Tes Maths: Back-to-school activities

Craig Barton
26th August 2019
Maths equipment ready for starting a new year at secondary school

Cover all bases and kick-start another year of teaching maths with this selection of stimulating activities

Happy new school year!

Hopefully you are feeling rested and recharged after a lovely summer, and ready to face the challenge and delights of another school year. If you want to get them off to a flying start, with fun and engaging activities, but crucially also ones that are productive, challenging and mathematically sound, then you have come to the right place!

The collection of resources below, all created and shared by the kind, generous and incredibly talented members of the Tes Maths community, should cover all bases and help make those first few lessons back fun and productive for all involved. 

I really hope you and your students enjoy them. And if not... well, it will be Christmas before we know it :-)

Craig Barton, Tes Maths Adviser

Planning for the year

Interleaving & spacing the GCSE Mathematics curriculum

Now that i can reflect having completed the first phase of my project (this is intended for our year 9 students. If it works well, i shall embark on phase 2 for year 10) i realise i should have perhaps called this a spacing booklet as it intends to space out the the topics taught throughout the year. It may well be that i use section 3 next year as an interleaving section, using some of the resources from https://whiterosemaths.com/schemes-of-learning/secondary-sols/. I have asked my staff to RAG the topics that students are still not feeling fluent with and use this in my spreadsheet so i can track the spacing for year 10. I have written answers for the first 2 sessions and have set up a rota for my team to complete the rest as they come to teach it. I shall endeavour to remember to upload the most recent versions, feel free to prompt using my twitter handle below if i fall behind!

The project was born as a result of securing an extra 95 minute lesson once a fortnight. Having been inspired by Craig Barton’s podcasts i wanted to improve the “automated stored and organised domain specific knowledge” of my students.

I went through our scheme of work and wrote down the key objectives from EDEXCEL’s GCSE scheme of work. I then wrote a question for most topics, focusing purely on skills. By recording these questions on an excel spreadsheet i was able to track my spacing between topics to (hopefully) maximise the effects on their long term memory.

This is designed to be used for low stakes testing. Each session is broken down into 3 sections:

  1. 5 questions covering topics that are currently being taught to help improve their fluency
  2. 5 questions on retrieval practice
  3. This section came as a result of marking my year 9 assessments. They had completely forgotten the skills associated with fractions, decimals and percentages and so i wanted my students to remember the techniques associated with topics. Knowing the correct strategies will allow them to attempt questions in future … I am most proud of my questions on section 3 from sessions 9 onwards.

I have to thank Craig Barton for his inspiration and (the fantastic) Corbettmaths for giving me permission to use some of his questions to use and adapt within this resource.

Please let me know via @billyads_47 how you use this resource and any suggestions/improvements/tweaks you have made.

By Billyads_47

Brockington College Maths homework booklets

All of the homework booklets I design for my Maths department, free and in one place.

Obviously cannot post answers here, but happy for people to email me for them - a DM on twitter with your email address is the best way to get them.

Note there are a few images borrowed from different places. Apologies for any infringement and please just let me know and I am happy to credit or change as required.
By Peter Mattock

GCSE 9-1 Exam Question Practice (Ratio)

This carefully selected compilation of exam questions has fully-worked solutions designed for students to go through at home, saving valuable time in class.
Click 👉 tes.com/../Exam Question Practice… to download question compilations for more than 50 other topics.
I usually print these questions as an A5 booklet and issue them in class or give them out as a homework. I also make them available for a student who wants to do focused independent study on a topic.
👍If you like this resource, then please rate it and/or leave a comment💬.
If the rate-resource button on this page does not work, then go to your ratings page by clicking here 👉tes.com/.../rate-resources…
By Maths4Everyone

​First lessons

First week activities

4 activities for the first week back at school. Gives the children a chance to get to know each other and think/learn about themselves. A list of resources is included along with a worksheet and basic templates. The activities also include work that can be used for assessment.
By sphynx thinker

50 ideas for meeting your new class

Collated from various threads on the TES forums, this booklet gives 50 suggestions for activities to do when meeting your new class either on a transition day, or for the first day of term.
By tafkam

Mathematical Name Cards

Perfect starter for your first lesson with a new class, helping you get to know their names. Get the pupils to fold the paper/card along the dashed line then get them to write their name in the empty box. On the other side, pupils have four questions to complete. The name cards can then be displayed over the next few lessons to help you learn your pupils' names. Questions can easily be adapted depending on your class' ability.
By lane1988

Back to School Math Activities

5 great math-focused back to school activities for getting to know your students, and for them to get to know each other!

  1. Math Scavenger Hunt- hunt for students who know the answers to middle school math questions (answer key is included so that you can go over the math facts when the time runs out).

  2. Partner Interviews- a great way for students to get to know each other. I have students choose 2 or 3 interesting things they learned about their partners and have them introduce the other person to the class.

  3. 60 Second Challenge- fun challenges that students do in pairs! Have one student help by timing and counting, while the other student completes the challenge and vice versa.

  4. My Mathography- student choose numbers that best describe them and make illustrations about these numbers to create a numbers autobiography page.

  5. Numbers in the Room- students search for others with specific numbers (like the same birth month) in the room to get to know each other.

By TeachMathJoy

Mathematical routines

Maths Daily Practice Examples and Template

A series of 5-10 minute arithmetic lesson starters to consolidate and improve written arithmetic skills. Lots of examples from Y6 but also an editable template for other year groups.

I have written about how to use this resource effectively here: https://primarymrandrew.wordpress.com

By PrimaryMrAndrew

100 Mental Maths starters

Designed to jump start Maths lessons. Each slide has three questions when run as a slide show (so there's actually 300 questions). Each question is progressively harder as it goes along (in built differentiation!). Intended as 1 a day starter before leaping into the full lesson but could be used as a 'filler' for rainy days. Based on several other excellent resources I found, combined and added to!
By theautisticteacher

GCSE Problem Solving Questions of the Day - Compilation

This booklet contains over 50 problem solving questions suitable for KS3 and GCSE classes. These are the questions that we have been putting out each day in the run up to GCSE exams. The answers are also provided with each question.

There are problems that are suitable for foundation and higher and ones that are suitable for higher tier only.

We hope to release more questions like this over the course of next year that you can use on a regular basis with your classes including some open ended problems. Please keep a look out for our work.

In June 2016 we plan to release our new KS3 schemes of work. The schemes build on the work we have been doing within primary. We are keen to work with secondary schools next year who might be interested in implementing this KS3 scheme.

As always we welcome any feedback on the work we are doing and the materials that we are releasing.
Thank you for taking an interest in our work.

The White Rose Maths Hub Team

By WRMaths

Puzzle of the Week

Each of these documents contains 30 puzzles which I have used over 3 academic years as 'puzzle of the week&'. I have a folder on the wall and pupils help themselves to printouts and they hand them into a box in my room, receiving merits for correct answers. Many of the puzzles are not necessarily my own work, just things I have found over the years! Its worth mentioning that they aren&';t all Maths-based, although most are... If you like this resource then please check out my other stuff on here! :) EDIT: 1/12/14 Added year 3!
By Owen134866

A Level

Year 12 Maths Entry Assessment

This assessment tests basic pre-requisite maths skills on entry to A level. It's editable so if you like the format but don't like the questions, feel free to change them!

The idea is to give this 15 minute test in the first maths lesson of Year 12 in order to identify any students who need immediate intervention. The intervention sessions can then be tailored to specific skills eg a session on expanding brackets, and a separate session on solving equations.

This assessment is print-friendly (one side of A4) and quick to mark. Teachers can complete the mini-feedback sheet for each student and staple it to their assessment, with details of upcoming intervention sessions.
By Jo Morgan

A-level Pure Mathematics Year 1/AS

This set of 14 powerpoints have been designed to match the Edexcel Pure Mathematics Year 1/AS textbook, and have largely been adapted from my previous Core 1 and Core 2 resources. Every chapter is covered, and within are explanations that could be used to teach lessons or be shared with students via a digital classroom.

If you liked this resource, then please check out my other resources on TES!


By Owen134866


Revision of GCSE indices, extension to AS level work
By Susan Whitehouse

Unit Circle and Radians - Chapter 8 - International Baccalaureate - Standard Level

Unit Circle and Radians - Chapter 8 - International Baccalaureate - Standard Level

Everything required to teach this chapter in the IB Standard Level Mathematics course. The PowerPoint is designed to show step by step method through animation in a thorough and engaging way. This makes it ideal for the teacher to use it in lessons or for students to use it to self learn.

By bdsouza1

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