How have I been creative in the classroom? Maths Scholar Tara Saleh investigates
Being creative in the classroom can go one of two ways a teacher recently told me. The pupils get on board or just see it as time to do as little as possible. That same teacher advised me to assess my class, the time of lesson and the activity itself -assess if it will work.
From my first placement I noticed one thing, if the lesson was just creative then the usual pupils would get on board - not my aim of course. But if the lesson was both creative and competitive then that’s when the pupils come alive.
Using games works well
As I enjoy seeing a pupils competitive streak (I have one too) I use games in my lessons. I have used bingo many times with a variety of topics, this week I plan to use it with my year 7’s who are doing a lesson on recognising fractions from a shaded shape. Another is racing against other teams, pupils or the clock, I did a ordering decimals card race with a year 8 class and they absolutely loved it (the prize may have helped). Other ways I have got pupils to complete a set of questions creatively include maths trails, murder mystery’s, card sorts and tarsia’s.
When teaching data, rather than the usual worksheets I turned the topic into a project.
As groups selected questions to ask from their group’s given topic, made questionnaires, collected the data themselves from other year 8 classes, put the data in frequency tables, made charts and then a conclusion poster. From this experience I would say pupils enjoy group work and appreciated a change in the structure of my lessons. As a teacher I saw them become more creative and were really involved in their groups project.
Get creative with music. I currently use it when completing a starter called times tables rock stars, an idea I was firstly shocked by but it has grown on me. I enjoy the music at the start of a lesson as do the students, as they head bang or lip sing along whilst completing the 3 minute task to complete 60 times table questions. I am still to use music throughout the lesson as a fellow PGCE students does, turning the music off to get the attention of the class or slowing down to quieten the noise levels - but I will try in the near future.
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