Teach Active is inviting primary schools to deliver active maths lessons during Maths Week 2020 (9th to 14th November 2020), in a national drive to increase primary school pupils’ activity levels while they are learning.
As part of the scheme, every primary school teacher can download five free maths lesson plans for their class, one for every day of Maths Week.
The lessons, which combine the learning of maths with movement, are designed to make maths fun and get children moving again after many months of reduced activity as a result of lockdown and other restrictions on activities.
The free resources include a lesson plan for a treasure hunt around the school to find clues, which are maths problems that need to be solved.
There is also a ‘Shark Attack’ lesson, where pupils can only save themselves from a shark attack in the playground by jumping on an island marked out by skipping ropes and displaying a prime number. If they mistakenly jump on an island with an incorrect number, they can only stay in the game if they can correctly explain why the number they stood on is not a prime number.
Ali Oliver MBE, chief executive of children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust which works in partnership with Teach Active, said: “Prioritising physical activity and wellbeing in our schools has never been more important as the nation again experiences localised lockdowns and partial school closures enforced by Coronavirus. We also know there is considerable evidence of the impact of daily physical activity on learning in the classroom and congratulate Teach Active on raising awareness of embedding movement across the curriculum through Maths Week.”
Jon Smedley, a former teacher and founder of Teach Active said: “Teachers are facing a huge challenge at the moment. Their main priority is to address the learning gap created by school closures, but they are also aware of how important physical activity is to children’s mental wellbeing and their ability to concentrate and learn.
“Active lessons are a great way to target both issues. The lesson plans also make learning a lot more fun which means the knowledge gained sticks with the child.”
The Holy Family Catholic School in Addlestone, Surrey is a user of Teach Active and has found that active lessons change the psychology of learning. Children forget that it’s maths they are learning as they are simply enjoying the lesson. “I love the fact children are proactively channelling their natural competitiveness into maths challenges. They are often learning so many maths concepts without realising they’re doing maths. It’s fabulous to see so many smiling faces as we increase in achievement in the subject,” says Steve Tindall, the headteacher.
Teach Active has been developed by Jon Smedley, a former teacher with over 21 years’ experience in education. The site offers almost 3500 maths and English active lesson plans and resources for teachers from foundation stage through to year 6 that are closely mapped to the national curriculum.
Teachers wanting to get involved in Maths Week can visit https://www.teachactive.org/maths-week/ and download the free lesson plans. Resources are available for each year group from reception to year 6.
Participants can also share images or videos of their active maths lessons on Twitter with the handle @TeachActive using #TeachActiveMathsWeek with a chance to win a six month licence to the Teach Active site.