Category Archives: Classroom Tips

58 games and tasks to use for group activities – free dowload



When running a problem-based lesson, I often structure the class into six groups. Three work with me, while the other three complete a series of three rotation tasks. After 25-30 minutes, we swap over. I have been putting together a … READ MORE

Maths in Moments



When we love teaching literacy, we tend to find lots of opportunities for adding in extra literacy in the tiny pockets of time that fill space between the main teaching activities. We look at words as we see them, we … READ MORE

Resources for returning to the classroom



It is natural that kids’ experience of maths while learning at home will vary widely. To ensure your class works well over the remaining months of the year, we have put together some tools to support you. Please find below some … READ MORE

Failing fast and failing forward



Tierney Kennedy A few years ago mathematician Terence Tao created a Polymath[1] group to work on the Twin Prime Conjecture – a project where mathematicians collaborate together to solve vexing problems. As part of the approach, everyone agreed to immediately … READ MORE

The danger of “either/or” teaching



Ending the debate: Which teaching approach is most effective? Tierney Kennedy In 1997 a landmark study in the UK decided to define effective teaching using student improvement data… if you haven’t read it, the findings might be surprising When I … READ MORE

When kids get stuck and never catch up



Recently I’ve been pondering findings from a major report into Australian schooling that kids who are struggling in maths by the end of primary school often never catch up (Masters, 2009). I know it’s true in a lot of cases, … READ MORE

Improving student reasoning



Kids who have a strong intuitive understanding of maths can sometimes have trouble slowing down their thinking to explain how they got the answer. Here are a few simple tips for helping them to work out what process they used. … READ MORE

Mathsbusters: experimenting to bust misconceptions



>>> Introducing conceptual change programs Let’s face it – nobody likes being wrong.  Not kids, and not us.  So, when maths becomes all about the right answers, that makes it tricky for kids to want to try. One simple adjustment … READ MORE

The time crunch: buying yourself an extra hour every week



By Tierney Kennedy I firmly believe that the most important and most effective thing that we can do with our classes is problem-solving.  And yet far and away the biggest complaint that I hear teachers express on Professional Development sessions … READ MORE

My top ten rotation group activities:



I find that having a bank of regularly-used, highly-motivating and quick rotation group activities saves me a lot of time and headaches when using rotation groups.  Here are my top ten activities.  If you are a member of the Back-to-Front … READ MORE