Structure of a Maths lesson

With over 100 likes on my post ‘Structure of an Irish lesson’ – I’ve decided to do a series with ideas for each subject. Next up is Maths.

Maths is probably one of my favourite subjects to teach. I love to see the ‘lightbulb’ moment especially when children have a fear about a new topic/ area and then suddenly it clicks.



Mental maths – it is so important to get the children in the mindset and to get them thinking.


Tables champion – everyone stands – two names are called and a question is asked – the child who answers first (and correctly) stays standing, the other child sits. (This can be done with addition, subtraction, multiplication or division).

Answer the  question – call out an addition/subtraction/multiplication/division question. Children shout out the answer. Alternatively, children put their hand up to answer the question.

Magic number – 50/100/80 etc. – call out an addition/subtraction/multiplication/division question. Children then must reach the magic number – they call out the answer that will get them to the magic number. (E.g. if the magic number is 100 – teacher calls out question e.g. 10×7 – children shout out 30. They must solve the question and then check what to add to it to get to the magic number.



This maths Video is also great.

These are great to grab childrens interest quickly. Allow them to work independently or in with a partner to solve.

Revision of topics already covered – ask different questions to assess children’s knowledge/understanding.

Introduction of new topic

  • Question – how do you think we’ll solve this? what strategies could we use? can you figure it out yourself?
  • Demonstrate – show the children how to do it (show this 3/4 times until most children have a good understanding)
  • Talk me through it – ask a child to tell you what to do to solve the problem
  • Teach me – ask a child to come to the board and teach the class how to solve the problem



Once you have introduced the topic and the children are secure give them some independent work. This is important to allow children to try it for themselves and make mistakes.

If there are some children who are struggling – I set up a small area where these children can work together with teacher support to solve the problems before moving onto independent work. We usually use mini whiteboards and markers so that mistakes can easily be fixed.


Early finishers – I’m lucky to have this challenge box in my room which the children really enjoy and it provides a challenge for the more able children. Macmillan Challenge Box. Alternatively, I ask the children to make up some of their own questions or make up some questions and share them with your friend. I often have word problems or more challenging problems available too.


Revise what was covered in the lesson. Complete a problem on the board – making a mistake and see if the children will correct you. This will be a clear indication of who understands and who might need more scaffolding/support in a follow up lesson. This is also a great opportunity to complete corrections of work completed in copies.

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