Classroom planning for mathematics

Classroom planning - part 1

Classroom management

The classroom is the work-place of both teachers and children, and a well managed work-place increases job satisfaction and enhances the learning process. Planning facilitates co-operation and the best use of resources and space. This is particularly relevant when mathematics is being integrated with other subjects. Integration with geography may require the use of maps or globes. Science equipment may be required for work on capacity. Integrating mathematics with other areas of the curriculum enables children to use mathematics in a meaningful way.

The mathematics area

Ideally the mathematics area should be a free-standing worktop where children experiment and display their results. In addition it is necessary to have wall space for displaying charts, flashcards and the results of the children’s work. The worktop space could be a cupboard or shelving which can then be used to store equipment not in use. Mathematical displays and apparatus should be changed to suit the strand being worked on if they are to be seen to be effective and genuine aids.

Effective use of equipment

Children who are actively involved in a structured task will be more likely to exhibit positive classroom behaviour, and the teacher will be free to work with another child or group of children. It is important that the children share responsibility for the appropriate use and storage of the apparatus, as this will develop their independence. Charts showing labelled equipment and the terminology in use should be visible to those working in the area. These give the child the freedom and independence to work on tasks uninterrupted. If possible there could be a recording area nearby, or children could use clipboards for on-the-spot recording. Colour-coded or number-coded pockets of worksheets could also be provided so that the children can work independently.