The Top 10 Free Maths Resources for Primary Teachers
The ultimate list of free Maths resources including worksheets, games, tools that all primary teachers should know about.
Keeping Maths lessons fresh and interesting is no easy task, given it's taught day in, day out – every day of the school year. Relying on the same resources week after week can get dull for teachers and pupils alike – and consequently affect enthusiasm for learning. That's why primary teachers are always on the lookout for fantastic, free resources which will help them teach Maths better, and in ways which will engage children.
To help, here (in no particular order) is our up-to-date countdown of the ten essential, free Maths resources all primary teachers should know about – but that you might not have heard of:
The 10 best free Maths resources for primary teachers in 2019
#1 MathsBot Starter Generator
Every primary teacher can find a use for this time-saver!
Ok, so there's a reasonable chance you've already come across this excellent resource, but we thought it was just too good to leave off our list! This time-saving tool is perfect for creating starter activities in seconds.
In a few clicks, you can generate a whole screen of Maths problems for children to attempt alone or in pairs as they arrive at the start of a lesson.
We love it because it saves teachers time without compromising on the quality of learning.
#2 Wolfram Alpha
The ultimate 'Maths search engine', and calculator for just about anything!
Using Wolfram Alpha to find the place values of a four-digit number; the results are represented in a variety of ways – ideal for younger pupils.
This extraordinarily powerful tool is a total hidden gem: at first glance, its purpose and functions aren't immediately clear – but it's worth taking the time to explore its incredibly useful features.
Wolfram Alpha is like Google for Maths-specific searches and queries. Type in a mathematical question (using the right search terms), and it will compute and display answers, represented in a variety of ways. The mathematical representations Wolfram Alpha presents are ideal for primary teachers.
A word of warning: Wolfram Alpha's features include many that you are unlikely to ever need in a primary classroom. We think that teachers with some time to explore its features will find fantastic ways to use it in their Maths lessons, but if you're looking for a way to start using Wolfram Alpha in your class straight away, check out its Examples for Elementary Math.
#3 Mr Barton Maths
Amazing advice, puzzles and resources from the popular Maths podcaster
A small selection of the resource areas for teachers found on Mr Barton's website.
There can't be many teachers who haven't encountered Craig Barton's extensive output somewhere, whether on Twitter, listening to his popular podcast or having read his book, How I Wish I'd Taught Maths. But have you taken a look at the extensive Maths information and resources for teachers on his website?
As well as an entertaining and regularly updated blog, there's a huge collection of links to other handy Maths websites and online tools – all organised into topics as you can see in the screenshot above.
If you're ever feeling devoid of inspiration when sitting down to plan a Maths lesson, Mr Barton Maths is well worth a look.
#4 PlanBee Maths FreeBees
Tons of free, attractive, time-saving classroom resources for every Maths topic in KS1 and KS2
It's easy to find exactly what you're looking for in PlanBee's Maths FreeBees collection: every resource can be filtered by age range, Maths topic and resource type.
We couldn't write this top ten list without mentioning our collection of free Maths resources, now could we?! PlanBee Maths FreeBees are ideal for supporting learning about any of the topics in the Primary National Curriculum programmes of study for Mathematics.
You'll find a range of Maths posters and display resources here, as well as printable table mats with Maths vocabulary, fun time-filler puzzles and a range of resources for helping children practise and consolidate the Maths skills they're currently learning.
If you teach to meet the National Curriculum objectives for Maths in your school, PlanBee has editable Maths assessment grids for each year group, with space to record grades or whatever indicators of progress you prefer to use.
#5 MathsPad Constructions Tool
A simple, easy to use tool for making and measuring 2-D shapes on your board
Although it has just a few simple tools, the MathsPad Constructions Tool is ideal for quickly making and measuring shapes and angles on an interactive whiteboard.
At first glance, it might seem like there's not much to the MathsPad Constructions Tool. However, we'd recommend you load this up on your interactive whiteboard and play around with it for a few minutes. You'll quickly see why we've put it on this list. The MathsPad Constructions Tool is incredibly easy for teachers and younger pupils to manipulate on an interactive whiteboard or display.
The simple tools are better than those found in some interactive whiteboard software: all of the tools 'snap' nicely to the corners of shapes you make, and the ruler and protractor are easy to use, even on a badly calibrated interactive whiteboard or display. Give it a go and see for yourself!
#6 Greg Tang Math Word Problems Generator
Great for quickly generating simple word problems when you're lacking inspiration
It doesn't get much simpler and easier to use than this! The Greg Tang Math Word Problems Generator quickly produces one, or a list, of simple Maths problems.
This is another incredibly simple but invaluable tool for the tired, overworked primary teacher! Here at PlanBee, we've written hundreds of word problems for our primary Maths planning and resources, and we've found out the hard way just how difficult it can be to create them at the end of a long day.
When you need some simple word problems quickly, the Greg Tang Math Word Problems Generator is ideal. Now, you're not going to get the most exciting and varied word problems you've ever seen (if you're after some curious and challenging word problems for Year 6, check out these lesson planning packs) – but sometimes we all need to rely on a resource that takes the effort out of planning, don't we?
#7 Herts for Learning Maths Blog
News, CPD and interesting Maths problems for use in-class
The Herts for Learning Maths Blog is regularly updated with varied and interesting articles, all about teaching Maths better.
The Herts for Learning Blog is vast, so its Maths section is pretty extensive and packed with interesting articles for EYFS and primary teachers.
As well as interesting articles about research and analysis about teaching and learning mathematics, the Herts for Learning Maths Blog has some great articles for helping teachers improve how they teach Maths in class. There are even ideas for use with children, too.
The variety of articles is what makes this online resource so useful for Maths teachers. If you ever find yourself with a few moments to spare on professional reading, this blog is an ideal resource to dive into.
#8 The NCETM Newsletter
Maths articles, advice and resources in your inbox
Sign up at https://www.ncetm.org.uk/
There is SO much information on the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics website, which is why it's handy to receive an email roundup of all the latest articles.
Likely, most primary teachers will already be familiar with the website for the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM). It's an invaluable source of research and information about how children learn maths, and how to teach it effectively, too. But how many of you receive its email newsletter?
I remember how easy it was, when I was teaching, to forgo spending time on my professional reading and development when there were so many other vital jobs to get done. This pressure all teachers experience is unlikely to change any time soon, but that's why it's great to receive a succinct monthly round-up of the latest articles and resources for Maths teachers on the NCETM website.
Receiving a regular email is a helpful reminder of the value of spending a bit of time now and again on professional reading. This newsletter makes it easy, too – I just pick an article that interests me and take ten minutes to read and think about it.
Make and manipulate 3-D models
While certainly not its original intended use, Tinkercad is ideal for exploring the properties of 3-D shapes—and how 3-D shapes are constructed—with your class.
You may already have heard of Tinkercad, or used it in a DT/Computing lesson – and at first it might not seem like an obvious choice of tool for use in a Maths lesson. But actually, Tinkercad is incredibly useful for exploring the properties of 3-D shapes.
With Tinkercad's tools, it's easy to construct and transform 3-D polygons, spheres and cylinders – as well as view them from any angle. It's easy to combine shapes and create voids within solids, too.
These abilities make it absolutely ideal for cross-curricular learning in KS2, when children need greater challenge when learning about the properties of shapes.
#10 Gary Hall's Maths Resources
Practical, helpful information advice, easily applied in-class
Gary Hall's regular articles are focussed on improving every day Maths teaching and learning.
While we find the detailed research and analysis of articles on sites such as the NCETM's very informative, Gary Hall's website is absolutely ideal if you're looking for information you can apply directly to Maths teaching and learning in your school.
As well as advice about how to teach mathematical concepts, there's a wealth of information about how children's mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding develop and excellent overviews of conditions such as dyscalculia and how they can affect Maths learning in class.
We particularly like the ideas for each primary Maths National Curriculum objective – it works similarly to our own Maths National Curriculum objective resource finder!
PlanBee Free Maths Lessons
Our very own collection of completely free, fully-resourced and ready to teach Maths lessons. We want to give teachers a taste of what's in store when you buy a Maths scheme of work (or complete primary Maths curriculum) from us, which is why we made some free lesson planning packs which you can try with your class.
Maths on Toast
The Maths charity has some really interesting articles not only about their work but about some nice Maths activity ideas, too. Elsewhere on the site you'll find some great Maths activity ideas for younger pupils in KS1, too.