Back to the blog after being back full-time in the classroom!

I’ve had a bit of a hiatus from writing here after taking up a full-time teaching post at a wonderful little school post Christmas. That along with another writing project (which I’ll be giving some hints about at the end) has meant this blog has been neglected. But, I’m back and after one and a half terms of wonderful work with my new mixed year 5/6 class, I’ve got some new things which I’ve been using with them that I hope might be of interest to all of you (if you don’t yet know about them)…

Fluent in Five
If you haven’t checked out the fluent in five arithmetic resources provided by third space learning yet then you should. For year 2 and 6 teachers in particular, with the SATs fast approaching, this is a fantastic resource to give your students a daily hit of arithmetic to tighten up on all those skills they’ve perhaps not used for a while. Once signed up, you get 12 weeks of free, daily five-minute fluency arithmetic exercises, complete with answers which means you just need to print them, distribute and then mark together (note: some of the answers are wrong, so may need checking – I will get round to emailing third space re this). They look exactly like the arithmetic test and are a great resource for a warm up, or for use in basic skills session. I’ve been using them with my year 5s and 6s now for the last 4 weeks and they’ve all said to me it’s really helping them to consolidate their skills in the four operations and in other things like fractions and percentages. I’ve also seen a steady increase in their scores which is telling me their fluency is progressing. This one is a no brainer to have a look at:

Classroom Secrets
Access to this resource does require a fee to sign up, however it really is a great resource. It has Maths resources which very much look like the white rose hub (and in fact follow its teaching sequence), but are differentiated for developing, expected and greater depth. It also then breaks work units into varied fluency and reasoning and problem solving. I’ve been using it a lot with my class as we have a whole-school subscription, and although there are times that the resources are over-simplified (or complicated) on the whole the varied fluency work in particular does really help to break down the steps of the skill you’re teaching. The reasoning and problem solving activities are somewhat repetitive at times, but can easily be supplemented with resources from the white rose hub or elsewhere. Each ‘block’ as they call it also comes with a pre-prepared PowerPoint which has some worked examples. Again these are sometimes a bit hit and miss, but you can use aspects of them for building your own presentations to support what you’re teaching. This is a resource that’s well worth a look at as it also has work for SPAG and some great bits for guided reading, including: whole class guided reading and carousel guided reading activities.

Go Noodle
Strictly speaking this doesn’t have much curriculum value (although there are some parts that could be used for parts of it). But, it’s still a great resource and all free. If you have a wet play, or one of those afternoons where your class just need to do some moving. Then, Go Noodle might just be your saviour. It’s guided dance, but it’s a lot of fun and very silly. Exactly what children (and you) need sometimes to keep that inner-child happy.

My posts are going to continue to be a lot more infrequent than they were before Christmas, and this is not only because of my full-time teaching post, but also because I will soon be publishing my own children’s book for 7-11 year-old readers. Watch this space as links to my author website and more information about it will be coming in the next few weeks.

Thanks for reading, and please subscribe with your email to get alerts for every new posts.
If you have any questions, or comments please feel free to get in touch here through the contact page or@teachn4teachers on twitter.


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