# Ramblings from the Maths Classroom – Week 9

This week for me has been a lot about re-embedding routines in my classroom after the half term break. I’ve found myself going up through the gears and by Wednesday the start of my lessons were starting to become sharper and I felt like I was getting up to speed again and responding well in the classroom. I have fortunately over the half term break had a large second whiteboard installed on one my side walls and already it is having a strong impact. I am able to leave large chunks of the modelled lesson material on view for the majority of the lesson and have found students using this as a point of reference when doing independent work.

The example above is eight questions which the students struggled most with on a recent assessment. I have now also tried in the students independent practice phase of the lesson completing the work myself in front of them and it allows me to build a greater pace into the lesson. I give them a few minutes at the start as they are transitioning into work and then I start and try to catch them up. There was an excellent discussion in the lesson about ‘brain dumping’ and I started to talk to them about working memory and when we meet questions about primes or squares, write down examples of those first before attempting to solve the questions.

Finally on this shorter blog (been tough getting back into the swing of things!) I am going to try and make this the half for me on using manipulatives where I can in my teaching. I am very much a notice and do not always know where they fit and don’t fit so it a voyage of discovery for me. I used the excellent manipulatives on Mathsbot.com and modelled solving an equation.

This example above started out as 5x – 6 = 21. Then adding the 6 1 blocks on each side really helped students differentiate between the algebraic and number terms. I have since learnt that you can put the 1 and -1 blocks over each other and they disappear which I am looking for the trying next week!

Planning another blog this week on Mock preparation for GCSE foundation so hope to get that out soon.