reproduced by kind permission L Bianchi (from http://galliera.it/neonati/nido-virtuale)
This week I had the strange pleasure of having both the least and most popular members of staff in my GCSE class.
The most popular is of course, the new student teacher who is being feted by several members of the maths department. The least was the official observer because it’s that time of year again...your graded observation! Guaranteed for several sleepless nights and a week’s worth of stress.
I trialled the 5 minute lesson plan for a session on reverse percentages. Although difficult to make it exciting, I used an email sent by an ex-student asking why she couldn’t figure out a reverse percentage on a payroll. I got the students to write a reply pointing out her mistake and was graded ‘Good’. Resources below.
A colleague and I are trialling a flipped learning project. Instead of giving traditional homework, the students do some preparatory study in advance via the internet. This year our college is entering all GCSE maths students for the Higher tier. However there is not enough room in the syllabus to teach everything possible to students who traditionally would be aiming for a C grade at best. This is where flipped learning comes in. In theory students do the simpler, ground work at home, then teachers concentrate on extending the group with the grade A*-B topics in class. http://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom/
Just got back from the annual MEI conference in Keele. Managed to attend about a dozen sessions. The best workshops were those that were interactive and made us work hard! It was disappointing that a few presenters just whizzed through a powerpoint. You can download the notes from previous conferences here.
All I have to do now is type up the 2013 conference notes and demonstrate some activities for grateful colleagues..or maybe I can get away with just a powerpoint?...Bliss...
I have just been reading a very interesting blog on the Bsix website. The principal regards as dishonest, the asking of high grades to gain entry to A-level courses: "selection in this way is dishonest and quality of teaching is shirked...the interests of young people get overlooked...all under the banner of 'choice'. It is more rewarding to work with a varied range of young people...we just have to do things differently and offer more varied support."
Though he fails to mention what kind of support is actually offered to his struggling students, the good doctor makes an excellent point. However, in my experience, colleges can have limited resources and can offer little more to weak pupils except a terse - 'must try harder'. It is miserable for students in the classroom who are clearly struggling - it can be just as demoralising for the instructor to teach students who are are not going to achieve.
Our college had the pleasure of hosting Rob Eastaway recently who delighted our cohort of students with card tricks and then showed how magicians like Derren Brown perform their illusions and the real maths that lies behind them. I managed not only to forget to bring all my books to be signed but had to leave suddenly to enjoy a pleasant afternoon at King's dental hospital.
"With regret...you're fired!" Tonight's Apprentice had lots of opportunities for introducing ratio when the 2 teams had to create a new beer. Evolve's inept calculations led to 2 barrels of beer being poured down the drain, because of an incorrect proportion of alcohol.. Or to paraphrase Surralan.."you couldn't organise a drink in a pub"..
If you are interested in the history of measurement then Warwick Cairns' book - About the Size of it - is excellent. This short video clip gives a balanced view of the pros and cons of each measuring system. I regularly use it to introduce lessons on metric to imperial conversions:
Socrative is a free online voting system like Qwizdom but without the handsets - students need smartphone or better still -access to a computer - they do not need to register but you do - it only takes a minute (girl)..you'll be issued with your unique room number.
I've been using multiple choice quizzes with my groups recently - more successfully in a computer room as accessing college wi-fi takes ages.
Please feel free to check out my quizzes - for F tier - you need to go to 'manage quizzes' at the main teacher's screen, then 'import quizzes' - then 'save' (at the bottom of the screen)
soc-1018488 (angle facts)
soc-991985 (metric and imperial facts)
you can get an email report sent quite easily (see attached example) which gives you a breakdown of scores - and that's your tracking sheet for the activity
This week I have been using Prezi (http://prezi.com/index/) for the first time in order to make a presentation for a tutorial.
I love the way it can integrate different types of media seamlessly and how you can zoom in continuously to a point. Almost like a fractal..I can see the benefits of using it as a revision tool for my students and am investigating how I can use it front of class.
thank you for browsing my site now go and check out something more useful like the following:
can I claim my prize, Rita?