The Perspectives section of Teach Middle East Magazine is designed to allow teachers, parents, students and other education stakeholders to share their thoughts, ideas an views on education and related topics.

When Teach Middle East Magazine visited Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, we met some of the innovative math teachers who are thinking outside the box, when it comes to making maths enjoyable for their students.

From innovative games to cross curricular projects, these teachers are engaging students and ensuring that they turn up to maths lessons excited and ready to work.

Below, they share their responses to the Perspective items.


Heloise Benecke

 

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What is your go to activity to grab students’ attention at the start of the school year?

At the start of the school year, a short introduction from me at the start sets expectations, creates consistency, builds rapport and assures survival for both parties. Letting students see your human side is always an important start. With that you need to create curiosity, so that they always walk into the room thinking – “What’s next?”

 What is the most unexpected item that we would find in your Math classroom?

Mine is not unexpected, but a necessity – Coffee and a sense of humour.


Ryan Copley

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What is your go to activity to grab students’ attention at the start of the school year?

It’s always something fun. Maths is always perceived as boring (which obviously I disagree with). So I usually go with activities like Tarsia Jigsaws and treasure hunts that get students moving discussing and engaging, but most importantly enjoying the subject!

What is the most unexpected item that we would find in your Math classroom?

Cribbage boards! The game of cribbage is heavily Mathematical. I often use it to get students understanding playing cards, particularly in the UAE, where they often don’t know how many cards are in a deck, cards in a suit, etc. Often playing cards are used in probability questions and very often out here students have no idea how to answer them, not because they can’t do the Maths, but because playing cards are not commonly used nowadays.


Simon Kenworthy

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What is your go to activity to grab students’ attention at the start of the school year?

The Mars Bar challenge. It’s 50 times tables to be completed in under 5 minutes. If everyone in the class gets 50/50 then I will buy them all a Mars Bar each. Within just a few sessions the children’s scores go rapidly upwards and their times get faster and faster. Only twice in 17 years have I had to buy the Mars Bars, as there is nearly always someone who gets one or two wrong! It’s fast, competitive and fun 🙂

What is the most unexpected item that we would find in your Math classroom?

A model storm trooper.


Stephen Deady

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What is your go to activity to grab students’ attention at the start of the school year?

Space Invaders- a rapid fire, mental facts recall game, working on a knock out basis.

What is the most unexpected item that we would find in your Math classroom?

A sense of humour – I think this is true for the entire dept. Maths teaching has come a long way from the rote learning of years ago.


Nelson Mitchell

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What is your go to Math activity to grab students’ attention at the start of the school year?

Something fun, engaging and challenging to set the right tone for the year ahead – usually a Maths based game such as Fizz Buzz, Around the World or a code chase.

What is the most unexpected item that we would find in your Math classroom?

I have a big picture of a train, also with pictures of my students on board the train. This symbolises the “train journey to success”, which all students are aware of. They need to get on board the train because it is not stopping – destination success!


Siobhan Bee

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What is your go to Math activity to grab students’ attention at the start of the school year?

I always start the school year with something fun and active. I get the pupils to work together in teams, so they feel comfortable with their new classmates. I love finishing the lesson with a challenging problem that leaves them thinking and excited for the next class.

What is the most unexpected item that we would find in your Math classroom?

The most unexpected thing you would find in my classroom – lots of ‘Bee themed’ paraphernalia. The kids love my strange surname and get me the coolest gifts.

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