1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

oral/mental/starter planning y5/6

Discussion in 'Primary' started by ROLLING, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. would someone please explain how they organise this?
    do you do certain elements of maths each day?
    is there a sequence to delivering/learning?
    a structure to it?
    please help-am a bit stuck!
  2. would someone please explain how they organise this?
    do you do certain elements of maths each day?
    is there a sequence to delivering/learning?
    a structure to it?
    please help-am a bit stuck!
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Not officially a 'Maths specialist. but here's my understanding.
    The Mental starter is to do precisely that'working things out in one's head'. It was an initiative of NNS when we had the first 5/ 10+ mins of all Maths lessons to practise mental work. Can be to do with your maths topic of the week or just general practice adding, subtracting, multipying (so tables for Y5/6) & division ,or even working out a problem. Often children write answers on whiteboards so teacher able to see how many are achieving/having difficulties. Children can also feed back how they 'worked it out', sharing different methods.
    There are (sorry were) lots of interactive activities to help with this- not sure if they still 'work' now they're archived.
  4. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul New commenter

    Just a brief reminder - there is no "correct" way to do a mental/oral starter, or even a requirement to do one in every maths lesson. Teachers should decide what is right for the children they are teaching, and the outcomes they are trying to achieve. The lesson should be judged on how effective it is in producing those outcomes, not the processes involved.
  5. I've often wondered about this, too. For my m/o starter, I have to show a learning objective taken from the framework on my planning, along with three differentiated "I can" statements for that objective. During my NQT year last year, the way I chose objectives always felt a bit too random: I felt I should be ticking things off on a list somewhere or following some sort of order to it all.
    I choose an objective based on either what I tink we hadn't covered for a while; something that will feed into that day's learning; something that builds upon the day before's learning or something that is entirely random, looks simple to organise and fun.
    I spent a day with a maths specialist who told me that her idea of an outstanding lesson was one where there was a seemingly random starter (e.g. fractions), followed by a lesson (e.g. capacity) and then a plenary which drew the two together - (e.g. fractions of different capacities).
    I'd be interested to hear if others use some sort of system or checklist, too!

  6. Hmmm.... not the case in my school, at all!
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Very true, but, until they stop the 'Mental Calculation Paper in the KS2 SATs teachers have to ensure children are familiar with doing calculations in their head quickly and easily! And OP is Y5/6!
  8. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul New commenter

    There is of course a need to teach mental calculation strategies. There are many ways to do this which do not involve a slavish adherence to a formulaic approach to lesson structures such as a mental/oral starter.
  9. But this is what some schools still ask for. I also have to have evidence of mental and oral starters in children's books!

  10. CB123

    CB123 New commenter

    Personally I choose aspects which the children regular reminders off (often some things I have previously taught)
    eg x tables (often through songs)
    x and / by 10 and 100
    telling the time
    counting on and back in different jumps
    rounding numbers
    adding 2 digit numbers
    number, word, shapes of the week
    As much as possible I try to do these in a fun way, often involving songs or games. It is also very quick fire.
    When I taught in year 6 I also did at least 1 days starter with more of a focus on SAT style mm questions. So one week I might look at money style qu, another finding the difference, naming shapes etc
    Most of my starters are verbally or possibly using whiteboards or use resources. The children rarely record anything from their starters
  11. WolfPaul is right that there is no requirement to teach a mental/oral starter, but schools have their own policies and practices which may require one to be seen each lesson. In my opinion, a mental starter is a productive part of the lesson, usually much enjoyed by the children and if planned well will enhance children's learning.
    It is a time allocated to revising and practising mental skills - not a time for introducing new concepts. It can, but does not need to, reflect the learning in the main part of the lesson. Sometimes revising a learned skill, followed by the introduction of something new in the main session, rounded up in the plenary by bringing the two together will be very effective. Other times practising a skill that children will need to access learning in the main part of the lesson wil be just as effective.
    Lesson observations focus on progress and learning, so either of these formats should enable a positive judgement - as long as the lesson builds on children's understanding.
    Use your assessments and professional judgement to decide which skills to revise/rehearse/revisit in your mental starter. The content of mine should not necessarily be the same as other classes of the same age as our children will have different strengths and areas for development.
    You could use the mental objectives from the old Framework if you are stuck for approriate ideas for content.
  12. thank you everyone- I think it is because i have the year 6 that i feel a more structured way was/is needed-and i've never taught year 6 before.
    So from what I understand there is no hard and set rule to the sequence to what i teach as long as it reflects the needs of the class and is fun and productive. I do like the idea about uniting the oral and main together in the plenary-i will try to remember this.
    i will look at the old nns as this might have a structure to it that i could kind of use as a tick off chart so atleast i have an idea about content/coverage.
    Thank you

Share This Page