities and styles over the weeks and months. the best thing about frequent drop in observations is that the powers that be get to see a wide range of lessons. If they see a textbook lesson that is perfectly fine, so long as they don't always see that. If they see a practical group work investigation that is fine, as long as they don't always see that.

    Be confident, you might not have been overly fab at secondary school maths, most people say they weren't, but you will have been just fine at primary school maths which is what you are now teaching. You know more than your class. You are a good teacher. Therefore you will be able to teach good maths lessons.

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