Content writer Charlotte talks us through the process of creating Maths Activity Mats and explains how to best use them in the classroom.
Who Am I?
I’m Charlotte and have been working with Twinkl Secondary for two years. I worked in schools for 10 years as a Maths Teacher then Head of Department and am now a School Governor and Private Tutor as well as being at Twinkl. I began work on Activity Mats a year and a half ago and since then they’ve grown and grown, with all of the Secondary Maths Team having input into their creation.
What’s Great About Activity Mats?
There’s a difficult balance to be struck in the classroom, between covering new work and reinforcing less recent topics. Some students perform brilliantly in standard classwork and homework, but when it comes to assessment or problem-solving, they don’t fulfill their potential because they only recognise tasks given in the context of what’s just been taught. This is where Activity Mats come in. They are a fantastic resource to use on an ongoing basis because they go over all of the required topics from the Programme of Study and give students that vital experience of exam-style questions, problem solving, out of context questioning and reinforcement, without taking too much away from the time you have for teaching new work.
How Do Activity Mats Work?
The basic idea of Activity Mats is that they can be used as a plenary, starter or homework for students, giving them the chance to refresh the skills and knowledge they will ultimately need for the GCSE exam, alongside your teaching of new topics. They’re differentiated, at 5 or 6 levels for each half term, so that they are accessible to those who just have a grasp of what they covered at Primary School as well as the most able students and everyone in between.
How Did the Idea Develop?
We began with a half term’s worth of Mats for Key Stage 3 and soon expanded this into 6 half terms’ worth to meet demand. Nowadays though, you’ll find an even better range of Mats on the website, including Fraction Revision, Mastery, Puzzles and Year 7 Transition.
All offer a brilliant mix of questions to get your students thinking and to reinforce key topics.
We also have revision Activity Mats for Key Stage 4 students, differentiated at 3 levels for questions and at 2 levels for Key Facts.The exam-style questions and exposure to required facts and formulae work really well as a build up to our range of Practice Exam Papers that are ideal for teachers using AQA, Edexcel, OCR and more! (Foundation – Higher)
There’s even a full set of Activity Mats for one half term available free, so that you can give them a try with your own students. You can leave us a review to let us know what you think.