## Maths Rotation Activities

This is a description of my experiences from designing and implementing maths activity rotation lessons for one week, while on profession placement in a grade 6 class room. I first describe the context of the rotations and the activities I planned. I then rationalise why I think it is relevant as a professional portfolio item, demonstrating how I have developed as a professional, as well as an overview and documentation of student learning. I conclude with a final reflection on the maths rotation activities.

I carried out these activities in a year 6 class, on my first full week of teaching. There were four activities in the rotation, each one relating to level 4 VELS standards. An activity was placed on each of the four tables in the classroom, and then this activity rotated around to a different table for the next lesson. The activities involved: designing and drawing a tessellation that would become a patch on a patchwork quilt; building 3D shapes and determining their volume; conducting a classroom survey and graphing the results; determining the perimeter and area of the whole school. The lesson structure from the rotation lesson plan is outlined below (see Attachment 1 for full lesson plan).

For more information on each activity, see the following appendices:

From this experience I have learnt how to plan a week’s worth of lessons (in this case maths) in one go. I completed the planning for the whole week by the end of the weekend, including lesson plans, worksheets and other necessary materials. By doing this I had a clear direction of where I was heading for the whole week and didn’t have to worry about planning during the week.

My supervising teacher had suggested I carry out a weekly rotation activity, because he had carried out a similar approach when he was a student on professional placement, and found it was very successful. As a beginning teacher, I have now been provided with an approach that I can use throughout my career, and I will endeavour to use it because of this rotation’s great success. The rotation process can also be used for subjects other than maths, and I also carried out reading comprehension rotation activities the following week. The activities and their corresponding lesson plans and worksheets are a resource that I can use throughout my career, and I can adapt each one to my future students’ needs.

The lessons were a beneficial way to educate me on each of my students’ abilities. As there were four activities I was able to look at their achievements for each one and see which they achieved the highest in and which they achieved the lowest in. Carrying out lessons like the maths rotation activities appears to be a strategy that is helpful for recognising a student’s strengths and weaknesses and is one that I will adopt in the future. I think it may be beneficial to hold these sorts of activities at the beginning of the school year, so that you can get to know each child and their abilities.

At the end of each lesson I evaluated and reflected on both my students’ and my own achievements with my supervising teacher. These reflections gave me an insight as to what worked well and what didn’t work well during the lesson, and acted as important advice for how I should approach and carry out the next lesson. As the lessons went on I was able to learn from each one and improve the way I taught the students. I was also able to see which areas students particularly struggled with and improve on the advice I gave them towards their work.

What the students learnt as a result of these maths rotation activities:

At the end of each lesson I encouraged each group to explain to their classmates what they found to be the easiest and hardest parts of the activity. This information was valuable to all of the students, as it provided them with the opportunity to learn from their peers’ examples and take their advice into account when it was their turn to complete that activity. As a result of this, in the following lessons the groups were able to complete their activity more efficiently than the previous group did.

The maths rotation activities contributed immensely to my development as a beginning teacher, especially in relation to planning and implementing lessons. I now have a week’s worth of lessons that I can take with me in the future and adapt it to what I am teaching, as well as to my students’ needs. The rotation activities were a good way to introduce me to whole class teaching, because although I was teaching the whole class, I worked with one group at a time. Each group worked at different paces because each activity is different so it was easier to help students with their questions because they arose at different times. Also, if I helped one student with a question they had, and other members of their group had a similar question, they could teach them what they needed to know. After many lessons that I taught while on placement, I looked back at them and said to myself, “If I could do this again I would do it differently.” As there were four rotations of the maths rotation activities, I was given this chance and was able to approach each lesson with the knowledge I had gained from the previous lesson(s).

**Context:**I carried out these activities in a year 6 class, on my first full week of teaching. There were four activities in the rotation, each one relating to level 4 VELS standards. An activity was placed on each of the four tables in the classroom, and then this activity rotated around to a different table for the next lesson. The activities involved: designing and drawing a tessellation that would become a patch on a patchwork quilt; building 3D shapes and determining their volume; conducting a classroom survey and graphing the results; determining the perimeter and area of the whole school. The lesson structure from the rotation lesson plan is outlined below (see Attachment 1 for full lesson plan).

- Introduction:

- Main component of lesson:Students are required to follow the instructions on the worksheet. Monitor each group, and provide assistance, advice and encouragement.

- Conclusion: At the end of each lesson, get the class together to share their experiences on each activity so that students can understand why they are doing these activities, and to provide some tips to the other groups. Do not let them give too much information though, as this will spoil it for the others. At the end of the fourth lesson, students can share all of their experiences and discuss what they have learnt during the whole rotation process.

For more information on each activity, see the following appendices:

- Attachment 1: Overall lesson plan for the whole rotation process, self evaluation, and supervisor evaluation.
- Attachment 2: Tessellations lesson plan and worksheet.
- Attachment: 3D Shapes lesson plan and worksheet.
- Attachment 4: Classroom Survey lesson plan and worksheet.
- Attachment 5: Area and Perimeter lesson plan and worksheet.

**Rationale:****How the item demonstrates my development as a beginning teacher:**From this experience I have learnt how to plan a week’s worth of lessons (in this case maths) in one go. I completed the planning for the whole week by the end of the weekend, including lesson plans, worksheets and other necessary materials. By doing this I had a clear direction of where I was heading for the whole week and didn’t have to worry about planning during the week.

My supervising teacher had suggested I carry out a weekly rotation activity, because he had carried out a similar approach when he was a student on professional placement, and found it was very successful. As a beginning teacher, I have now been provided with an approach that I can use throughout my career, and I will endeavour to use it because of this rotation’s great success. The rotation process can also be used for subjects other than maths, and I also carried out reading comprehension rotation activities the following week. The activities and their corresponding lesson plans and worksheets are a resource that I can use throughout my career, and I can adapt each one to my future students’ needs.

The lessons were a beneficial way to educate me on each of my students’ abilities. As there were four activities I was able to look at their achievements for each one and see which they achieved the highest in and which they achieved the lowest in. Carrying out lessons like the maths rotation activities appears to be a strategy that is helpful for recognising a student’s strengths and weaknesses and is one that I will adopt in the future. I think it may be beneficial to hold these sorts of activities at the beginning of the school year, so that you can get to know each child and their abilities.

At the end of each lesson I evaluated and reflected on both my students’ and my own achievements with my supervising teacher. These reflections gave me an insight as to what worked well and what didn’t work well during the lesson, and acted as important advice for how I should approach and carry out the next lesson. As the lessons went on I was able to learn from each one and improve the way I taught the students. I was also able to see which areas students particularly struggled with and improve on the advice I gave them towards their work.

**Overview of student learning:**

What the students learnt as a result of these maths rotation activities:

- What a tessellation is and how to drawn one of their own. They also learnt how difficult this can be, especially when using a range of shapes.
- The names of four 3D shapes and the formulas necessary to find their volume.
- How to convert information recorded in table form into graph form.
- Strategies to apply formulas for perimeter and area to everyday scenarios.
- Social skills: working alongside peers, helping peers, team work.

At the end of each lesson I encouraged each group to explain to their classmates what they found to be the easiest and hardest parts of the activity. This information was valuable to all of the students, as it provided them with the opportunity to learn from their peers’ examples and take their advice into account when it was their turn to complete that activity. As a result of this, in the following lessons the groups were able to complete their activity more efficiently than the previous group did.

__Final Reflection:__The maths rotation activities contributed immensely to my development as a beginning teacher, especially in relation to planning and implementing lessons. I now have a week’s worth of lessons that I can take with me in the future and adapt it to what I am teaching, as well as to my students’ needs. The rotation activities were a good way to introduce me to whole class teaching, because although I was teaching the whole class, I worked with one group at a time. Each group worked at different paces because each activity is different so it was easier to help students with their questions because they arose at different times. Also, if I helped one student with a question they had, and other members of their group had a similar question, they could teach them what they needed to know. After many lessons that I taught while on placement, I looked back at them and said to myself, “If I could do this again I would do it differently.” As there were four rotations of the maths rotation activities, I was given this chance and was able to approach each lesson with the knowledge I had gained from the previous lesson(s).

attachment1-rotationlessonplan.pdf | |

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attachment2-tessellations.pdf | |

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attachment3-3dshapes.pdf | |

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attachment4-classroomsurvey.pdf | |

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attachment5-areaandperimeter.pdf | |

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