Think Mentals 16/2/17
Using marking as a learning opportunity gives students time to reflect and consolidate what they’ve learnt, and tells you the level of students’ understanding.
So why does it make sense to run a whole class marking session on a Monday?
Think Mentals offers students a new mental computation strategy each Monday for the first 18 weeks. Monday is the best opportunity to make marking meaningful because it sets students up for the week. As the week goes on, students can work through the questions and consolidate their understanding of the strategy of the week, revise previous strategies, and practise a variety of core maths concepts.
Use the following ideas to re-energise your Monday marking routine and set students up for the week ahead.
Think Mentals makes the mark and discuss process a breeze. Log in to Think Mentals Answers and use the projectable answers and strategies to focus the attention of the whole class. When students have marked their work, invite them to call out any questions they got incorrect. Where several students have struggled with the same question, re-teach the steps to finding the solution by projecting the Think Mentals strategy, and unpack the problem again as a class. This immediate feedback is effective and lets you know how well students have understood the mental computation strategy of the week.
Take your marking routine to the next level by having students peer mark and peer teach. If one student in the pair gets an answer incorrect and the other gets the answer correct a peer teaching opportunity can take place.
Instruct the ‘teacher’ student to step out the mental computation strategy used to get to the correct answer. If both students in a pair got an incorrect answer, then ask that pair to buddy up with another pair that got the correct answer.
Using peer marking and peer teaching is a great way to turn passive learners into active learners. Not only does the student who’s learning get to hear things from a different perspective, the student who’s teaching gets to cement their own understanding by explaining their thought process out loud.
As students are peer teaching, walk around the room and listen in to make sure that no peer teaching goes awry. Offer encouragement and make suggestions when students are stuck. You can support students to reveal their thinking and strategies with targeted questions such as:
So for your next Monday mental maths lesson, make sure you bring marking into the equation. On your marks, get set and … mark!
Getting your students to use mental computation strategies effectively can be a challenge. Despite your weekly mental computation lesson, students can resort back to inefficient and time-consuming methods of writing out all the steps instead of working it out in…