Maths

# Differentiation in Maths Lessons

By Ruth Merttens

How do you square the expectation that you teach the same objective to your whole class with the reality that not all children are working at age related expectations?

Are you under pressure to teach the same objective to the whole class? How do you square this with the reality that not all children are working at Age Related Expectations (ARE)? Most children should be working at ARE, but we know that some children need to be working at greater depth, and some need more work on the prerequisite skills.

Hamilton are here to help. We don’t want children to be bored and we hate to see children struggle.

We don’t want 30 groups of one, but neither do we have one group of 30 homogenous children.

So, Hamilton maths units include:

• Whole class teaching on the main objective in the plan.
• Differentiated group activities for further teaching. These are on the same objective, the pre-requisites for that objective or sometimes an extension of the objective, so that all children are all working towards the same skills. Mostly these are separate activities written with the main objective in mind. Sometimes a whole class investigation or activity has a few suggested tweaks to make the task accessible to some children (e.g. a beaded instead of empty number line, expanded instead of compact layout) or an extra challenge to make children think a little bit more.
• Differentiated practice sheets for developing fluency. Most children should be able to do the sheet for children working at ARE, but we also provide sheets for those working towards ARE and for those working at greater depth.
• Extra support activities for when children aren’t able to access the activities or practice sheets being done by children working towards ARE.
• And don’t forget our In-depth investigations where children can really get their teeth stuck into a problem. They can take the investigation in their own direction and really fly if they want to!

Differentiation needs to be manageable, flexible and with the main objective on the radar for the whole class. So, have a look at our plans and choose what will work – it’s up to you to manage the differentiation for your children. After all, you are the one who knows them best.