19 October, 2015
by mrjohnson

The CUBES strategy for solving Maths word problems

Jen Runde has done it again with her great acronym and pathway steps for solving word problem mathematics.

By following the simple steps of CUBES, students should be able to unpack maths problems in no time.

C – Circle key numbers

U – Underline the question (what answer are we looking for)

B – Box any clue words

E – Evaluate steps to take to solve the problem

S – Solve and check.


For more info check here: http://www.rundesroom.com/2015/10/math-journal-sundays-cubes-strategy.html


CUBES problem solving strategy

29 September, 2015
by mrjohnson

Home Journals – Getting Parents Involved

I read this excellent article from Shelley Gray regarding home journals. The idea is for students to summarise their weeks class experiences during the last week in their journal, and parents writing a written response to their child in the same journal.

A great way to get parents involved with their child’s learning and the students really look forward to reading the their parents replies.

This makes me think a student blog would be a great way to achieve this with a more modern take – as long as the facilities are there for the students to make regular blog posts. Definitely something I will look at introducing to the classroom.

22 July, 2015
by mrjohnson

Class Participation using Playing Cards

Playing cards in the classroomOne of the joys of relief teaching at the moment is the privilege of visiting many different classrooms and seeing a variety of classroom management techniques. Today I saw a great idea for choosing students to participate in class discussions.

In this particular Year 4 classroom, a playing card was taped to the top of each students desk. When wanting to hear the thoughts of a think share pair discussion, the teacher would take a card from his own deck and whichever card was selected meant that the student with the corresponding card on their desk spoke.

Simple, random and genius. It avoids the students feeling they are being picked on and also gives everyone an equal  chance to participate.

Here’s some more information and a short video from Teaching Channel explaining another teachers use of playing cards to facilitate class participation.


17 July, 2015
by mrjohnson

Year 7 Science ACSSU117 Physical Sciences

I saw this video today about the Magnus Effect that would be perfect to use as part of a Year 7 ACSSU117 unit studying

  • the change to an object’s motion caused by unbalanced forces acting on the object
  • investigating the effects of applying different forces to familiar objects
  • investigating common situations where forces are balanced, such as stationary objects, and unbalanced, such as falling objects.


15 July, 2015
by mrjohnson

Spelling Games and Activities

We play a game called BOOM!  In this game, the teacher writes the spelling words for the week on popsicle sticks and sticks them in a cup with a ratio of 5 spelling word sticks to one BOOM! stick…(so if you have 15 spelling words, you would have three sticks with the word BOOM! on them.  To play, each student takes a turn blindly drawing a popsicle stick.  Without looking, they hand it to you and then you ask them to spell the word.  If they spell it correctly, they get to keep the stick, if they spell it wrong, no stick and the one drawn goes back into the cup to be spelled by someone else later.  However, if the student pulls one of the sticks that says BOOM! they have to put all of the sticks that they have collected thus far back into the cup!   I also do this game for sight words and vocabulary.  The kids LOVE it!

From SuperTeacherIdeas


Word Jump

Word jump is a physical classroom spelling game to help students remember their spelling words.

The teacher writes a few spelling words on a piece of paper and places them on the floor. The goal is to have students see how many words they can jump on correctly when the teacher says the word. For example, the teacher would say the word “fox” and students would look on the ground and have to be the first to jump on that word.

Try and incorporate as many classroom spelling games into your weekly schedule as you possibly can. Not only are they beneficial for students, but they are give students something to look forward to. Games are fun!

from TeachHub

David Wolfe Math and Number 9

5 July, 2015 by mrjohnson | 0 comments

19 June, 2015
by mrjohnson

Fun Classroom Game: Bug in a Rug

Another fun classroom game is Bug in a Rug.

This is similar to “Doggy doggy where’s my bone?” except we’re hiding a child instead of an object.

Create a circle and have one student step outside or hide their eyes. Select a student to hide in the middle under a blanket. The person comes in from outside and guesses who is under the blanket. They have three guesses.

If they get it wrong and they are struggling … you can ask them if they want a clue. If they say yes, you can get the person under the rug to say hello and see if they guess with their voice. If that doesn’t work, you can start revealing the person. Let them see their shoes, or a small portion of their head. Eventually they figure it out.

The child who guesses sits down and the child under the rug has a turn at going out and then guessing.
There is a song that goes with it to……you all tap your knees …..and when you’ve just covered the child and have invited the waiting child to come back the jingle goes “somebody’s hiding under the rug…somebody is hiding under the rug – who could it be? – who could it be? somebody is hiding under the rug?…..bun in a rug!!!”