Maths Lesson: Properties of 3D Shapes/ Solids

Reflecting on My Practice

As part of my PLP (Personal Learning Plan) I identified the need for me to focus on Mathematics, specifically Maths mental warm ups and Maths lesson starters.

I did a warm up for a lesson today which I thought was quite good and I thought I would share and document it.

The lesson outline:

This was the note I sent my students on the online learning platform Edmodo: (If you want to learn more about Edmodo go to this link:

Warm up Activity: Revisiting Properties of Shapes. 
You were given a 3D solid shape in class today. You need to describe the properties of that shape on your iPad (using the apps Explain Everything OR Educreations) and post your video to the padlet attached.
PS. Remember to use the vocabulary we learnt in the last lesson. Key words I’m looking for are vertex/vertices, edges, faces, angles.

Below is the link to the Padlet with my student responses:

Properties of 3D Shapes:

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 4.23.49 pm

The thing I liked about this activity was I was able to quickly collect my students responses and view them later in my own time. I was then able to assess their work whilst the students were off at another lesson. I was able to give them direct specific feedback about the content of their videos and assess if they were capable of listing the properties of a 3D solid shape using learnt vocabulary from the previous lesson.

The students seemed to enjoy the task too as it was recapping what was learnt in the last lesson and applying some of their creative skills to communicate their learning in a different way.

It was a fun Maths Warm up today and I’m glad it went so well.



MLATS Learning and Teaching Mathematics: Number

MLATS: Mathematics Learning & Teaching for Success

Saturday the 9th of August 8:30am-3:30pm

Presenter: Sarah Ratcliffe

The Rationale for MLATS

The teaching of mathematics is a complex business, and in the busyness of school life, teachers often do not have time to reflect on the teaching and learning cycle, on what is working well and on what could be improved. Additionally, many teachers have expressed a lack of confidence in their own mathematical knowledge, which in turn impacts on their teaching of mathematics.

The interplay between school mathematics and the development of numeracy is complex. MLATS core course offers a broad introduction to the teaching and learning of mathematics and numeracy, and seeks to help participating teachers identify the mathematical knowledge that students should be learning, and makes explicit the teacher’s role in supporting all students to be successful.

Our broad range of other workshops and short courses are designed to meet the needs and interests of teachers.

For information about MLATS and courses available please see the link attached.

We need to report to the achievement standards in ACARA and be mindful of IB curriculum too.

Sort and classify activities (newspapers, houses, categorise and sort houses by number/ patterns, relationships)

When/ How do we give our students the opportunity to:

  • Identify and describe attributes
  • Identify and describe relationships
  • Think logically to classify and order
  • Handle data

 Thought: Being confused means that you are learning.

 Being Successful means:

50% confidence

25% attitude

25% IQ

(I shared this with my students and they were so surprised and relieved!) This was one of my highlights.

I don’t need the answer I want the process.

Students need to construct meaning for themselves.

Students need the factual and procedural knowledge but they also need to know when to apply these in everyday problem solving tasks.

EMU: Extending Mathematical Understanding Intervention program. Something worth looking into at St Andrew’s School.

I am concerned with students whom I have worked with who have difficulty with number concepts and Sarah (Course leader) suggested that they might have dyscalculia. I had not heard of this term so did some brief research about it. Here is what I found.

What is dyscalculia?

Formative assessment: A discussion about how we assess mathematics formally came up in this session. We have one summative Maths assessment per term and base some of our results on testing and general maths tasks in bookwork, on iPads and through observations. I liked the idea of introducing Maths Journals, which is something we can do quite easily using the iPad in the 1:1 program currently running in Year 6.


Ideas for the Journal:

Prompt reflections in Mathematics. (Links to IB: Reflective & Thinkers).

I challenged myself by…

Next, I want to…

I worked…. Because…

Next time I will

An activity I thought would be great for our buddy class visits:

Write a procedure on how to draw a graph. If you had to explain how to draw a graph to Year 1 students what would you tell them?

Mathematics Inquiry Cycle:

Provocation and reflect

Investigation and reflect

Share ideas and reflect

Test, draw conclusions and reflect.


MLATS rules for working:

  • Choose to work alone, in a group or with a partner but everyone must do their own recording
  • You can choose to use concrete materials or work without them
  • You must seek to understand what you are doing
  • If you need help, follow the procedures to get it.

What do we mean by numeracy and mathematics?

Numeracy is the practical use of mathematics in context.

Developing Number Sense:



Subitising (the ability to know how many are in a collection without counting)

Place Value

Part-Whole Relationships

Four Operations

How can we develop estimation skills?

Handful Grab Game. Estimate and counting games. Refer to MLATS booklet.

Mental Computation: Do this every so often but make sure to go through the processes afterwards. This is important for developing quick thinking strategies as well as going over different strategies each student has used and trying them in the next mental computation quiz.


I found this image about Adult usage quite interesting but not shocking. We as adults use calculators, estimation and mental computation strategies before written strategies. Yet we are getting our students to record and write their Mathematical thinking in their books all of the time. We need to create a balance here and make sure that we are giving students the opportunity to estimate, use calculators and solve mental problems.

My goals after this workshop:

I always like to set myself a few goals after a workshop and at least attempt one or two of them within that week.

1. Year level Maths Survey and Data Collection task. How are our students feeling about Mathematics? How do they prefer to learn? Ability Ranking data.


2. Maths Journals/ Reflections after the lesson. This won’t simply be a separate book but at the end of the lesson allow for reflection in their maths book or on their iPad.


3. Mental warm up strategies as per my PLP Goal (See Heather for demonstration lesson asap). Go through the mental guides in the MLATS booklet.


The Van de Walle Professional Mathematics Series.

Two of Everything. (JP Book)

Open Ended Maths Activities: Using good questions to enhance learning in Mathematics. 2nd Edition. Peter Sullivan and Pat Liburn.


About Teaching Mathematics: Marilyn Burns

Origo: Thinking Caps

Maths Solutions:

All Hands on Deck

Number Pieces Basic app.