Get in touch

Job Search

Search for Teaching Jobs in England

Graffiti Maths

What exactly is graffiti maths? Miranda has recently found out and explains for us how she uses it in her teaching. 

I’ve just been turned onto graffiti maths for juniors. What a brilliant, practical and child-focussed way to get children engaged with logical mathsy thinking and embed learning garnered from previous maths lessons. It’s also a great way to stay ahead of the game on supply, though you do need to get access to the stock room and have a hardworking and energetic TA at your side.

I worked in a school this week, where the children were used to using graffiti maths as part of their weekly timetable. Their tables had all been laid out with sugar paper sellotaped all over like wallpaper. Each pair was given giant pieces of paper and proper marker pens (not just those thin whiteboard ones we are all eeking out until September’s batch comes in).

There were curious items on every table. On one, a treasure chest of blocks, on another was a bar of chocolate (pretend unfortunately – there’s only so far this real world maths can go folks…) and some pizzas (ditto), another had straws of different colours and some money. 

The children were in mixed ability pairs apart from the very lowest ability children and the very highest, who were to work together to try to crack challenges on each table.

The TA talked to me about how to make the experience like a game. We spoke of the maths in terms of code cracking, discovering patterns and figuring out a system. The children used this vocabulary as they worked and we prompted maths-talk to cement their understanding of the operations they were using and connections to learning in previous lessons.

None of the children sat down for the whole session, all 30 moved about when they had completed a problem. Everyone buzzed and no one messed about or tried to go to the toilet eight times. We didn’t allow the children to give up, but we did let them have short breaks before returning to their problems. The paper on the desks filled up quickly with drawings and doodles, workings out and scribbled out pieces of frustration. It was so clear that the larger canvas had enabled bigger thinking,  more experimentation with ideas and less fussiness about getting the right answer straight away.

Though difficult to evidence in books, the TA did a small amount of filming and took photo evidence of the children’s work for books. Behaviour and engagement was good enough for me to spend a few minutes assessing progress and moving some children onto more challenging tasks. 

N-rich is a brilliant site to get the problems from to support applied practical maths – give it a go. They also give plenty of academically-backed information on how to teach this kind of practical maths - http://nrich.maths.org/teacher-primary

Have you come across a fantastic teaching method or resource? Why not blog about how you've used it? Let us post it and you could receive £20! For more information email teacherservices@protocol-education.com


Tags: Miranda, Manchester, NQT, supply

Category: Australian Teachers


Share |


Back to the Blog Home Page

Comments (0)

There are no comments to show. You can add one by using the form below.

Add a Comment

Name:
Email (kept private):
Comment:
Security Code: antispam
Protocol Education Blog

OCTOBER 2017 | "Your teaching agency needs to be transparent"
Jacqui is an Aussie teacher who has just returned from her 2 years in the UK. She got in touch with Mitch from the Sydney office and has been able to...
Read More

AUGUST 2017 | Aussie Dollar vs British Pound
Mitch Jones is Protocol Education’s NSW-based consultant working with Australian teachers in their move to the UK. In his latest blog he chats...
Read More

JUNE 2017 | Taking a long term approach to teaching
Alyce is an Aussie Primary teacher who took part in our September 2016 round of 'Interviews with a UK Principal.' Rather than start her role...
Read More

MAY 2017 | Been to London, Bought the T-Shirt, Back in Sydney
Brad is an Aussie teacher who has just returned to Sydney after spending nearly 2 years living and teaching with Protocol in London! Fair to say he’s...
Read More

A Teacher's Journey to London
Stephanie is a teacher originally from Canada, and in this latest blog she wants to give some advice (and hopefully inspiration) to other teachers from...
Read More