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Count on this;Briefing

Anita Straker, director of the National Numeracy Project, has 12 tips for a structured daily maths lesson.

Gather everyone's attention. Make it clear the lesson is going to begin.

* Warm up with some brisk mental practice. Make this fun and do something different every day.

* Start with something easy everyone can join in with - counting in tens from different numbers, or chanting a times-table backwards.

* Involve the children as much as possible. Give them digit cards to hold up when answering questions.

* Get children to explain to the class how they did a calculation, either orally or by jotting on the board * Target individuals, or groups, with particular questions.

* Make group work manageable. Four groups are usually enough, with activities at three levels of difficulty. Middle groups can do the same thing.

* Give the groups a deadline for getting their work done. Focus most attention on two groups - don't flit among them. Sit and teach them for several minutes. Target the other two groups in the next lesson.

* Towards the end, round up the whole class for more questioning and sorting out misconceptions.

* End by getting children to think about one or two key facts or ideas they have learned in the lesson and what they should remember for tomorrow.

* Prepare well so you know what children are to learn, not just what they will do. Plan the questions you will ask.

* A couple of times each week, extend your lesson by giving something to do at home - perhaps a puzzle or number game to play with their families.

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