I visited St Martin’s Primary school watched active learning in action when I observed a P1 class doing maths. I watched spellbound as the children showed incredible enthusiasm, confidence and focus towards the tasks set by their teacher Cath Nairn.
Cath explained how the pupils were probably three to four weeks ahead of where they would normally be for this time in P1 – so what’s the difference for the children? “Children don’t have to worry about writing it on a piece of paper” “It takes away the stumbling block of getting a mark on a piece of paper” “They’re not worried about making a mistake – it liberates them to engage and enjoy learning maths”
What’s the difference for the teacher? – “You get to see children making progress on a day-to-day basis, where you can set challenges to continually extend their learning”
The photographs show some of the activities that the pupils were engaged in during the lesson – which link to the plan on the last photograph.
Cathy used the Interactive Whiteboard to great effect with small group of pupils where they dragged and dropped coins to make sums of different values.
Shopping lists with tally marks
When I spoke to the children they all used the same word – “FUN”
Cath stressed how important it was that she was able to build upon the work undertaken in the nursery. Cath doesn’t spend as much time marking jotters but she does spend more time planning what the children will be doing next – I would suggest that this time well spent.