Shortly after starting teaching I attended a training course for a model of teaching that our school was introducing (TEEP), from which we have now moved on and adapted for our school. At the time I was fresh from my PGCE and found it frustrating to be “introduced” to a whole range of strategies (and technically they aren’t strategies – they are tactics! but that’s another argument) to use in my teaching. Don’t interpret this as me griping about the quality of our CPD – I’m not! its brilliant!

I just find it frustrating – you must understand that my frame of reference comes from my corporate background where any training needs I had were identified and addressed – the overriding principal was that they were specific to ME! Unlike teachers who’d been teaching a while these ideas weren’t new to me and when one of the ideas discussed involved using table mats I’d had enough! I vowed internally to NEVER EVER use them!

Wellllllll …… during a discussion with Seager concerning the best way to tackle multi-step questions, I mentioned that it would be good to have something that could be used and referred to by both teachers and students, as a reminder of the steps to follow when answering these type of questions. I almost couldn’t believe I was actually saying it, but I suggested a table mat! 

So this week I’ve been putting something together (here) that I am going to get printed onto A3 and laminated. It sort of follows the traditional problem-solving but the steps are called: Read, Plan, Work and Tick which is much more student friendly and I think, better demonstrates the actual things they need to do in solving multi-step questions.


Anyway it got me thinking about the reverse of the sheets and so as not to waste the space I wanted to put together a revising in maths hints sheet, which is here – I think I’m going to put on the back of the problem solving sheet, but it could easily be used on its own or as a poster. Credit for some of the ideas on this side needs to be given so many fabulous teachers on twitter who so readily came up with suggestions … and as a result of these interactions I’m going to make TWO (I know!) more, one will have formulae and things students need to remember and the other will focus on exam techniques in maths (i.e. show all your working – even on the calculator paper).

There you go! I’m now a convert … I can’t say I think that table mats are revolutionary but I’m prepared to give them a try with a very open mind. I should also add that they might end up being posters rather than table mats, so maybe I’m not such a convert