Rachel McCann | March 15, 2021
Teaching Maths is Easy With Bloomsmath
Learn From Play is based on the premise that all learning can be fun – even Mathematics. Possibly hard to believe but by incorporating rich learning tasks with cross-words, cross-numbers, code breakers, games and logic puzzles it is possible to provide differentiated Mathematics activities your students will love.
It is a rare teacher who has time to create exciting, fun and differentiated math activities amidst teaching a full syllabus. No full-time teacher has time to plan enough activities to ensure every one of their students is working at their optimum level without moving into the outcome for the next grade level.
But this is exactly the case with Bloomsmath. A Mathematics program that has students engrossed and on-task so you are able to spend time with the students who need you the most. With activities that let students work alone, in pairs and in small groups so they develop the skills of sharing and cooperation which are so important today.
Based on Benjamin Bloom’s hierarchical thinking, Bloomsmath engages students in higher order thinking around mathematics. Links are provided so students can see how the math they are doing in their classroom relates to the real world. How the area of their bedroom allows them to calculate the cost of recarpeting and painting. That there are many methods for solving a single problem and that by discussing a solution with a peer they can justify their chosen approach to completing that task.
If you are new to the theory behind Benjamin Bloom’s 6 step framework you can read more about it in a previous article I wrote (which you can access by clicking the image below). But for right now let's explore how Bloomsmath can be used in the classroom and hopefully provide some inspiration for you to use it with your students.
Let’s start by looking at the Level 1 Bloomsmath program and the teaching of Position. Within this set of activities students begin with a simple task of using ordinal numbers to identify the position of various cars in a line and they answer questions related to these cars.
This is a chance to check that students understand the basics of position and ordering of numbers. Students who demonstrate proficiency in this activity move on to the slightly harder task of following position directions to place items in their correct location to create a complex house picture. Again students will either need assistance with this activity and additional learning opportunities will present themselves or they will demonstrate proficiency and move on to following position directions to place items in their correct location and answer location questions related to the picture provided. More complex tasks are also provided to allow capable students to use alpha numeric grid references to locate items and to place shapes on a grid.
Each of the tasks ensure students are working within the Kindergarten or Preparatory syllabus Position strand which asks students to describe an object’s position using language and grids. Students are not being extended into higher Year 1 topics but rather are provided with sustained learning within the outcome at an ever increasing level of complexity.
To complement each of the strands there are also a set of 6 deeper thinking questions or tasks to promote higher order thinking. These are expected to be completed with the whole class as a lesson introduction or summation to encourage all students to think deeply about Mathematics. They also provide an opportunity to tie the maths being covered to the real world and expose students to the meta language of Mathematics which they will encounter in the future.
For example, keeping with the Kindergarten Position strand, students are shown an old street directory and how grid references were used before Google Maps. This can then lead into discussions on whether grid references are needed anymore now Google maps exist. Suggestions are also provided for additional physical activities to reinforce the outcome such as using positional language to direct students to collect various items around the classroom or playing word noughts and crosses or connect four where students must use positional language to explain where they want their cross or circle to be placed.
While this example is for Kindergarten there are now full Bloomsmath programs from Kindergarten to Year 6 making it perfect for both single and multi-grade classrooms, such as those found in small schools. To access the Bloomsmath programs a $65 Bloomsmath or $98 Premium Learn From Play subscription is required. This provides access to all 7 programs, an overview of each strand’s activities, all the worksheets written for students to implement themselves and the questions and suggestions to allow ease of assessment and evaluation of student’s learning beyond their simple worksheets or task completion. Basically, everything that is needed to ensure students will enjoy their mathematics lessons and with any luck they may even go so far as to have fun during Mathematics.
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