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Hands-on Mathematics Lesson

What did this lesson involve?

This lesson was a Stage 2 Mathematics lesson exploring measurement through the use of concrete materials. In small groups, the students used centicubes, marbles and feathers to explore effective and accurate ways of measuring volume and capacity. The students were streamed based on my thorough knowledge of their ability and also taking their personalities into account. This was implemented in a team-teaching open classroom setting which meant that there were 65 students in the room.

My introduction was effective and tapped into learning from previous lessons. The promise of a hands-on lesson in Mathematics (which was ordinarily a textbook lesson) meant that the students became very over-excited.

How did this lesson affect my future teaching?

This lesson helped to make my lesson ideas more realistic. A hands on maths activity with 65 students where every student is engaged and on task is next to impossible. In future I would work with a small group at a time while the rest of the class worked on something else. This would ensure that the materials could be shared without starting fights among the students, or students becoming violent with the materials provided. I had deliberately streamed this activity so that i was working with the lower ability level. The activites I had planned were not differentiated and consequently the other students finished early and became disruptive. In future I would be working with one group at a time while the rest of the class worked on other more independent work. This allow each group to work at their own pace without the pressure of others finishing early and making them appear slow. This method would also allow the teacher to monitor each groups work, and not just the lower ability level.

This lesson was a catalyst for the development of my classroom managment, and helped me to realise that no amount of planning can ensure a lesson runs like clockwork.

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