All the resources you need to get ready for Term 1

  • 6 minute read
  • 16 January 2024

The first term is a big and busy term. There’s the classroom set up, getting to know your students, new parents to meet and all the extra-curricula stuff (yep, it’s swimming carnival time again!).

To help you kick off Term 1 on the right foot with your students, we’ve compiled the best classroom tools and strategies from learning science and our brilliant teacher community.

Hacks for building solid relationships

Student-teacher relationships are the foundation for everything in the classroom. Research shows that the quality of relationships between teachers and students determines the level of behavioural problems and stress experienced in the classroom. 

Building relationships with students doesn’t have to be complicated, simple ideas have been found to have a big impact. For example,  greeting students (>14 years) at the classroom door and including the student’s name and a positive comment in their only a short time. These greetings could also work effectively if used throughout the lesson and help build rapport between the teacher and students. 

Some positive comments you could try out in your classroom include: 

  • I’m looking forward to hearing what you thought of last week’s project.
  • It was so great seeing the effort you put into your work last lesson. I can’t wait to see it again today.
  • Thank you for helping out ….. In last week’s lesson. The explanation of that question you offered seemed to really help their learning.
  • Good work on bringing all of your resources to class today. Thank you for being prepared, we have some great tasks to work through today.

Classroom activities for relationship building

Maths Pathway has an amazing bank of classroom resources on our Media Library and today we are sharing two of our favourites that cover teacher-student relationships. We love working with brilliant educators to bring you relevant and practical activities to use in your classroom. So try out these activities with your students!

Icebreaker activities

Icebreaker activities are a simple and easy way to get to know your students and also help them build friendships between themselves. Maths Pathway has created some great icebreaker activities for you to try out. Plus, check out this page for more engaging activities to start the year off with.

Have you heard of Bill Rogers?

He is a highly regarded expert in behaviour management and works as an education consultant, author and lecturer. He works closely with schools across the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand to offer support and mentorship to teachers on behaviour, discipline, effective teaching, stress management and teacher welfare. 

His books are a great resource to have on hand for practical tips and strategies to combat challenging student behaviour and find new ways to approach communication and relationship building with students. 

If you’re looking for Bill’s books to support your classroom practice, check out some below. 

  • Classroom Behaviour: A practical guide to effective teaching, behaviour managements and colleague support 

You Know the Fair Rule: Strategies for Positive and Effective Behaviour Management and Discipline in Schools (Third Edition) 3rd Edition

Join Maths Pathway schools and start the first week of term with the Week of Inspirational Maths (WIM). WIM is a set of lessons created by Youcubed which was formed by Jo Boaler who is the Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University. WIM resources are free lessons and videos about maths and mindset designed to inspire students. These lessons focus on open, visual, creative maths and empower students to see maths in a new way.

You can download the 5 FREE lesson plans below. Try one lesson a day and finish the series across a week. It’s okay if you only have 3 lessons in the first week, just do the lessons you can. Your students will start to see that maths is all about getting curious and solving problems – there’s no such thing as a maths person!

Mindsets play a massive part in making up the environment of a classroom.

 It can quickly become clear if students are picking up fixed mindsets and passing these on to their peers. They will often compare themselves to other students, find it hard to hear feedback and be deeply impacted when they get a question wrong. 

Growth mindsets are fueled by the power of yet when a student can see a problem they need to overcome they have the confidence to enter into productive struggle. ‘I can’t solve this problem yet, but I will be able to.’ When we look at our students as individuals with unique abilities and work to meet their specific needs, we can shift their mindsets in the process, removing those limiting thoughts and comparisons to their peers. 

Try out these growth mindset activities with your class!

Classroom Energisers 

Energisers are 8-10 minute teacher-led activities that involve the whole class. It’s great to run one or two energisers in a lesson as they help to keep students engaged, provide structure to a lesson and reinforce students’ emotional associations within the classroom: class cohesion, connection with the teacher, and overall feeling of safety/belonging.

They can be used to:

  • Kick off a lesson with the whole class engaged in something together, or
  • Break up a long lesson so students aren’t having to concentrate on tasks for too long.

There are a number of energisers available on our Media Library but some that are perfect for Term 1 include Calculator, Venn and Four Digits.

Mini-lessons 

Mini-lessons are teacher-led activities that take place with a group of 5-6 students. They offer the opportunity to build conceptual knowledge in a really targeted way. Maths Pathway schools implement Mini-lessons into their weekly routines as a way of reinforcing knowledge students attain in their independent learning and checking for understanding. 

If you want to learn more about Mini-lessons and the pedagogy behind them, check out this video with Bec, a Maths Pathway School Consultant. Download a range of Mini-lessons that target different learning levels below.

Tom Moore activities 

Have you seen Tom Moore’s classroom activity videos before? Or checked out his page EngageME Mathematics? It’s full of free resources teachers love. 

We love working with Tom Moore and seeing all of the amazing content he produces to support teachers. If you’re always on the hunt for more classroom resources these ones are perfect to keep in your back pocket.

Rich Tasks

Working in partnership with The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA), Maths Pathway has developed two Rich Tasks that combine First Nations culture, maths and everyday living. 

These activities are an opportunity for the whole class to come together and take part in meaningful learning whilst adapting culture and history into the classroom.

Author: Maths Pathway
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