One of the greatest work/life-balance hacks that I have added to my teaching is daily maths revision slides.
These slides have meant that no matter what, my students have had curriculum-relevant work to complete helping them to achieve their learning goals.
They’re no-prep– just display the daily slide on the smartboard and teach students a learning routine that includes getting ready, setting up their book, completing the work, and what to do when they are finished.
However, many teachers wonder how you can differentiate mathematics when using slides like these in classrooms with different abilities.
One size doesn’t fit all – but you can use one easy-to-use tool and differentiate for your students using a few strategies:
All, most, some.
Some students will be able to complete all of the work, some will be able to complete most of the work, and some students will only finish some work.
You can colour code questions using dry-erase markers, magnets, or even by writing in individual students’ books.
Complete mini-lessons with students who are struggling with a question or concept.
Ensure concrete manipulatives are available for students to use if needed. I think we often put away concrete materials too early – almost all ages can benefit from counters, MABs, hundreds charts, etc
Some students have trouble transferring from the walls of our classroom. Provide printed copies for those students.
Extend with Number Talks
Always make note of activities that students need extra support in – and spend extra time debugging those activities at the end of the lesson. A number talk is a perfect activity for brainstorming strategies, working through them, and giving students at least one entry point into a problem.
Ensure Increased Visual Perception
- Use different colors when working through answers on the board.
- Provide printed copies
- Highlight key terms (circle with a dry-erase marker or use actual highlighter) and make sure that students understand written questions.
- Ensure the student is close enough to see the slides.
Enhance Auditory Processing
- Repeat instructions to ensure understanding
- Restate instructions to students individually
Why daily maths slides?
Using a repetitive activity with students enables them to place their cognitive attention on the content, rather than on the process of the task. Once a routine is established with students, they are able to begin working straight away. This reduces your time spent on classroom management and reduces anxiety within your classroom.
Differentiation doesn’t always mean different work. There is a range of different strategies you can use to ensure that students can access the work that you are providing while proving an anchor for routine learning and revision in your classroom.