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Pass It On

Have you made a simple but useful discovery which saves time, quietens the class on a wet afternoon, or - last but not least - helps the children learn? Please share it with your colleagues across the country. There will be a free copy of Ted Wragg's Guide to Education (out in August) for each tip published.

* Use a timer to speed up reception class children getting changed into daytime clothes after PE. Start it at three minutes, then two and then one. They soon master the art of changing in one minute.

Margaret Bond, PE co-ordinator, Hawes Down Infant School, West Wickham, Bromley, Kent

* One of the most exciting and perceptual ways to teach tables so that the children can get a strong and visual image of what a table is, is to draw up some times tables people on squared paper. For example, a two times table man with 20 squares is two by 10; a five times table man with 50 squares, is five by 10; a 10 times table man with 100 squares is 10 by 10.

This enables the children to see the tables in relation to area, shape and space. The five times table man made of 50 squares is only half the size and area of the 10 times table man with 100 squares. Similarly the two times table man of 20 squares will fit five times into the 10 times table man of 100 squares, five times.

The children can begin to experience and appreciate numbers, shape and space. Areas can be compared. Fractions, even ratios, come into play. Algebra patterns can be found in the times table people, and additions and subtractions in the columns and rows, reinforce operations in number.

The children are fulfilling all three attainment targets of national curriculum maths in one piece of work, as drawing up each times table man involves using and applying maths, number, and shape and space.

We have the figures larger than life in our playground so that the children can actually stand in them and work out number operations in shape and space, and invent maths games.

Carolyn Plunkett (TES maths teacher of the year, 1992), Biggin Hill infant school, Kent.

Please send tips for Pass It On to Maureen McTaggart, TES, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY.

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