Maths activities to start or finish off a lesson

In today's video in her series on Making Maths fun, South Grafton High School teacher Holly Millican shares three maths activities that she uses in her classroom to start or finish off her lessons.

The first activity is called Djehuti Smart Speedsheets, which are designed to assist students who have not achieved automaticity in their basic number facts, as well as reinforcing number facts for high achieving students as well.

‘To begin this activity a timer is set for two minutes and the students are to open their speedsheets to a fresh page and are to try and complete as many questions as they can in the time limit,' Millican explains. ‘They then graph their progress so they can measure their own growth.'

The second activity is called Around the World, and it sees the kids in two positions, either seated in a circle on the ground, or standing behind the seated student.

‘Now the one student that is standing behind the seated students – they are trying to answer the question that's being posed first. So they are trying to answer it before the person they are standing in front of because that means they can pop to the next person and their goal is to make it all the way around the world.'

Millican says this activity is really great to finish off a lesson. ‘…It does get the kids thinking about those basic mathematical concepts that they really do need to review quite often and I really find that the kids get quite excited about it,' she says.

The final activity shared in this video is a Mathematical Relay Race. ‘This is a very versatile activity that can be used across a range of topics to either start or finish off a lesson,' Millican shares. ‘…This activity is particularly useful for students who get a bit antsy by the end of the lesson, the ones that really need to get up and out of their seats and be moving around a little bit.'


Think about how you start or finish off your Mathematics lessons. Is there a way to make these parts of the lesson more engaging for students? How can you link these activities to the skills students are learning?

Holly Millican suggests three different activities that you could try in your Mathematics lessons. Do you have any activities that you’d like to share with Teacher readers? Share your activity by leaving a comment below.