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Maths

Getting the most from Maths Starters

Nick Barwick By Nick Barwick

With the Summer term’s starters going live right now, take a fresh look at different ways to use this versatile FREE resource.

Have you considered different ways to use our interactive mental/ oral starters?

These engaging, quick-fire Q&A activities, that focus on the key mental/ oral skills for each year group, are fully available for the Autumn and Spring terms, with Summer term being published right now! We hear that teachers are widely using them – and that children are loving them – to rehearse lesson-specific skills, or to keep key skills simmering.
We are also hearing from teachers who have spotted opportunities to use them to great effect in other ways… Read on to ensure you’re Getting the most from Maths Starters!

Single years: Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Year 5 | Year 6

Mixed years: Year 1/2 | Year 3/4 | Year 5/6

Stimulus for guided group learning
When you or another adult is supporting a guided activity, these presentations – perhaps displayed on a laptop or tablet – make an excellent focal point for learning. A Year 6 teacher told us how he used an activity to promote discussion of different strategies for calculating percentages of an amount. This provided a far richer learning opportunity than might otherwise have been given. Additionally, the appealing visual nature of the stimulus was engaging for the children, and the teacher had a sequence of questions – expertly tailored to suggest different strategies – ready at his fingertips.

Focal point for supporting lower attainers
A teacher recounted how using a starter activity – designed for a lower year group – was the perfect starting point for supporting a group of lower-attainers. By choosing activities in this way, she was able to carefully scaffold progress towards age-related expectations through rehearsing a sequence of precursor skills.

Assessment opportunity for tutors
If you are lucky enough to have a tutor in place to support catch-up/ keep-up learning, these starter activities are the perfect way for that professional to assess children they are just getting to know. If slides are arranged/ adapted to represent an order of progressing ‘difficulty’, the children’s sticking-point – and thus the jumping-off point for tutoring – can be rapidly ascertained.

OR SIMPLY USE THE ACTIVITIES TO…

Pre-teach a lesson-specific skill…
Before progressing or introducing a new concept, awaken prior learning with a starter selected from the 48 available for each term. With a key skill fresh in their minds, children will be primed to take the next steps in their learning, whether that’s with a crucial set of number facts or limbered up with conceptual understanding.

…or just get the children buzzing to learn!
Have fun together with some quick-fire questions and answers that all the children can access. What better resource to use than these ready-made and visually appealing activities?!

AND DON’T FORGET…

Practice makes permanent
When fluency with numerical facts or understanding of a procedure has been secured, the processing power of our brains can be devoted to making the links required to secure the conceptual understanding required for mastery. The more often they rehearse those key facts and procedures, the more likely children are to secure the fluency they need to achieve mastery.

FREE to all teachers, for each year group – for each term – we provide:

  • A bank of 48 starters, available under Key Skill headings.
  • A set of 12 fun ‘quick-fire tests’, with questions across a range of skills. With each test, children aim to match or beat their personal best score.

Single years: Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Year 5 | Year 6

Mixed years: Year 1/2 | Year 3/4 | Year 5/6