Maths - Don't just sit there

Tes Editorial

What the lesson is about

Meeting my 10-year-old son and his friend after school, I asked how their day had been, writes Naomi San. Expecting the usual pre-teen mumbles, I was taken aback by: "Really good . maths was great." What wonderful, inspiring lesson had their teacher crafted? Measuring.

Measuring what? Anything, everything - it didn't matter. The point was that they were up, out of their seats, trying things out, experimenting, making decisions, in control.

Kids just love to move around, trying things for themselves. This was a classic case of kinaesthetic learning - learning through touch and movement.

Talking to children for long periods can be counterproductive. It is tempting because it means they are in their seats, quiet, and the teacher can be in control. Allowing them to move is more unsettling, but the learning can be so much richer; the pupils more curious and motivated. For maths to become more joyful, the kinaesthetic approach is a must - boys in particular benefit from it.

For measuring fun, try Diannadd's investigation worksheets, Rushtini's poetic introduction to centimetres and metres or Simon Haughton's against- the-clock 2DIY matching game as a competitive plenary. -For a sticky challenge to find the longest line, try weybourneinfants' cube and string activity.

What else?

Visit TES Resources' "Measure" collection for more materials on measuring. And share your ideas for kinaesthetic maths lessons in the TES forums, where teachers debate whether schools have responsibility for maths education.

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