Over the past term I have been using the approach of: example and then your turn. This idea was shared by Craig Barton in his book ‘How I wish I had taught maths’. (If you haven’t read it, DO IT!)

I have always done examples on the board, made the students copy the example and then given them a question to do but it usually was over a few slides. My examples also tended to be more pre-written steps rather than an actual ‘live’ version of me doing the example. This new style is brilliant! I split the board into two, have a question ready to be made into an example on one side and then a question ready for the students to do on the other.

I get the students to copy down the example into their books and then on a mini white board attempt the your turn question.

This approach has seemed to be working. Firstly, I am no longer waiting for students who tend to be slower at writing to be copying the notes before I can ask the rest of the students to complete a question and secondly, the students have an example in both their books and at the front of the class whilst they are attempting their ‘your turn’ question.

If the your turn question has appeared challenging to quite a few students in the class, I invite one of the students who clearly understood the question to come to the front and work through the problem on the board.

The students do genuinely appear to be responding well to this approach and personally for me, it has made me really think about the examples that I am using in my lessons.

I would recommend giving this approach a try. It is really easy to incorporate into your lessons. If you don’t have/want to use mini white boards, then get the students to split their page into two and copy down your example and then do the ‘your turn’ on the other side. I honestly think you will pleased you introduced this method into your classroom.

Mr Barton: THANK YOU!

Below is a lesson in which I have used this method:

terminating and recurring decimals

Fancy reading Mr Barton’s amazing book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Wish-Taught-Maths-conversations/dp/1911382497