I glance at the classroom door nervously (after 35 years teaching?!?!). My new year 8 class should be arriving in the next few minutes. Will they be as good as my year 8’s last year, which was my favourite class?

Lee Blake, et al (2009)

I have already put some notes on the board: a definition of integers and representation on a number line. Pretty basic start and then a practice worksheet P8 from “Motivating Maths“.

The kids arrive and we start to get to know each other. I give 2 students star notes for showing eagerness by talking to me in the yard yesterday.

I want kids to get into a good working routine so we talk about:

**1. My job is to teach, your job is to learn.**

**2. You must make mistakes to learn (so one boy says: “so we should write 2 + 2 = 5?).**

**3. Good work habits egs. punctual, prepared, get straight to work.**

Enough talking, so students copy notes and do worksheet.

I am kept busy answering questions and marking books.

I challenge the more capable students, who finish their tasks quickly, by rolling 6 dice on their table and asking them:

“How many bears, how many fish?”

Students remain fully engaged (except for student X, who has to be moved after a warning).

With 10 minutes remaining I give out their first assignment: LOOKING FOR PATTERNS. I will be interested to see which students are keen enough to start it for homework. The first page will lead into next weeks lessons on “Adding and Subtracting Integers”.

So my challenge is to teach, motivate, and engage these students so that they will form a positive attitude towards learning maths in the future.

I am looking forward to that challenge. Stay tuned to see how things go?

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## About webmaths

I have been teaching Mathematics in Victorian secondary schools for 30 years. I use the www to make my maths lessons better. I hope this blog will give other teachers some ideas to try in their own classes.