Poundland Pedagogy, Who needs frogs?

Poundland pedgagogy cheap maths resources

Who needs frogs when you can have bunnies? Poundland pedagogy is something I try to use within my practice to help engage students into the learning. It’s cheap, resourceful and practical. Above all else though students more often than not love the Poundland pedagogy lessons. I hear the cynics in the background bemoaning that this is a fad and a gimmick around the learning. Maybe it is or maybe it isn’t but Poundland pedagogy is a very useful classroom and maths resource. I’ve mentioned a few ideas before in presentations, however I thought it was time to share some of these ideas with fellow teachers on my Miss B's blog.

This half term I managed to get out and about and do some high street shopping. Here the lure of Poundlands bargains tempted me in. I discovered a couple of useful items for this half terms lessons. Some of the fun items I have bought are bright florescent sales stickers ready for teaching fractions and percentages. A cheap mini mouse height measurer to go on my wall. As well as some cardboard pirate cut outs for when we do algebra solving equations and rearranging formula revision, as I always teach it as you are balancing a pirate ship.

My top three maths resources for improving conceptual understanding  of maths topics though are:

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Show your working out!

Frustrated students not showing working out

Is it time to stop our moaning?

There are many hang ups that both teachers and students have over presentation, with many students determined to miss out the direction of how they got from A to B. I worry without a sat nav would they ever survive? They refuse no matter how many times we countlessly nag them to “Show thier your out” to actually show their working out. Staff are fed up of saying it and students are fed up of hearing it.

Is it time we remarketed and branded this differently? Companies will often tweak their brand and marketing campaigns to increase their popularity and market standing. Take the old marathon chocolate bar that is now a snicker or how opal fruits became starbursts. Brands were changed to gain uniformity around the world, alongside the shock publicity increasing sales and many other reasons.

Another more recent example is Kentucky Fried Chicken changing its name to KFC and McDonalds recent pursuit of looking healthy by serving salads and simulating a fast food version of Starbucks. The point is this has all been done due to market trends towards a healthy lifestyle. Are the market trends telling us it’s time to rebrand ‘show your working out’?

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The Homework Workload

Speeding up the homework workload

Homework in general is one of the most debated topics amongst teachers. Several teachers believe homework has a great deal of purpose and value while many others feel it’s a box ticking exercise to please parents and SLT. Let’s face it who honestly likes the workload homework creates? Extra planning, marking and feedback time is needed for the teacher and the students are spending several hours after school completing extra work. This all sounds pretty negative? It isn’t honestly.

Homework can play an integral role in a student’s educational life and learning of a topic.  The real key though is homework needs to be planned for and have purpose. There are three main areas which many teachers successfully implement which have an impact on learning at the same time as reducing the workload. 

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Exam Questions Data Handling

Data Handling Exam Question Practise

I have been in the process recently of creating personalised exam question topic sheets for my intervention groups. This allows me and the students to identify individual areas of strengths and weaknesses. The students then work on the skills needed to improve. I don't allow the students move forward till they gain 90% plus on the tests. I've started creating topics for the New GCSE content also to hopefully ease the workload next year.

All of the tests are two pages and less than 20 marks. I find it easier to print as two pages per sheet. Once I have finished editing the last few into a sharable form for Data Handling I will upload the spreadsheet I use to track the results students results in. This is a work in progress and I will be adding to this over time please be patient.

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Marking and Feedback Journey

Marking and Feedback DIRT

I launched the DIRT Resources at midnight last night, to celebrate the first birthday of my site. It has been a 3 year process of trials and improvements to get to the stage I am at now where I feel comfortable to share and bring the maths community in to make something that will hopefully mean students everywhere will receive a high standard of feedback and reflective time. Alongside this if we as teachers work together to build this bank, it will reduce maths teachers workloads. I believe there are approximately 5000 maths teachers within the UK. If every teacher created one question each, the bank would have a significant array of options for teachers and students to choose from. I'm hoping the bank will eventually range from KS1 to KS5, Primary, Secondary and Further Education. 

DIRT stands for either Dedicated or Directed Improvement Reflection Time.

The DIRT bank can be found here. To get involved and create a DIRT please use the template and email your DIRT to myself, see contact Miss B's resources. I'm aiming to update the DIRT Bank weekly. The DIRT questions now consist of both a guidance and support question, as well as an independent task for the students to complete. Allowing the students to show their initial progress on a topic. Here are a couple of examples. 

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“Miss B is always coming up with great new ideas. I have been delighted to work with her on linking numeracy and literacy”

Simon Blower 
Simon Blower
Co Founder of pobble.com


“Makes Maths interesting, relevant and accessible.”

Mark Anderson 
Mark Anderson
Author of ‘Perfect ICT Every Lesson’ and international speaker.


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Jon Tait
Jon Tait
Olympic torch bearer, deputy head teacher and international speaker.


Danielle Bartram

Maths Lead Practitioner

Acklam Grange School