As maths coordinator I volunteered to do two booster maths Sats booster sessions a week right through to the tests themselves in May. One with the the level 3 to 4 boost and one with level 4 to 5 boost. I felt it was a good opportunity to keep in touch with year 6 maths, being in year 2 at the moment.
Yesterday I held my first Booster class. I had a small group of 6 year 6 children who needed a boost to reach level 5. The lesson took place after school from 3.20 to 4.20 and because it was straight after school I gave the children a drink of juice and a biscuit as they came in. As I had taught them when they were in year 3 they were also really keen to come in and see the fish which I had bought only the year before they were in my class.
After our drink, biscuit and chat we settled down at one of my tables which they loved because I have lovely new round tables with new chairs. They said that although the tables were clearly too small for them they liked the fact that they were round so they could all see each other and that the tables sat six.
Finally we were ready to start some maths!! Although it had taken some time to settle I really wanted to set a relaxed, friendly, less formal atmosphere in the hope they will look forward to, rather than dread the sessions each week. We sat at the table together and began with looking at fractions as I know this is often a tricky area for most children, especially the level 5 questions.
What I enjoyed about the session the most was firstly meeting up with the year 6s for a chat rather than just bumping into them in the corridor and secondly the fact that we were exploring the answers together rather than me standing at the front teaching them. I felt that this was the right approach because I knew they had been taught fractions before and felt that if I just taught them again it wouldn't stick as well as if they were re visiting and discovering the answer together. The children appeared to enjoy the session too or at least didn't find it too stressful.
I now look forward to Thursdays level 3 to 4 group and wonder if the same approach will work with them or if they will be more suited to a more straightforward teaching approach.