don steward
mathematics teaching 10 ~ 16

Monday, 2 April 2012


  • quick and often practice fixes things in the brain (as language teachers know)
  • it seems helpful to use charts to help students learn things 'by heart' - for instant recall
  • calling out in unison also seems helpful and can enliven a lesson (chanting)
  • repetition is the foundation of clarity, after all
  • sometimes it can be helpful to review important points of a lesson by the teacher saying some things and students repeating what they have said (e.g. to offer a 'the main points of this particular lesson were....' commentary/overview)

here are a few examples of charts, to be used with tapping and (in unison preferably) chanting:

common fractions to and from percentages

tap on fractions (meter rulers were invented for this) and ask students to call out what these are as a percentage

maybe start with easier ones and as confidence builds, include others

multiplication tables
for times tables chanting it can be helpful for students to see the products and (in this case) say how many 5s there are in it, tapping - maybe on the easier ones first
focusing on one table per week and returning to it periodically is what memory research seems to advocate
you need several versions so that students don't get used to the physical positions rather than the numbers:

circle theorems
the form of words for the circle theorems need to be learned
the teacher taps on a diagram and students call out ("angle at the centre is twice the angle at the circumference" , "equal angles subtend equal arcs" etc)

multiples of 60 and 45
I also quite like students to know some basic angles
I use these charts to work on them having a good recall of angles that are multiples of 60 degrees and compass bearings/multiples of 45 degrees

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