*Last week*was the first week of term and we launched straight into work much to the students dismay.

In my Year 8 class I began by giving an overview of the term's units and then I taught the students the central tendency rhyme:

*Hey diddle diddle the median's the middle,*

*You add then divide for the mean,*

*The mode is the one that you see the most,*

*and the range is the difference between.*

Versions of this rhyme are all over the internet. It is simple to remember and easy to understand. I see some students repeating the rhyme in their minds, lips moving, when I ask them data questions in the daily quick quiz. The good part is that they are answering the questions correctly and feeling good about that!

Next I wrote the units spelling words up to familiar whining question of why do we have to have spelling in maths. The students copied the words into their books while I got the next activity ready.

'Raise your hand if you have done rotations in primary school and you know what they are?' Amazingly not every student raised their hand, but those that did had an expectant smile on their face, an almost incredulous look. I explained to the students that they'd be working in groups to complete activities (seen below) placed around the room.

The activities start hands on and build to abstract questions which they complete for homework.

I have never done rotations in a class before, however, I have seen them done in my children's primary school classes. The students followed the ground rules I set, they completed all of the activities in the given time frame, they completed their homework (even the perpetual non completer's), and most importantly they had fun while learning.

When the student's entered class the next day I was asked 'Miss, are we were going to do fun stuff like we did yesterday?'...I smiled and looked down at the bag with the maths mat in it :-)