Hi everyone,

I am a numeracy tutor in adult education teaching students who want to improve their basic numeracy skills. As my classes are mostly in the evenings, the students often arrived tired and stressed after a busy day at work or with their children. I find doing a short warm up activity helps to focus the students attention and gives a bit of energy to the group.

Does anyone have any suggestions for short activities that I could try? The students enjoy logic puzzles and 'brain training' tasks. The activities don't need to be mathematical, indeed I have found that creative tasks are really engaging, the students find them fun and they help to build the rapport within the group.

Many thanks


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Wow, this is a new site for me!

Thanks for the suggestion.:))


Hi Theresa,

It's tricky trying to engage students when their lesson is at night after a long day - I'm sure your energy helps to wake them up too, but this might help:
I had a brilliant English teacher who used to do Countdown as a warm up task - he would pick letters at random from a set he had (maybe you could find a random letter generator on your iPad?!) and give us 5 mins to make as many words as we could, and also the longest words we could find. He also did magic number squares, like sudoku I suppose, where the 9 square boxes had to add up to 9 when you added the numbers of 3 boxes together. He would put a couple of numbers in and leave it up to us to do the rest. You had to use as many different numbers as possible.

Hi Theresa,

Evening lessons I know can be hard having seen a couple of tough ones with studenst who clearly would have prefered to be elsewhere! One teacher I saw used a puzzle game which had lots of coloured pictures and images. Mainly missing parts, spot the difference, odd-one-out, questions did not require much written work. Some were humorous but all were quite easy so that students felt they were doing well. Not really set as a competition, all students wanted to know how they had done compared to the rest of the group.

It seemed to get the class much better engaged than the previous week when they were tight for time and working to finish an assigment they were clearly time pressured on with no chance for a fun type warm up.

Maybe classical music could help? I always listen to Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 when struggling with writing a paper after a long day. A lot of classical music is very bombastic and powerful, but at the same time soothing.




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