• Alex Box

How will you start maths class in 2021?

Updated: Jun 5, 2021

How to set up a positive learning culture that gets students excited about maths and the year ahead is something that I've been putting additional thought and time into in recent years.

There are plenty of great rich learning tasks at our fingertips once we know where to go. But in my experience, there is more to creating rich learning experiences for all students than simply having a good task.

One of the things that I love about Maths Teacher Circles is how they uniquely address various needs in the maths learning and teaching space. For me, these events help greatly to fill the void by...

  • ...creating a safe, warm and inclusive environment for teachers of all levels. I'm a formally maths-anxious primary teacher, so this is extremely important.

  • ...allowing me to step inside the shoes of students. Building my own knowledge, capacity and confidence in maths has helped me to become excited about learning maths - teacher attitudes that greatly influence the student experience.

  • ...emphasising the doing of maths problem-solving with tried and tested tasks. Gaining insights from others at MTCs has helped me to understand the breadth and depth of a given task, helping me to differentiate and embrace the various directions a task can take.

The Next Circle!

If you're already thinking about how to start the school year in January, or if you're in a part of the world with a different school calendar but are also preoccupied with how to get students excited about maths, this January Maths Teacher Circles event could be for you.

The next Maths Teacher Circle is scheduled for Wednesday 20 January, 10:00am-12:30pm (AEDT, UTC+11). The session will focus on games you can use with all students. Together we'll:

  • explore thought-provoking games to inspire students of all ages in maths class

  • discuss how to use these tried and tested tasks to quickly gather valuable diagnostic insights

  • examine what makes some games better than others for building mathematical thinking.

Theme: Building Mathematical Thinking With Games

Presenters include: James Russo (Monash University), Toby Russo (Bell Primary School) and Michaela Epstein (Maths Teacher Circles).

Secure a spot here

Free Lesson Plan!

In the meantime, Last to Zero is a game which Michaela shared at the virtual Circle in May. It was a hit! Like the other games we’ll be exploring in January, Last to Zero has a low floor and high ceiling with a good dose of mathematical intrigue. Here's the lesson plan - feel free to share it with friends and colleagues who also want to engage all their students in maths.

How are you planning to start maths classes in 2021?


For a steady stream of thought-provoking maths tasks and puzzle ideas, or to be in the loop about events generally, Maths Teacher Circles are on Twitter and Facebook. Or register for the mailing list here.

Since attending the very first Maths Teacher Circles event in January, Alex has joined the Maths Teacher Circles team and is currently working to share the joys of this initiative with the educational community.


If you’re looking for more ways to engaging all students in maths,

consider connecting with the Maths Teacher Circle community at one of our online events.

Check out already scheduled dates and topics here.

To get the latest tasks, tools, tips and event news delivered straight to your inbox,

sign up to the Maths Teacher Circles community.

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