Maths groups (or sometimes known as Maths Centres) are our go-to for delivering engaging, purposeful and student-centred maths lessons. But most importantly, maths groups meet the needs of all our students, no matter where they are at with their learning.
Want to know why you should give them a try in your classroom?
We could go on for a long time explaining why we love, love, love Maths Groups. But, we know you are busy, so we have listed our top 10 reasons as to why Maths Groups are awesome:
1. They make differentiation easy
Maths groups allow you to teach students at their individual points of need. The concept of differentiation in maths can be overwhelming, but meeting your students in small, targeted groups really allows you to identify their gaps, specifically teach according to what they need and connect with individuals. And the best part is, while this is all happening, the remainder of the class is busy having fun while engaging in authentic learning activities.
2. They build confidence
We see so many children enter our classrooms with little to no confidence in mathematics. Without diving into why, we need to remember that to develop strong, confident mathematicians, we need to be building on concepts.
Running maths groups allow you to cater to individual needs (as discussed above) and build back their confidence and love for maths. Including foundational activities in the other rotations builds on students knowledge allowing greater success which will ultimately assist students when more difficult concepts arise.
3. Kids love them
And why wouldn’t they? They get individual attention with you, and when they aren’t working with you, activities usually have a game or hands-on components that kids love.
We know that allowing kids to work with concrete materials is so important for their development in maths, and groups are the ideal way to incorporate that, especially if your school is low on resources (you will only need materials for 5-6 students at a time, instead of a whole class set).
4. An easy way to integrate technology
As teachers in the 21st century, we are always looking for ways to incorporate technology in the classroom. If you have limited resources, setting up a small group on a task that involves technology is a great way to give students access to more digital learning.
Using technology can be a simple way to gather evidence and create opportunities for students to record any learning done with concrete materials and include written or verbal explanations of their mathematical thinking.
5. Increased engagement in maths lessons
How do you know that you will get increased engagement, you ask? Well, activities during maths groups are short and sharp. Students are highly focused on what they are doing, and usually, before they can find trouble or get distracted, it is time to move along to the next, new task.
If you complete a single rotation each day, the element of suspense builds up for students who can’t wait until they are completing the next days’ activity, which guarantees complete focus when it is their turn.
6. Students can work collaboratively as problem solvers
By running Maths groups, students are engaging with each other and working together to solve problems. When working with peers, students are exposed to rich language development when explaining and listening to others justify their reasons. It also encourages them to work together, take risks and independently solve problems.
7. Expose students to many concepts over a short period of time
Maths groups allow you to cover a large amount of content in a shorter period of time. This is because:
Your small groups are focused and targeted to students specific needed
Activities are building on concepts you have explicitly taught
You can include activities where students are revisiting concepts and building fluency in other areas.
8. Allows you to create hands-on learning experiences
This is another reason why kids LOVE maths groups. They lend themselves so beautifully to creating hands-on experiences for students. This may include applying concrete materials, solving maths investigations, problem solving using real-life materials and games.
9. Maths Groups encourage Independent learners
During maths groups students are placed in a situation where they need to apply their listening and thinking skills. If they get stuck, it encourages students to seek peer support, review anchor charts or information on display or reread the instructions provided. Encouraging students to be self-starters and reflective learners is a necessary learning habit. Any opportunity to further develop and nurture this in students gets a big tick from us!
10. Provides a safe learning space
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve done something embarrassing and you feel everyone’s eyes in the room are on you. That’s exactly how it can feel for reluctant learners in maths when asked to justify their thinking. Maths groups create a smaller, more intimate learning space, where students don’t feel like all eyes are on them. Resulting in students taking greater risks, being more receptive to making mistakes and asking for clarification.
If you have been sitting on the fence deciding whether or not to make maths groups part of your regular routine, the reasons above should be enough for you to give them a try!
The benefits far outweigh the small amount of effort required to get them up and running in your classroom.
Not sure where to start and it all feels a tad overwhelming incorporating maths groups?
Fear not, we have the solution!
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Don't just take our word for how awesome Transform your Maths Groups is. This is what other teachers, just like you, are saying...
"I was looking for guidance and this was perfect!" Year 2 Teacher
"Maths has been my weakness. This course has helped me understand how to run groups more effectively and maximise my teaching time. My students will really benefit!" Michelle, Classroom Teacher
"I loved how you broke the steps up and ended each step with a 'Take Action' activity. This really helped me prepare myself and my classroom for my maths groups. The template that have been provided were a great help too!"