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Teachers share their tips

* When trying to get children to do scientific investigations and before presenting them with the worksheets, get them to do preliminary activities like looking for mini-beasts around the playground.

Ask them to write questions about the mini-beasts for example, do they like living in dark places? Split them into groups and encourage them to conference their ideas with either the class or the group. This helps them to clarify their ideas.

Then try to get them to make predictions before doing the experiment and to think about how they are going to record their results. Also encourage them to do library searches for books that might help them find out more about their chosen subject.

Chris Sargeant, Collaton St Mark CE Primary School, Paignton, Devon.

* A poster on my wall reads "Do you know your tables? You won't get far if you don't". To keep tables alive in my Year 7 group I use them as an "exit pass". As the bell rings I announce the chosen table to the group lined up at the door. Each pupil then calls the next multipleI7, 14, 21, 28I A correct answer sets the pupil free. Hesitation or error results in the pupil being returned to the end of the line. Frustration at being last in the dinner queue, or down the school drive, soon motivates them.

Angela Wheeler, mathematics teacher, Shirley High School, Croydon.

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