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Active Learning- Maths & English Tips & Activites.

Active Learning is becoming more popular within schools. Follow our tips and activities for Maths and English active learning in your classroom.

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What is Active Learning?

Active Learning has the student’s learning at the centre. It encourages students to think hard about what they are being taught instead of passively receiving information. It is based on the principle that pupils develop their own understanding and learning of a specific subject.  

year 1 spelling
Woodpark Primary School
Ratio and proportion super Emile

What Are the Benefits of Active Learning?

In an active learning approach, learning is not only about the content, but is also about the process. Active learning develops students’ autonomy and their ability to learn. Active learning gives students greater involvement and control over their learning. This means that students are better able to continue learning once they have left primary school and lead on to higher education.

Maths Active Learning Activites

Connect 4

This activity can be used with addition and subtraction and is pretty simple to set up. 

Download the worksheets down below and team your class up into pairs. 

Set up the downloadable worksheets on tables with two markers and two dice. Now split your class into pairs and explain that they are going to take turns in rolling the two dice. Then they use the numbers that appear on the dice to add or subtract and find out the value of the equation. The pupil can then mark this off their worksheet.

The first player in the pair to get 4-in-a-row wins!


Surveys & Graphs

In this fun activity get your class to go around and ask questions about each other that they can measure and turn into graph data. 

For Example: What is your Favourite Sweet?

Pupils can mark down each other’s answers in their workbooks for reference. 

Then they can mark out their answers in a graph format using building blocks or Lego. This shows your class visually how many people liked a certain sweet etc. and also gives context to data handling.

active learning
active learning

“Can I Take Your Order?”

Memorising decimals and handling money sounds fairly boring. However, teaching your class in this way is engaging and independence building. 

Take the classic “Food Shop” & “What’s in my Trolley” games to a new-level by setting up a till with fake money for children to exchange for items from a make-believe menu.

BONUS: Include your classes Emile plush in the fun, he can be a customer or part of the restaurant team!

English Active Learning Activites

active learning

Animal Messages

Explain that your class is going to pretend they are animals that write letters! Each pupil can choose an animal and think of a message the animal might write. 

Distribute the downloadable worksheet provided down below and point out the different parts of the letter and explain:

Since the animal is writing to you, the salutation will say: Dear (your name)

The body of the letter will contain a message from the animal

The closing contains the word sincerely followed by the letter-writers name. Also, in this letter, there is an extra line to identify the animal.


active learning
active learning

Dear/Deer Match-Up Game

Introducing homophones(words that are pronounced the same but mean different things) in your classroom. 

For this exercise, you will need to write out different homophone pair words on a small piece of card. Cut the card in half and assign each pupil in your class a word by sticking it on their back. 

Instruct your class that the game aims to find the pupil who matches the similar-sounding word they have on their back. They can do this by asking questions or giving each other clues etc.

active learning

Art Flashcards

When your class gets new spelling words to learn for the week why not make Art Flashcards to help them practice and retain new words.

Combining art in, on or around words stimulates the brain to help struggling spellers remember how to spell words. 

It is important to remind your class that they are not drawing a picture for each spelling word but rather the art must be incorporated into or around the spelling word.

For more work on Active Learning for Spelling check out our Spelling Blog

Emile Education & Active Learning

What is more engaging that playing computer games? Here is the secret: they are educational. With over 15% of British schools partaking in Learning with Emile, we can vouch that this unique app will engage and educate your students.

There are multiple games your students’ can take part in, including a multiplayer choice where the students’ can challenge their classmates. 

Emile gives students’ the opportunity to build on their skills and interests, this way of active learning has shown results in many schools – feel free to look at our case studies.

Learning with Emile also has an MTC option, you can find out more here. 

Emile doll Tottington
Emile doll Tottington

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