Monthly Archives: April 2013

Venturing into the world of video.

So, I am a HUGE fan of this post and think the idea of ‘forgetting curve homeworks’ are absolutely fantastic.

I am in the process of creating a series of ‘forgetting homeworks’ for Year 7 to use next year, and I have the beginnings of something here. I wanted to group specific types of questions together and include links to videos so that if students can’t remember what to do, they can have a look at the video to remind themselves. The videos used were taken from the fantastic http://www.mathsmaster.org/. However, while the videos are brilliant for learning topics, they are probably slightly too long and thorough for just a quick ‘memory-jog’ and also the collection is, as yet, limited to certain topics.

So, tonight I ventured into creating my own video – just a quick recap of what to do if you are stuck. I used an ipad app called ‘Explain Everything’ and was really impressed with it! The result is here.

Thoughts, as always, are very welcome but please bear in mind that this project is in its very early stages!

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To omit, or not to omit…

I was thinking about the IGCSE the other day – I have gone from teaching GCSE, to IGCSE, back to GCSE and now to IGCSE again and I still find myself having to check the list to see what topics are included/not included on IGCSE.

I’m a bit bemused as to why certain topics were omitted/included to be honest.

New topics:

  • Sets, Functions, Calculus – these are the big ones and I can see why as all are relevant for A-level.
  • Intersecting Chords Theorem I feel doesn’t bring much, but it’s only a minor topic so I’m willing to let it go.

But excluded topics include:

  • Exponential graphs/functions
  • COMPLETING THE SQUARE??
  • Gradients of perpendicular lines
  • Transformations of graphs
  • Equation of a circle
  • Trigonometry graphs
  • Scatter graphs, line of best fit, correlation
  • Box plot, stem and leaf

I just don’t know what I think about it to be honest. There is one I strongly disagree with (you may have noticed which one that is…) as I think it’s such a key part of understanding quadratics. But then I suppose if you do completing the square, you should also do graph transformations to get the best out of it. It’s such a key ability at A-level though!

I’m a supporter of IGCSE in general as I think it does stretch the top end more with more problem-solving, but I wish they had kept completing the square! I know you can’t include everything, but what would you omit/include?

 

 

Making sense of it all…

Well, it’s only been a week since my first blog, and in that time I have been amazed by the volume of resources and ideas available on twitter and on various blogs. I am so inspired, but inevitably I’m at the wrong point in the year to use some of the amazing resources I have found. So I know it’s vital for me to collate and organise everything I’ve found and want to use, and link it all in with the scheme of work so that next year I know exactly what to use and when. That’s massive task number 1 then.

The second massive task I want to undertake is inspired by this post http://www.greatmathsteachingideas.com/2013/01/20/no-more-forgetting-what-they-learned-yesterday-forgetting-curve-homeworks/

Forgetting curve homeworks? What a fantastic idea. We set two homeworks a week per class and I would love one of those homeworks each week to be a forgetting curve homework. Trouble is, that involves writing about 30 homeworks per year group. And should they be differentiated? Or just aimed in the middle? Or have 10 basic questions, 10 middling questions and a few advanced *bonus* questions at the end? I guess it’s best to trial it next year, maybe with Year 7 & 8 and see how it goes.

Hopefully I will find some time towards the second half of this term when exam classes are gone (though I always think that and it never happens!) because I really do want to make the best of everything out there and start next year with a real bang.

The future of education?

So, I’ll admit to being sort of new to this whole blogging idea, but recently I have been converted to twitter and this just seems to be an extension of that (with unlimited characters!)

My first foray into twitter as a tool for teaching came with participation in #PiDayLive, which was initially only undertaken as a filler activity because half the class was away playing lacrosse, but it was a great success! The kids loved being part of the crowdsourced value of pi, and it got me thinking…

I’m beginning to discover just how many Maths teachers there are out there who tweet or blog all about good lessons they’ve had, good resources they’ve used… Sharing resources within a department of 12 is all well and good, but there are so many more ideas out there!

Hopefully, I can use this blog to get to know some fellow teachers, highlight some of the excellent ideas people have had, and maybe…just maybe…I might come up with an original idea or two myself!