Aaargh! Half year review and a formal observation both in one hit yesterday! I've been pretty stressed thinking about it, having people come in a judge you has been pretty detrimental to my sleep quality ha!
My mentor Mel @Just_Maths has just about kept me calm though and helped me through the past week! I've been very fortunate to take on such a lovely group for the past 5 weeks. I think it was quite a shock when the observer came in to see 31 year 7's all sitting in near silence working on one of the Just Maths Bread and Butter worksheets! Fab! Mumford and Sons on full wack on the sound system :-)
So yeah! Observation went great, Mel Rocks, and I am infact still alive! Just thought I'd share some of the resources I used incase anyone else has got this coming up :-)
Here are some match cards I used, I've made them so they can't be guessed as all the amounts are very similar, extra bit of challenge there and they can starts to spot the pattern between the percentage increase and the multiplier they need to use.
You can download the match cards here
Finished off with this worksheet which seemed to go down a storm with my year 7's! Had a few of them at the end saying "Yes! I've smashed it, what did you do?" and "I mastered it! YES!" which was awesome! :-) You can also dowload the answer sheet here.
OK! Been mega stressed the past week but managed to reign it all back in this weekend! Phew! Managed to make a few resources, one of them being these match cards, planning a consolidation lesson of area and perimeter of squares, rectangles, triangles and compound shapes. I've put together this set of match cards for my class to work on in pairs.
There are 9 main cards to match that are all fairly similar perimeters and areas, students will be able to cut them up themselves as all the answers are mixed up.
I'm thinking about creating an additional page of cards to add to the above set but for now I've added in an extension sheet. These extend students to start thinking about Pythagoras Theorem and using this additional skill to work out the missing length for the perimeter.
I've added in the stars so these can be given out to the students who fly through above questions. If anyone would like a copy without the stars I'll happily upload that on this link as an additional sheet you can just add in to the whole collection from the start.
You can download the area and perimeter match cards here
You can also find these on the Shape, Space and Measure resources page here.
So with the new curriculum under way, and being one of the first to be trained in the new curriculum. I find myself constantly on the quest for resources which can encompass this problem solving aspect while still not detracting from the core maths skill that I am trying to teach.
I am a bit of a sucker for resources as you may have noticed so I have been trying to combine both a strategy based problem solving type game and combining it with the core mathematical skills for that topic.
This also allowed me to get students to work in pairs to answer the desired question for the groups who found it more challenging. The students absolutely loved it, I did have a starter for 5 minutes playing the original squares game to avoid half the class giving me the 'I don't have a clue how to play this' look. Definitely worth it as they were off like rockets when I gave it out.
If you would like to download the squares game - factorise (1) then follow this link. Alternatively you can visit the algebra resources page here.
Let me know how it goes, it's always nice to hear that others are finding these things useful :-)
So here it is! Game number two 'Gold Lines'. In this game players battle it out to collect the most golden nuggets by inputting straight line equations!
I have made the game so that the game board randomly generate golden nuggets. This means that it can be played over and over with different scenarios.
Managed to get ahead of myself this week and finalise these worksheets that have been lying in my 'to finish' folder for quite a while! There are 9 basic multiplication practise sheets from 3-12 and have a range of 50 questions.
Couldn't stay away from the superhero theme I'm a little bit obsessed I think! Hope you find them useful! :-)
There's about another 30+ of these sitting in that same folder so if people are finding them useful then let me know and I'll try and get them finished asap!
Here's a link to all of the files that you can find on the numeracy resources page
Haven't really had much time to do an update recently!
Just about managed to create a few homeworks this week though. After finding and using the PRET homework sheets this year on http://prethomework.weebly.com hosted by @mathsjem and @DIRT_expert I decided I should try and make a contribution!
If you haven't already been using these homework sheets then head over and have a look. There are tonnes of fantastic homework's covering almost every topic.
I've added these few to the homework page, so that you can access these ones there if you like!
Algebra smash goes live! The first instalment in my interactive game series! The game is only a 10-15 minute game for students to play either at home or as a starter activity in a lesson. The game is based on basic algebra and adding terms up a brick wall or pyramid. The game builds up in difficulty.
There will be a few updates to this game coming such as some more time pressure in later rounds and also an arcade mode! So keep you eyes peeled!
You can play algebra smash here
The game is a simple drag and drop of boxes! Just don't make The Hulk angry! :-)
Spot the cookies! Literacy and attention Game
So here is a bit of a game I designed for one of my classes. I do have to say that this was put together very specifically for the individuals in this class, but turned out to be really successful across other classes in the end! The idea is to keep the students fixated on watching the board, and specifically during periods when I was modelling a lot of examples. I had a small group who were as fast as lightening to switch off once we started certain tasks, so I made this to liven them up during the lesson. It definitely worked with this class so hopefully someone else may find this useful! :-)
The idea is that throughout your powerpoint/notebook etc lesson you hide some cookies into the work or onto the worksheets, this does take about 5 minutes to do so probably not best to start hiding cookies onto every lesson. And as I said this was for a specific year 8 class so this won't be for everyone!
What the students also have to do is spot the keyword or keywords used in the lesson and tally them up. The aim then is to score 7 points for each cookie they find and 9 points every time the keywords are used. You can allocate the keywords at the start of the lesson, and then students can add up their totals at the end and see who wins!
Here's an idea of how you can hide one of the cookies in your lesson! I have also animated them as explained below. It's like 'Ultimate Where's Wally?'.
If you would like to download spot the cookies maths resource you can do so by following this link.
You can download the cookie image here, once entering it into slides etc. just click on format and set it to 'behind text' or click on 'send to back' to hide it behind objects. I also had then appear for a second on slides such as the learning objectives to really keep them on their toes! That way they never know when they might appear!
Here is a fantastic resource that I found on Miss B's Resources @missbsresources that I'm going to start using with some of my other classes, students have to choose three key words. Once these words have been selected the students have to calculate the value of each word and tally them up for some competition! This also gets students working with monetary amounts which I really like!
Happy teaching! Keep your eyes peeled for the next blog post I will be unveiling the first of my interactive maths games! :-)
So I am planning to teach transformations which I haven't had to look at for the past 6 years! Argh! Totally keeping my cool and everything (not!) And I couldn't think of an interesting way to look at the core skills needed when looking at translations and understanding how to interpret a vector.
I decided a game was necessary (because everything can be solved with a game ha!) So, I've come up with this game!
I've called it Vector Stars! Basically it's a two player game, and players have to move around the game board collecting points by inputting their vector translations and collecting the appropriate stars. Each different coloured star has a different amount of points allocated to it, and students can gain bonus points by collecting three stars of the same colour (tried to get some strategy in there, or should I say problem solving?).
Any way I hope you find it useful, I'll be using it at the end of this week :-)
Let me know if you use it and have any ideas for a sequel/extension or any tweaks once it's been tested. I may update it after it's been used at the end of the week.
Hope your enjoying the maths resources! I'm having tonnes of fun creating them :-)
You can download this maths resource here
The vector translations game can be downloaded here or you can find it via the maths resources page under shape, space and measure here
Following on from my previous blog post I thought I would talk about something else that was an integral part of my teaching in 2014. And this really was something that I just stumbled upon while doing my research into motivation during the first term. And this is growth mindset.
Motivating pupils to be willingly interested during lessons is one of the most significant aspects of mathematics teaching. It is a critical feature of the Department for Educations Teaching Standards; successful and effective teachers should be able to differentiate and motivate the less attentive students as well as those who are highly motivated.
One of the biggest influences on motivation within the classroom is the concept of growth mindset, Carol Dweck (2012) in her book Mindset said ‘A simple idea that makes all the difference. Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of education.’
Dweck describes growth mindset as a form of self-esteem, and having the courage and determination to address weaknesses. This is reinforced by John Hattie (2011), who proposes that teachers would have greater success if they addressed student’s low self-efficacy before trying to increase achievement. Dweck works with how to implement this by promoting a growth mindset in the classroom. This looks at the core internal processes that drive students to achieve and will play a crucial role in my research.
Matthew Syed (2011) said: ‘Where motivation is internalised, children tend to regard practice not as gruelling but as fun’.
In terms of using this in the classroom, some of the key ideas which I focussed on was the use of language, and in particular praising the process behind the work. Helping the pupils to internalise the process and become more reflective as a result. Using praise in the lesson such as:
“What process did you use with this task?”
“I like the way you’ve thought about this task”
“Could you think about this question in a different way?”
“The way you’ve approached this is excellent but now think about this…”
“I think that you are ready to teach this to a small group in the class now… how might you teach this?”
The use of this in the classroom undoubtedly had an incredibly positive impact, especially upon particular students who would be considered by Dweck to be within a 'fixed mindset'. This is something I will be pursuing long term throughout my practice and has sparked a real interest into the potential of growth mindset within the classroom.
I'd be really interested to hear some ideas from people as to how they have incorporated growth mindset strategies in their lessons!
You can purchase all of these books on amazon:
Dr Carol S. Dweck - Minset (Click to follow the link)
Matthew Syed - Bounce (Click to follow the link)
Barry Hymer & Mike Gershon - Growth Mindset Pocketbook
Here is a really interesting talk on TED by Dr Steve Peters around his book 'The Chimp Paradox' looking at the human mind. Dr Steve Peters is a Consultant Psychiatrist working full time in Elite Sport. His career began with teaching Mathematics and then moved on to Medicine. His specialist interest is in the working of the human mind and how it can reach optimum performance applied to all walks of life.
Here is a link to his book:
Prof Steve Peters - The Chimp Paradox (Click to follow the link)
1] Dr Carol S. Dweck (2012). Mindset, How You Can Fulfill Your Potential. London: Robinson. 213.
2] John Hattie (2011). Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning. USA: Routledge. P234-250.
3] Matthew Syed (2011). Bounce. London: Fourth Estate. 59.
4] Barry Hymer & Mike Gershon (2014). Growth Mindset Pocketbook. Hampshire: Teachhers' Pocketbooks. 62-125.
5] Prof Steve Peters (2012). The Chimp Paradox, The mind management programme for confidence, success and happiness. Vermillion
6] Video: Accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-KI1D5NPJs
Search for a topic