Creative Ways to Teach Money at Primary School

Creative Ways to Teach MoneyMoney is an important aspect in all of our lives and children need to be exposed to it at school, as we are living in a world where money is becoming intangible. As adults, we handle money less and less and, because we pay by card, mobile or bank transfer so children don't tend to see coins or notes as much as they used to. So how can we teach children about money, how it makes the world go round, in a creative way that makes it relevant to their lives?

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

How Could Bingo Be Used in Teaching?

Bingo in teachingBingo is a game that many of us think about as a pastime or hobby, but it can actually be really helpful in the real world. From keeping the elderly mentally active to helping our kids to learn, there are many uses for this game you may not realise. In this article, we’ll be looking at how it could be used as a teaching tool.

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Getting Girls Coding at Primary School

Getting girls coding at Primary SchoolEven though there are some fabulous resources available for learning to program at primary school, none of them are focused on getting girls into coding. The Made with Code project from Google aims to change this by getting girls excited about learning to code and helping to close the gender gap in the tech industry. The site aims to show young girls that the things they love are made with code and that the skills that they learn when coding can be applied to their own passions.

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Maths Working Walls

Maths Working WallsMaths Working Walls are a great way to keep young minds focused on maths. They are a place to support current and future learning in maths and also celebrate excellent examples of pupil's work. The working wall should be purposeful, helpful, relevant and above all useful. So what should we include on our maths displays to help pupils make progress in maths and how can we do this in a manageable way?

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Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL)

Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL)The Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) initiative was rolled out across the UK in 2005 and aimed to support children aged from 3-16 years to develop their personal and social skills. These skills involved self-awareness, managing their feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills. I've included the resources for this important initiative here as I've found them incredibly useful in the past.

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The use of drama in KS1 and KS2

How to use drama to bring your lessons to lifeDrama is an important element of speaking and listening within the primary curriculum for English. It is also a motivating teaching method appropriate to many subject areas. By teaching through drama, children can become increasingly aware of a range of ways of acting out in order to create, explore and communicate ideas about situations, characters, ideas and emotions.

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Make your own maths board games

Make your own maths board gamesMaths board games are a great way to get children hooked and engaged with maths. I've collated a collection of board game templates which can be modified to make your own maths game board which will teach many different aspects of both KS1 and KS2 maths. The templates are all printable at either A4 or A3 size and can be printed in either black and white or colour to really get your maths students engrossed in their learning.

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Place Value Slider

Place Value SliderPlace value is one of the main concepts in the mathematics curriculum and sometimes teaching place value can be quite difficult to do. So to help my students with this, I created this simple printable place value slider. It helps understand place value from decimals up to a million and easily demonstrates the KS2 maths ideas behind multiplying and dividing by 10, 100 and 1,000.

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Promoting Pupils' Creative Thinking

Promoting creative thinkin in childrenWhat comes to mind when you think of creativity? People being imaginative, inventive, taking risks and challenging convention? Do you think about originality and the value of what people produce? Perhaps you think you can only be creative if you are artistic. What if that's not the case? What if we can develop children's creative thinking by promoting creativity in the classroom? How do we do this?

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Children's story book collection apps

Children's story book collection appsApps with collections of children's story books are becoming really popular. Instead of buying single children's books, parents and schools can now purchase collections of books (some of which are interactive and include narration) to use with their little ones. These apps are either priced per book or per month, on a similar basis to the Netflix delivery method.

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Non competitive sports days

Non competitive sports daysHow competitive is the sports day at your local primary school? Do the children take part in activities where they compete against each other - where there are winners and losers? Or does everyone join in with all of the activities and there is no element of competition? Which of these approaches is best for the parents, best for the school and, most importantly, best for the child?

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3D Printing to develop Maths skills

3D printing maths skillsHere's an example of how 3D printing can be used in primary schools to develop mathematical skills. Recently, one of the children in my class brought in some 3D shapes that her dad had printed on his 3D printer at home. After chatting to her a bit about it, I got in touch with her dad and asked if he'd be interested in putting his 3D printer to good use for the benefit of the school.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Developing Maths Vocabulary at Primary School

Developing Maths VocabularyI can still recall a maths lesson where one of the children in a class I was teaching looked really worried because she didn't understand what was needed to solve a problem. All the rest of the class were cracking on with their work but she was getting nowhere. I asked her what the problem was, as I'd already gone over with the group what was needed to solve the problem.

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Questions to Extend Mathematical Thinking

Questions to help extend childrens mathematical thinkingThere are moments in mathematics lessons when you can see a switch being flicked in a child's brain and they have a 'light bulb moment'. "Ah... I get it now," they say. Often these lightbulb moments don't happen by themselves but instead are caused by a teacher's use of questioning in the mathematics lesson.

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Maths Software Evaluation Checklist

How to Evaluate Maths AppsMaths software comes in many different shapes and sizes. From apps on ipads, to online services such as Mathletics or MyMaths. From online KS2 maths games to installed software on your local computer network. As budgets get tighter and the choice of maths software grows greater every day, we need to really think carefully about the needs of the children and the school. To help with this I've put together a checklist of questions to ask when evaluating maths software.

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Learning Styles in Maths

Maths Learning StylesBased on recent studies, two distinct maths learning styles have been identified for children learning maths. The characteristics of these two styles are often classified by the labels or terms “inchworm” or “grasshopper”,“quantative” or ”qualitative” and “sequential” or “holistic”. It is helpful for teachers to be familiar with these two distinct learning styles in order to use the teaching style to match the needs of the pupil.

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Overcoming Problems in Maths

Overcoming Problems in MathsChildren struggle with maths for many different reasons. If we, as teachers, can identify exactly where the problem lies and then address it, barriers can be overcome resulting in confident young mathematicians. I've attempted to categorise the types of problems in maths and then identify possible solutions to these problems.

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Supporting Dyslexia and Dyscalculia in Maths

Supporting Dyscalculus in MathsDyslexic learners often have difficulties with the language of mathematics, sequencing, orientation and memory, rather than with the mathematics itself. Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. This article identifies ways in which these types of learners learn differently and strategies that can be put in place to help.

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NCTM Illuminations Maths Resources

Illuminations Maths ResourcesThe National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) in the US has produced a plethora of interactive resources to improve the teaching and learning of maths for everyone. The ITPS (interactive teaching programs) are available for both KS1 and KS2 maths and can be used by teachers and pupils alike. Each resource has a thumbnail, a description and a link to the relevant resource.

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BBC Teach

BBC TeachBBC Teach features more than 1500 clips from across BBC Learning to support teachers around the UK - completely free. On the Teach YouTube channel, which is updated daily, there are over 1500 carefully selected clips from the BBC archive, Learning Zone and School Radio, covering more than 20 subjects at early years, primary and secondary level, and across all national curricula.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Coding Story Books

Coding Story BooksProblem Solving. Literacy. Maths. Coding. They're all here in the latest and greatest coding story books. From graphic novels to traditional picture stories, these engaging books get children really thinking about problem solving and how this relates to coding. These coding story books are available from ages 4 through to 12 and are lots of fun too.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Maths Across the Curriculum

Maths across curriculumMaths skills are consolidated and enhanced when pupils have opportunities to apply and develop them across the curriculum. Poor maths skills hold back pupils' progress and can lower their self-esteem. Improving these skills can be tackled on a whole school basis by ensuring mathematical skills are used across the curriculum so that pupils become confident at tackling maths in any context.

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Handy Times Tables

Handy times tablesFor those kinaesthetic learners (the ones that learn by doing and can remember movements more easily than words) here is a handy method for finding the harder multiplication facts from the six, seven, eight and nine times tables. It involves memorising a routine but the routine is something to do, rather than something to say.

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Exciting Stimulus for Writing at School

Exciting Stimulus for Writing at SchoolWhen I first started teaching, I remember teaching a lesson about bonfire night where I got the children to close their eyes and use their imagination to sense what was going on around them. Fast forward a few! years and here we have a much more exciting stimulus to develop emotional writing: involving the children in their own disaster movie!

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Scratch Maths

Scratch mathsScratchMaths is a two-year computing and mathematics-based curriculum for Key Stage 2 pupils (Years 5 and 6). Its aim is to enable pupils to engage with and explore important mathematical ideas through learning to program, using the free online programming environment Scratch. The ScratchMaths curriculum is currently being used in over 50 schools across England.

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Problem Solving using Bar Models

Here in the UK, we have a myriad of different approaches in solving word problems in maths. In Singapore Maths, students use a bar model to solve word problems. They take the problem apart and then create a representation of it using simple blocks. This then helps them understand the problem better and creates a lot higher success rate in solving word problems.

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Getting Girls Programming

Getting Girls ProgrammingThere’s been a lot of talk about digital skills and preparing young people, especially girls, to be confident and thrive in a digital future, but where to start? The answer may be TechFuture Girls: a free out-of-the-box after-school club that has been specifically designed to encourage girls to stay engaged in IT and technology.

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BBC Megamaths

BBC MegamathsBBC Megamaths is a series of eight audio programmes which were broadcast on BBC radio in 2011. They are aimed at children aged 7 - 9 and the emphasis is on mental maths and problem solving. There are seven different themes covered mainly all to do with measure which include time, money, capacity, length, weight, fractions and decimals.

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Helping your child with maths

Over the years I've been asked "How can we help our child with their maths?" many times. There are lots of things that parents can do to help develop their children's maths skills. The activities included here are free and found in everyday situations, so no need to buy any books or spend money on expensive resources.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Teaching Logic through Sudoku

Teaching Logic through SudokuSudoku is a great way for children to develop their logic skills whilst having fun at the same time. To solve a Sudoku puzzle, students needs to use a combination of logic and trial-and-error. Regular Sudoku is a 9 by 9 grid but these simpler puzzles are on a 4 by 4 grid, making the game easier to understand and beat, before moving onto the larger grids.

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Ways to use the Counting Stick

Ways to use the Counting StickThe counting stick is a very versatile tool for teaching maths to primary aged children. Whilst sometimes seen as a tool for teaching foundation and KS1 children, it still has many uses when teaching both lower and upper key stage 2 classes. I've included here a number of techniques that can be used across different types of numbers including decimals, fractions, percentages and negative numbers.

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Reasoning in the classroom

Reasoning in the classroomA key skill in becoming fully numerate (and to becoming an independent adult) is the ability to make your own decisions and learn from them. This key skill is central to these activities: they have been developed to allow learners to choose their own methods and ways of recording, then present their findings in whichever way they decide.

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Logical Thinking Detectives

Logical thinking detectivesHere is a series of activities to develop logical thinking and listening skills for KS2 children. The resource includes 5 video interviews which the students watch to gather clues. They then use the database to input the information they have gathered and search for a culprit. They can also use the virtual PDA to examine the files of all criminals held on the database.

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Times table colouring

Times table colouringA great way to learn times table facts is by making it fun and getting children colouring. These times table colouring sheets are great for reinforcement and make a great starter or filler activity. Children enjoy working out the puzzles and use their times tables knowledge to do this. These sheets are suitable for use across a wide ability and age range.

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Maths SATs Organiser

Maths SATs organisersDo you struggle with identifying each child's areas of weakness in maths? Wouldn't it be great if you could let them decide on which topic they'd like to practise and then leave them to it. Child initiated learning at its very best! This fabulous tool from Mr Hammonds does just that.

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Blooms Action Words

Blooms Action WordsUsing Blooms action words to define what you want your pupils to achieve is a great approach to differentiated lesson planning. These verbs which are aligned to Bloom's Taxonomy help create discussion questions and lesson plans that ensure your students' thinking progresses to higher levels.

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Medicine Alerts from Amazon Echo

Fancy getting medicine alerts from your Amazon Echo? Well now you can if you're based in Hampshire, in the UK. Hampshire County Council have teamed up with Amazon to create a reminder system for pensioners in adult social care. The system, currently in trials, reminds them to take medication and also lets them know when their carer is due to visit. 50 pensioners are currently involved in the Amazon Echo trials which are due to continue into 2018.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

What is SEO?

What is SEOWhat is SEO? You may have seen adverts where people promise to rank your website on the first page of Google. To do this, they use a technique called search engine optimisation (or SEO for short). This no-nonsense guide aims to explain what SEO means and give you lots of background detail on how it works.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall