End of Term Maths
The Easter holidays are nearly here. Two terms down, and one to go – you might even start to plan a couple of so called ‘fun’ lessons before the two-week break begins. Not all your classes will be heading into exam season, so it is time to get your thinking cap on for some end of term lessons.
Hold on a minute – do you even agree with end of term maths lessons?
Some headteachers will repeat the mantra of ‘teach till the bell rings’ – and of course you may need to follow this ruling depending on your school. However, here are 10 reasons why you might want to run some end of term lessons (Christmas, Easter, Summer) – usually a maths department will work as a team to plan activities. (Don’t be the lone ranger who starts teaching end of term lessons three weeks from the end!)
1. Pupils love end of term lessons
They love the idea that they are doing something different – even when they are doing more maths than they normally do. Building positive experiences in the maths classroom is always good.
2. Teachers love end of term lessons (mostly)
This type of lesson can allow teachers to unleash their creative side – planning team quizzes, competitions, building mathematical structures – you name it.
3. A good end of term lesson will make the pupils do more maths, not less
Lots of pupils are taken in by the fact that the maths is hidden behind a team game, relay, quiz or colouring in activity. Even with your GCSE classes you can run end of term activities which are basically revision.
4. End of term lessons help develop important skills
Measuring angles, using a pair of compasses – lots of end of term activities involve drawing or creating. This extended practice could make a big difference to a pupil’s core skill base.
5. Get some great displays
Refresh your wall displays in a few easy lessons. The pupils get to learn and you get an attractive classroom. Bingo.
6. Soft skills
Teamwork, cooperation, being able to give a presentation – all of these are so called soft skills and can often be lacking in pupils. End of term lessons can help build a more well rounded pupil. (For bigger effects you will want to practice activities like group work throughout the term!)
7. Sense of achievement
End of term activities can often bring out hidden talents in pupils, giving them a real sense of achievement. It isn’t always the high fliers who shine the most in an end of term lesson.
8. The maths universe
Pupils might be surprised to discover that there is maths which is not on the curriculum (shock horror)! There is a whole universe of maths waiting to be discovered – and the end of term can be a great time to show pupils that there is maths in mazes and origami and all manner of exciting places. Use these lessons to ignite a passion for maths in your pupils.
Maths is everywhere – art, music, science, computing – every curricular subject has some maths lurking in the background. (Did you know that maths is even used to design forts and castles??) It is really good for pupils to join up their thinking and discover that maths is used throughout their daily life.
10. Go the extra mile
Why not go the whole hog and plan something big? You could get an outside speaker to come into your lesson, or you could plan a school maths trip. You could even plan a maths week where maths takes over the school for a whole week. Don’t let your imagination get in your way. (Just make sure you do all the correct planning, and involve your head of department!)
End of term lessons – not a waste of time after all!
Help – where should I find inspiration?
1. Look on the web – there are countless end of term maths lessons out there.
2. Ask your department – they will have curated the best ideas over the years.
3. Make something new – use your creativity and make up your own activities.
Time spent now will be an investment for the future. Recycling great activities is the name of the game!