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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313. Friendly Functions | MsKMP

Just a quick resource share today!

I’ve been doing functions with my GCSE class as part of the new curriculum and I’ve gone down the algebra route. I could have started with graph drawing like the parallel class did, but I know my class – drawing and accuracy are not their forte. We made brilliant progress with substituting into functions and even composite functions went smoothly. I wasn’t happy with the textbook resources on manipulating functions so I put together a step by step resource, including a basic skills recap:

Manipulating functions (docx)

Manipulating functions (pdf)

I…

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312. Class Commentary | MsKMP

I don’t know about you, but going over higher level questions (eg A-Level) after a test can be a frustrating time. The students never seem to fully engage because they think they know it all – even though they do get things wrong! What if I could offer you a way to review the test and incorporate an understanding of exam board mark schemes?

Image credit: http://www.sri.com
Preparation
When you mark the test clearly indicate on the paper which questions students got fully correct.
Alternatively get your students to do this.
Set Up
List the question numbers on the board
Starting with the…

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311. Sales starter | MsKMP

Here is a neat little starter photograph (click on the image to enlarge) – get the mini whiteboards at the ready!

Possible questions
How much money could be saved with the different reductions?
What are the percentage discounts?
What is the price as a percentage of the original?
What is the exchange rate between pounds and euros (using the original prices)?
What would the sale prices be in Euros?

If you can’t read the data clearly, the prices are: £45, £30, £22.50, £13.50, 70 euros

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310. Menseki Meiro Area Maze | MsKMP

Menseki Meiro puzzle books crossed my Twitter feed a few months ago and I took the plunge.

Image Credit: Amazon.co.uk

The problem is I couldn’t find an English language version. The Japanese originals were expensive so I bought the Spanish version. I don’t speak Spanish so asked my Spanish first language student who said it wasn’t Spanish – she suspected it was in Catalan!

But back to the Menseki puzzles …

They are ingenious puzzles where you simply use your knowledge of the area of a rectangle to solve the problem. Click on the image to see the cover problem. Puzzle 1 was so…

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