Maths At Home

School is closed but mathematics learning continues for pupils working at home. This page provides suggested activities, methods and resources.


You have probably arrived at this page because you are a teacher making contingency plans to continue lessons in the event of school closure. This page provides ideas for making home learning as effective as possible under the circumstances.

School closed

Synchronous E.g. Whole class online from 10am till 11am

It is possible to have everyone in the class learning together. This can be achieved with video conferencing and chatrooms. The advantage is that class discussion and feedback can be provided in a timely fashion. The disadvantage is that it is significantly more difficult to organise but you can find suggestions of what resources are available here.

Asynchronous E.g. Do these activities by 4pm tomorrow

This is more like setting traditional homework that pupils can do at a time that suits them. Technology however can make this more effective and easier to manage. Transum offers hundreds of activities for which pupils can earn virtual trophies enabling you to keep a record of progress.

Here are some bullet points of things to consider when assigning eLearning:

Class Admin

Transum provides a management system for sharing lessons with pupils. The following video shows how it works:

More information about online lesson plans can be found here.

To give you an idea of what an online lesson plan looks like here are some examples to get you started. You will of course want to create your own content based on the current topic from your progremme of study, but for a quick, short notice solution, try one of the following.

Online Lesson Plan 1

Now take a five minute break, walk around the house and stretch your legs. Look out of the window and take three deep breaths.

You should now feel good about yourself. You have done a Maths lesson at home without a teacher and your brain is now better than it was an hour ago!

Online Lesson Plan 2

Now take a five minute break and drink a glass of water. Do some stretching or yoga poses to keep your body active.

There are many ways you can let your teacher know how well you are doing even though you are at home. If you have earned a trophy for a Transum activity you could sent your teacher the URL of tour trophy cabinet. Alternatively you could send a screen shot of your computer work or a photograph of your work on paper.

Online Lesson Plan 3

Take a screen break for five minutes before applying your mind to the next task. You are allowed to have a snack but it must be a healthy snack.

Let your parents know what activities you have been doing in Maths today. Can they remember studying angles and ratio when they were at school?

Online Lesson Plan 4

Now take a five minute break, do seven sit-ups, two minutes of jumpstyle dancing then wash your hands.

Online Lesson Plan 5

Now take a five minute break, have a drink and a walk around the house.

Online Lesson Plan 6

Now take a short break and do a little exercise.

Online Lesson Plan 7

Now take a five minute break, walk around the house and stretch your legs.

Online Lesson Plan 8

Now take a five minute break, walk around the house and stretch your legs.

Online Lesson Plan 9

Now take a five minute break, have a healthy drink, do ten press-ups then wash your hands.

Teacher: You can send the link to this page to your students when your school has to close due to coronavirus or any other reason. The activities have been chosen to have a low threshold and high ceiling meaning that are suitable for pupils of a wide range of previous attainment.

Pupils can complete the activities online and earn trophies as a record of their progress. Teachers (who are Transum subscribers) can see from their class list which pupils have earned which trophies.

You can be more specific by sending out one of the links below to only show one day's worth of activities:

Online Lesson Plan 1

Online Lesson Plan 2

Online Lesson Plan 3

Online Lesson Plan 4

Online Lesson Plan 5

Online Lesson Plan 6

Online Lesson Plan 7

Online Lesson Plan 8

Online Lesson Plan 9

A full list of all the Transum resources, listed by topic, can be found on the Topics page.

Resources for Communicating

Content Creation

Video Conferencing

Platform 1 to 1 tuition Class of 30 Comments
Bitpaper ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ $8 pm $20 pm Work and communicate in real-time. Share anything on your screen with one click; websites, apps, videos and more. Bitpaper delivers everything you need to work together effectively online and I like it very much. It couldn't be simpler to set up, no downloading required, it works completely online. It is exceptionally good if you have a stylus to write on the virtual paper but if you are not a fan of your own handwriting there is a very effective typing option too.
Google Meet ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Free Free Confusingly also known as Hangouts it is said to be the easiest and most robust of the current platforms for video conferencing and sharing. For me personally it has proved to be very easy to initiate and reliable to use. No software installations requires as the video and controls are all in the browser.
Microsoft Teams⭐⭐⭐⭐ Office 365 rqd Part of the Office 365 subscription. I really like the ability to allow pupils to use their mouse to work on the shared screen. You’ll need a Microsoft account, or associate your email address with Microsoft to join.
Skype ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Free Free The big advantage is that being the most popular video calling service it is likely to be familiar to pupils.
GoTo Meeting ⭐⭐⭐⭐ £69 pa £134 pa It is the choice of many business people due to its multi-user flexibility. I have used it frequently and found it to be very reliable but the screen sharing is not as smooth as it could be.
Zoom ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Free Free Host up to 100 participants but limited to 40 minutes on the free plan. While I have not used it myself I know that other teachers have has great success with it and like the facility to mute all participants then Unmute one participant at a time to provide undivided attention. As with other platforms the ability to record lessons means nobody misses out.
Appear.in Free n/a Said to be really simple to set up and use I haven't yet tried this platform.
Jami Free n/a An open source platform that offers messaging, video and audio. I haven't yet tried this platform.

More options reviewed Process St and Larry Ferlazzo and Richard Byrne.

Avoid using Facebook, Instagram and other similar social networks as your online learning platform due to the distractions and temptations to be 'off task' lurking within.

Finally, but most importantly is email. Your pupils are almost certain to have email accounts, probably provided by your school.

Handwriting

If you need pupils to see your handwriting as you teach and you don't have access to the interactive whiteboard in your classroom, there are three practical options. I will list them here in increasing order of effectiveness:

Real whiteboard or flip chart.

Pictured here is a small, inexpensive whiteboard purchased from the local stationary shop and mounted on a small step ladder. It requires the camera you are using to focus on the board so that pupils get a clear image of your writing.

I have to say that I haven't actually had to use it yet as the digital preferable alternative has always worked. I keep it as a backup though.

You might notice the Indices Eye Test chart on the bottom step. That's a fun way of finding out how well the pupils can see the image captured by your webcam ... assuming they have a decent grasp of exponentials of course!

Tablet and Stylus

I have tried using a Wacom Intuos pen and graphics tablet with my computer instead of a mouse. While it certainly makes writing easier it needs a lot of practice to overcome the strangeness of writing on the desk while your eyes are looking at the screen.

iPad (or similar)

The best results can be obtained with an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. I have been using Good Notes for content creation and BitPaper for live teaching.

It does take me a certain amount of time to have the resources I will need for the lesson set up in BitPaper but the results are quite pleasing. If the pupil does not have the tools to make handwriting easy I find drag and drop activities are the next best thing.

If handwriting is out of the question then the typing tool in BitPaper is often good enough.

Using Good Notes on an iPad

Hands Up!

It's a bit difficult to ask for "hands up" if everyone's video link isn't visible to you, the teacher. Here's an alternative called the Student Voting System. It allows students to vote or choose a response to a question posed by a teacher. The teacher is then able to immediately see the collated responses from the class.

One to One Tuition

Here are some tips for setting up an online tutorial for a pupil using BitPaper and Google Hangouts. Neither of these platforms require the pupil to download anything as they both run nicely in a browser.

Before the session set up a Bitpaper specifically for the pupil you are about to teach. Set up pages for more activities than you will have time for in the tutorial just in case one of the activities does not work. Here are some examples of Bitpaper pages I have used with pupils.

Bitpaper Maths

Now you are ready to go. Exactly five minutes before the tutorial session is due to start initiate a Google Hangouts session and send the pupil an email containing the link for the Bitpaper and the Google Hangouts link.

Good afternoon Jimmy,

It's time for our Maths lesson. You will need something to write on, something to write with and your calculator.

Here is the URL of the video link:

https://hangouts.google.com/call/eXaMpleNotreal#45321

Here is the link for the BitPaper:

https://www.bitpaper.io/go/Jimmy/eXaMpleNotreal#45321

Here are other links we may use in the lesson or you could work on if the video connection drops.

https://www.transum.org/Maths/Activity/Numbasics/

https://www.transum.org/Maths/Exercise/Expressions/

See you in five minutes,

Mr T

P.S. Don't forget that for the best experience use a large screen computer (desktop or laptop but not a phone). This is because I will be sharing my desktop documents, some of which will require interaction/manipulation by you. Your device will also need to have a webcam as teachers judge how quickly to go through explanations based on the expressions on the faces and the body language of their students!

Now please excuse me stating the obvious but I've thrown together a checklist of what needs to be done before your online tutorial begins.

Pre-Online Tuition Checklist

And you are now good to go. Open Bitpaper on the left half of your screen and have the video link on the right side of the screen. Let the learning begin!

Two Windows
Apple

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