Setting up your Maths Classroom

Setting up your Maths Classroom

If you’re new to teaching mathematics or have recently been given a new teaching room this blog is designed to help you in setting up your maths classroom so you have more time to focus on the teaching.

Keeping your board pens within arm’s reach of your whiteboard, being able to check which class you have next at a glance and having students know where the spare paper is kept in case they forget their exercise book are examples of what will all help to create an organised and efficient classroom so you can focus on teaching maths.  Here’s an example of how I like to layout my classroom.

Setting up your Maths Classroom

I’ve split the classroom up into three main areas:  the teacher’s desk, the main whiteboard and the wider classroom area.   In addition to these my classroom routine is for bags to go under chairs with jackets hung over the back rest.  This way the floor is kept clear for you to walk around the room and talk with the students.

Things to have near your teacher’s desk

  1. Whiteboard pens: 2 blue, 2 black, 1 red, 1 green and a spare board wiper.
  2. Copy of your teaching timetable.
  3. A note of your regular school duties so you don’t forget.
  4. Copies of your seating plans in case you lose the ones near the whiteboard.
  5. Scientific calculator for the teacher (if you lend this to a student you’ll eventually lose it).
  6. Big pack of tissues to prevent the students making endless trips to the bathroom.
  7. Class lists with baseline data. This helps to remember where to pitch the level of challenge.
  8. Whole school or department reward stickers. Try to praise and reward in the ratio 6 : 1.

Things to have near your main whiteboard.

  1. Blackboard pens: 1 blue, 1 black, 1 red, 1 dark green and wiper.
  2. A big board ruler, set square, protractor and big pair of compasses.
  3. Clearly labelled seating plans. A lot of your questioning will be done when you’re near the main board.
  4. Big number line. Very useful for all kinds of maths.

Things to have in your wider classroom area.

  1. A class set of mini-whiteboards, pens and wipers. Students should know where these are so they can help to hand them out.
  2. Display of student’s best work for every class including A-Level. Only the very best work should go on the board. If you have high expectations the students will too.
  3. A class set of scientific solar powered calculators. Well worth the money. I recommend Casio FX85 GT Plus.
  4. Squared grid / Lined / Tracing / Square dotty / Isometric dotty / Isometric grid
  5. Spare exercise books
  6. A 2 litre bottle of water. You won’t always have time to go to the staffroom for a drink.
  7. Copies of weekly homework sheets.

What’s Next

Once you have an organised classroom you will have more time to focus on planning.  The pedagogy browser will help you find the scheme of work for any GCSE mathematics topic.  It highlights the key concepts, common misconceptions and success criteria for every GCSE mathematics topic at both foundation and higher tier.

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2 thoughts on “Setting up your Maths Classroom

  1. Looks great, but unfortunately in the world of FE, I may use 6 or 7 different classrooms in a week and none are just for one subject, so all I have is what I can carry, plus we have only an interactive white board so if its playing up bang goes any demonstrations, this will only get worse as FE colleges are forced to put students through Maths resits. The availability of classrooms will become a very big issue, this year we had 560 resits, for the current year 460 of these will have to resit again with all the new students who got D or E so a possible 1000, students doing 3 hours of maths a week equates to a lot of classrooms given that the majority of ours are only designed for a maximum of 18 students.

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