322. Accessing Quadratics | MsKMP

If you teach in the UK and haven’t used the excellent Access Maths site, why not?

Seriously, you are missing out!

I’ve used and recommended to colleagues lots of the Access Maths resources. This is the latest worksheet I’ve downloaded (click on the image to link to the 9-1 GCSE resource page):
Image credit: http://ift.tt/2qJoRex

I used these pentagonal problems (I believe they are know in pedagogical circles as ‘Fox Diagrams’ – but you try Googling that term and not getting a page of pictures of foxes) with my GCSE class as a two part homework. The first homework was to do the outside…

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321. Patterns and sequences | MsKMP

Now what have a pair of roller skates got to do with number sequences? If you can guess before the reason, I’ll be surprised – it’ll mean there is more than one person as random as me!

Image Credit: No Fear adjustable quad skates/Amazon.co.uk

As you may have guessed from my earlier post 317. Pyramid Power I’m currently doing an Algebra unit on Number Sequences. I’ve changed the way I’ve taught this topic this year to incorporate a ‘Big Picture’ view as opposed to one lesson on drawing the next picture, the next on finding the Term to Term rule and finishing with a lesson on finding the…

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320. Pre-A level skills boost | MsKMP

This is the time of year when Year 11 begin the last minute frantic revision, complete their exams in a haze of hay fever and late nights and then have a well deserved extended Summer Holiday. Over that long summer, they will mature into sensible young adults who are ready to make those critical decisions which will impact their future career choices.

Hang on … this isn’t some idealised political pamphlet describing the leaders of tomorrow!

In reality, Year 12 stroll into the first A-Level lesson like over-confident Year 11s in their own clothes. Except in Year 11 they knew more Maths….

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319. Cunning codebreaker | MsKMP

Do you like a good codebreaker or crack the safe task? My first choice teacher for ideas is Alutwyche on TES Resources. Seriously, check out his amazing resources and follow him on Twitter (@andylutwyche).

Now the thing with ‘Crack the safe’ tasks is there will be a small group of students who everyone expects to win it. It doesn’t matter how long the code is, there can be an anti-climax when someone wins.

What if you could level the playing field or extend the challenge?

Introducing the ‘Lock out hasp’ – a common tool in the field of electrical safety. A very ingenious tool that you…

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316. What should I revise? | MsKMP

Hands up all those who have challenged an underperforming teenager and got any of the following replies:

“I’ll do it with my tutor”

“Why aren’t we revising <unrealistic topic>?”

“It’s okay, I’ve got a tutor”

“It doesn’t matter what I do in class, I’ll do it with X”

“I don’t need to revise fractions (even though they can’t do them)”

“My tutor says this work is too easy for me”

“I don’t want to revise solving equations, I can’t do them”

“I’ve been doing cosine rule with my tutor (not even on the tier they are doing)”

“I’ve never done this (yes, you have but you talked…

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314. Maths is a foreign language | MsKMP

If I had £1 for every time I heard ‘I don’t get it!’, I could probably buy a new (modestly sized) car. That phrase is banned in my classroom. What does ‘get’ mean? What is ‘it’? Did you actually read the question?

And there we have it: reading the question.

Today’s little life skill strategy can work for all levels of literacy – because you don’t need any! I’ve taught a lot of students who just shut down when they see wordy questions and don’t look at the big picture – literally. There can be a really obvious diagram and they will skip the question. They just don’t try!

Now as you may…

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