# Maths differentiation

Discussion in 'Primary' started by pinkflipflop, Jan 6, 2011.

1. ### pinkflipflop

To start with I avoid using any worksheets wherever possible. I find it much easier to differentiate with a range of hands on activities or with one activity for the class with the children differentiating it themselves.

2. ### inq

I take my Y1 objectives from the new framework and decide which bit of it I'm going to do that week.
I look at what we've done before so when we were adding before we were adding objects and then numbers so we're moving onto adding coins - still the same objective but a slightly different context. With my Y1's I try and make as many of the activities as practical as possible so this week when I was looking at finding one more and one less than a number my top groups were tiddly-winking a counter onto a 100 square, writing this number onto a whiteboard and using the 100 square to help them find 1 more/ less, some of them were finding this very easy so I then asked them to also find 10 more/less than the number they had landed on . My middle groups were throwing 2 dice to generate a 2 digit number and then using a 100 square/ number line to help them find 1 more/less. My bottom group were working totally independently so I gave them the box of dominoes and asked them to sort them into 2 piles - one where one side of the domino was one more/less than the other and another pile where the difference was not 1. Next time we revisit this objective we will do some slightly more formal recording.
I try and avoid worksheets as in general the children find them boring although they do get the odd one.
Planning can take ages but I find doing this type of activity/ game and taking video/ photos/ photocopies of whiteboards as assessment/ proof we have done these things makes life in the classroom easier. I do obviously do some written in books type work and when teaching older children I did more so to some extent it depends upon which year group you are teaching.

I agree, worksheets are a pain! Not only to source, photocopy and organise, but to mark and put somewhere as well! Do hands on stuff if you can. Also, look on the cgfl website- they often have good activities.

http://numeracy.cumbriagridforlearning.org.uk/index.php?category_id=3

Activity banks are really good.

4. ### Irulan

That's then differentiation by outcome which we are only allowed to use very rarely. Or maybe I have misunderstood and you provide several activities and the children choose which one they wish to do. In which case, what about those children who do not challenge themselves?
Sorry, pff, I do not want to appear challenging, I'm just dispirited.

5. ### pinkflipflop

Why are you only allowed to use it rarely?

6. ### Irulan

Not really sure myself. I think the powers that be think that it is not sufficiently challenging, or does not differentiate between groups properly. I still sneak it in though.

7. ### elizabeth1972

I'm not supposed to differentiate by outcome either, or by resource or support - it has to be at least three clearly differentiated activities, including differentiated starters and plenaries, and evidence of everything (m/o starter, activity and plenary) in each child's book.

8. ### daffodil23

I find this so frustrating that some schools are so strict on differentiation and I feel sorry for you having to plan like this. I teach Y1 and I find that differentiation by support is so effective. It does depend on the objective but quite often I have the whole class doing the same activity but as each group works with an adult there is so much differentiation by questioning or developing the activity as you do it.
So when I teach shape for example, I may have each group doing an activity with a feely bag. I put a shape in the bag and describe it to the children and they have to say what it is. For my top group I'll go into more depth about number of faces, edges, corners etc and for my bottom group I'd talk in more everyday language eg. "It is the same shape as a ball". If the lower ability children are finding this easy I'll then move on to use more language such as faces and edges. This works really well for me.

I feel that doing different activities for each group is sometimes unfair, especially as I know a lot of people say that they make their activities practical for the lower ability children as if higher ability children don't need practical activities aswell.

9. ### elizabeth1972

I'm an NQT on a full time permanent contract, so I'm just thanking my lucky stars I've got a job at the moment, prescriptive and frustrating as it may be.
The three differentiated activities I can cope with - and of course there's even more differentiation within those groups/activities, because I <u>do</u> plan for differentiation by support and resources too. It's the evidence of starters and plenaries that really does my head in. I agree with the comment that the whole point of an m/o starter is that it's MENTAL and ORAL: i.e. NOT WRITTEN!

10. ### alea

and it's supposed to be pacy, which (especially at year 2) isn't going to happen if they have to write everything down. Management in some schools certainly seem to have bizarre ways of doing things. Have you talked to your maths subject leader about it?

11. ### elizabeth1972

I'm in a small school where the head leads every subject himself, so that's not an option, unfortunately.
I'm learning what needs to be seen in an observation, how to make sure there is some evidence recorded in books without disrupting the pacy, fun, engaging mental and oral starters my pupils love, and how to teach using my own style at all other times. It's easier than making a fuss, I've discovered.