How to prepare students for maths challenges

If you’re a teacher it can be challenging to find time to prepare students for the UKMT Junior Maths Challenge alongside all of the other work you have to do with them. But there are lots of ways you can help them! depending how much time you have spare!

  1. Incorporate past UKMT Junior Maths Challenge questions into your ordinary lessons. Challenge questions are great for stretching your most able students – if you make your own worksheets you can add a few relevant challenge questions to the end, or have a few past papers printed out that students can try if they finish their main work in a lesson.
  2. Take your students to a computer room for a lesson (or a few lessons!) and let them try questions from the free Mathsaurus course ‘Get Ready for the Junior Maths Challenge’ – there are 125+ questions from recent UKMT Junior Maths Challenge papers, and each question has a video hint and solution. There are no ads or distractions in the course and the course player also works well on iPads or even on smartphones!
  3. E-mail students and parents a link to the course ‘Get Ready for the Junior Maths Challenge’ , or send them past JMC papers to try on their own at home. Many students and parents are enthusiastic about trying the challenges and if you send them a few links will end up doing a lot of work on their own. They will get ready for the challenges and improve their maths and your results with very little effort needed on your part.
  4. Set up a lunchtime or after school club or society. This is a great way to encourage students to work on UKMT Junior Maths Challenge problems together and schools that do this often see great results in the challenges! Of course it is extra work for you, so if you’re very busy perhaps ask your Head of Department or other manager if you can set this up in exchange for some of your other duties or activities. Perhaps you will find yourself enjoying spending extra time solving puzzles with your best students rather than supervising detention or the lunch queue!