A number of years ago, I used to take an inordinate amount of hours to stress my way through attempting to plan for all of my maths groups. It was the bane of my life. I would spend all of Friday avoiding it, all of Saturday looking at it, all of Sunday fretting and sweating over it and for what? I am pretty sure I did make some difference in the maths development of my classes, but was it an effective use of MY time? NO!
Once I managed to be mentored through how to plan effectively and how to use the NZ Maths website and then how to use their learning objects...well, it certainly all began to be much easier. But there have also been other things that have now made it even easier and even more beneficial for my learners...
Firstly, I have managed to come to terms with the progressions in maths at each stage. Lots of reading and trial and error really helped there! The other thing that has been fantastic has been the integration of Mathletics into our school maths programme. Now that all of the children are using Mathletics as part of our programme, it has really helped - but only in part. The rest has been the fact that we as teachers can set tasks for the class and are able to monitor their progression and usage.
My class have delighted in being able to aim for certificates and personal achievements. They have become adept at setting goals and personal challenges (being young this tends to be that they want to earn a bronze certificate or to beat 3 people at LIVE Mathletics!) The coolest thing for me as a teacher is that I can ensure the maintenance is woven through their ongoing activities and Mathletics has been fantastic for the children to be able to work at their own level. I am now also using the online activity books and the class are loving these!
So, now I spend my weekends doing all of the stuff that I used to miss out on because of the waste of so many hours on maths planning...like blogging, professional reading, updating our class wiki, bookmarking on delicious.com and setting tasks on Mathletics!