The Inverse Department Reducing Workload Improving Consistency

Written by Jason Steele, Luke Modiri Saturday, 08 June 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

La Salle Education will be hosting @LaSalleEd MathsConf19 #MathsConf19 on Saturday 22nd June 2019, tickets still available.


#MathsConf19

'The Inverse Department: Reducing Workload, Improving Consistency’ ' is a blog preview of Jason Steele and Luke Modiri's #MathsConf19 session/workshop being run at #MathsConf19.


Have you ever picked up a class in September, began a topic and heard the phrase - "we were shown this differently last year"? Are you part of a department where ten Y8 classes will be learning about fractions, where ten different lessons are planned and delivered? Does the ITT/NQT/Non-Specialist in your department know as much about the misconceptions coming up in angles in parallel lines as the teacher who is 3 years away from retirement? The numbers don't lie: more and more teachers are leaving the profession and often it is down to the stress and the workload required to do the job. In this workshop we will look at the ways in which a department can share planning and teaching methods to help deliver consistent lessons whilst reducing the amount you plan as an individual teacher. We will demonstrate a way to share ideas to decide on a curriculum, the lesson content and the consistent methods used when delivering certain topics. We will also discuss the idea of marking policies and how we haven't marked a book all year! This is for anybody who teaches maths in secondary schools across any key stage and we will discuss methods from KS3 up to and including KS5.


You can see Jason Steele and Luke Modiri speak about "The Inverse Department: Reducing Workload" during #MathsConf19 at the Penistone Grammar School on Saturday 22nd June

Don't forget in July we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

Similarity Clay Tablets Trigonometry and Pyramids

Written by Dan Draper Friday, 07 June 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

La Salle Education will be hosting @LaSalleEd MathsConf19 #MathsConf19 on Saturday 22nd June 2019, tickets still available.


#MathsConf19

'Similarity: Clay Tablets, Trigonometry and Pyramids’ ' is a blog preview of Dan Draper's #MathsConf19 session/workshop being run at #MathsConf19.


Proportional reasoning is integral to lots of concepts in number, but are we making the most of this in our geometry teaching? Similarity can often feel like a dry add-on and separate from a lot of the more challenging maths that it underpins; but not only is similarity one of the most powerful concepts in geometry, it’s also one of the most interesting! This session will take you through an introduction to trigonometry by looking at similar triangles and ratios, building on learners’ capacity for proportional reasoning as well as helping you bring the history of maths into your curriculum offer. Beginning with demonstrating different approaches to assessing pupils’ prior knowledge and potential misconceptions of similarity, this session will then look to ancient examples of mathematics with practical ideas and resources to implement in lessons.

Some further thoughts from Dan:

Proportionality. A threshold concept when thinking about number, but how much do we utilise this when teaching shape and space? How many pupils are confident that trigonometric ratios are in fact ratios? How do we anchor trigonometry in something tangible and real without discussing trivial contexts like ladders up walls?

In this session we’ll be looking at how the order in which we present questions as teachers provides a narrative for students, and how we can structure the maths we’re presenting to link concepts in maths together in a deep and robust way, but also to expose maths for what it really is: a human endeavour with a rich history of ideas.

In the first part of the session, delegates will categorise and order a series of questions to assess students prior understanding and discuss some thorny questions from students about seemingly simple definitions.

Following this, we’ll go through introducing trigonometry through similar triangles using historical examples of ancient pyramids, and unravelling cuneiform tablets and their place value systems, looking at angles not as a measure of turn against a scale, but as the measure of a turn created when two sides of a right-angled triangle are in a given ratio.

We’ll be look at some of the history of maths, discover some of the stories surrounding the evidence we have for these approaches and try some ancient mathematics ourselves. This session is designed to be a whistle-stop tour through lots of ideas as a starting point for delegates reflections going forward, and all resources will be shared for attendees to use in their schools after the session. I’m always on the lookout for feedback and suggestions for different approaches too.

This session aims to give practitioners time to reflect and discuss a notorious topic for pupils’ conceptual understanding, while giving a concrete example of how to use the history of maths to make the curriculum less relevant to pupils daily lives, but to share with them key developments in the history of civilisation.


You can see Dan Draper speak about "Similarity: Clay Tablets, Trigonometry and Pyramids" during #MathsConf19 at the Penistone Grammar School on Saturday 22nd June

Don't forget in July we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

Exploring Large Data Sets with Desmos and Geogebra

Thursday, 06 June 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

La Salle Education will be hosting @LaSalleEd MathsConf19 #MathsConf19 on Saturday 22nd June 2019, tickets still available.


#MathsConf19

'Exploring Large Data Sets with Desmos and Geogebra’ ' is a blog preview of Tom Bennison and Ed Hall's #MathsConf19 session/workshop being run at #MathsConf19.


In this workshop we shall explore how to use the new statistics functions in Desmos with a variety of data sets. We will share a Desmos activity that is Statistics (A-Level) based. We will also use Geogebra for some statistical analysis. Both Desmos and Geogebra are free to use, and are likely in use in other areas of the A-Level curriculum. Please bring either a laptop or tablet to the workshop.


You can see Tom Bennison and Ed Hall speak about "Exploring Large Data Sets with Desmos and Geogebra" during #MathsConf19 at the Penistone Grammar School on Saturday 22nd June

Don't forget in July we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

Crafting and Sequencing Powerful Examples – One exemplification of Variation Theory

Written by Naveen F Rizvi Wednesday, 05 June 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

La Salle Education will be hosting @LaSalleEd MathsConf19 #MathsConf19 on Saturday 22nd June 2019, tickets still available.


#MathsConf19

'Crafting and Sequencing Powerful Examples – One exemplification of Variation Theory’ ' is a blog preview of Naveen Rizvi's #MathsConf19 session/workshop being run at #MathsConf19.


This is an interactive workshop where attendees will be given the opportunity to create and sequence a series of powerful examples and AfL questions for the topic of fractions (KS3, KS4 and KS5 examples). Model examples will be given from United Learning’s Cohesive Mathematics Curriculum. One of the most powerful and sustainable improvements of teacher quality can be achieved through using powerful examples and Afl questions for pupils to master the concept being communicated. I will go through the process of creating worked examples that all pupils, especially the weakest, to go from the simplest to the most complex application in the fewest number of examples. This workshop intended to provide an exemplification of effective teaching practice. Furthermore, it will be structured to be beneficial to teachers of varying degrees of experience.We know that there is increased content for maths in new science GCSE, but what about PE, DT, geography?


You can see Naveen Rizvi speak about "Crafting and Sequencing Powerful Examples – One exemplification of Variation Theory" during #MathsConf19 at the Penistone Grammar School on Saturday 22nd June

Don't forget in July we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

Manipulatives Double Sided Counters

Written by Jonathan Hall Tuesday, 04 June 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

La Salle Education will be hosting @LaSalleEd MathsConf19 #MathsConf19 on Saturday 22nd June 2019, tickets still available.


#MathsConf19

'Manipulatives: Double Sided Counters’ ' is a blog preview of Jonathan Hall's #MathsConf19 session/workshop being run at #MathsConf19.


Double sided counters are an incredibly versatile manipulative, which is great as they are also one of the cheapest! In this workshop your will learn how to start getting the most out of this powerful manipulative, with tried and tested ‘low floor, high ceiling’ activities to use in the classroom, covering topics such as number, algebra, proof and probability.

Some further thoughts from Jonny:

Double Sided Counters

In this practical workshop we will look at one of the cheapest, readily available and versatile manipulatives - double sided counters.

The physical counters will be available for you to use during the session, but, as luck would have it, I’ve just updated my online version here - if you fancy going ‘high-tech’!

The session will begin with a demonstration of the power of manipulatives when faced with what appears to be a fairly challenging question. Through the use of the counters, the problem is rendered almost trivial. Visual representations of common multiples and prime numbers will appear throughout the solution of the problem and will help students make sense of these ideas.

We will then take a brief detour into sequences, in particular quadratics, and show how again, the counters can help make the link between visual and abstract representations of a problem.

Next up is the idea of zero pairs or additive inverses and, without sounding too dramatic, how this fundamental axiom of mathematics has totally changed my teaching of number and algebra.

A double-sided counter workshop would not be complete without some element of proof thrown in. I’ll be challenging you to create ‘visual proofs’ of various mathematical statements and make the link with the more formal algebraic proofs.

Onto probability, and we’ll start with the weird phenomenon of Simpon’s paradox, which still baffles me every time I see it. We will then look at more practical uses such as tree diagrams and conditional probability and a Mr Barton favourite - Venn diagrams.

Finally, we will wrap up the session with a quick look at some other, perhaps more mundane, but equally powerful uses for the counters in the classroom. I hope to make you leave this session wondering how you ever lived without this wonderful manipulative!



Double Sided Counters

You can see Jonathan Hall speak about "Manipulatives: Double Sided Counters" during #MathsConf19 at the Penistone Grammar School on Saturday 22nd June

Don't forget in July we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

Literacy in Mathematics

Written by Jo Locke Monday, 03 June 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

La Salle Education will be hosting @LaSalleEd MathsConf19 #MathsConf19 on Saturday 22nd June 2019, tickets still available.


#MathsConf19

'Literacy in Mathematics’ ' is a blog preview of Jo Locke's #MathsConf19 session/workshop being run at #MathsConf19.


Literacy is becoming increasingly more important within the mathematics curriculum. The idea of this workshop is to suggest ideas and resources to help make literacy more engaging, useful and relevant in the mathematics classroom as well as exploring and developing the use of Frayer models to support with this. Do you know your minuend from your vinculum? Do you suffer from triskaidekaphobia? Come along and find out - and hopefully have some fun along the way!


You can see Jo Locke speak about "Literacy in Mathematics" during #MathsConf19 at the Penistone Grammar School on Saturday 22nd June

Don't forget in July we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

GCSE 2019 – How was it for you

Written by Andrew Taylor Sunday, 02 June 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

La Salle Education will be hosting @LaSalleEd MathsConf19 #MathsConf19 on Saturday 22nd June 2019, tickets still available.


#MathsConf19

'GCSE 2019 – How was it for you?’ ' is a blog preview of Andrew Taylor's #MathsConf19 session/workshop being run at #MathsConf19.


We’ll be digging into this summer’s GCSE papers. I’ll cover how they were received by students and teachers. We’ll also see how well they met the design principles and requirements of the GCSE now that we’re in the third year of the new papers. You’ll get to say what you liked (and didn’t) about the papers and contribute to how question papers may continue to improve. I’ll also reflect on the first three years of the reformed GCSE, looking at what has really changed in mathematics teaching and assessment, to address the question ‘Is the mathematical ability of young people better now than it was five years ago?’ This workshop intended to provide an exemplification of effective teaching practice. Furthermore, it will be structured to be beneficial to teachers of varying degrees of experience.

Some further thoughts from Andrew Taylor:

The reformed 9-1 maths GCSE has been the main focus of my professional life for the last six years though sometimes it feels like a lot longer. In this third year of the qualification, it feels like the right time to reflect on a couple of things.

• Firstly, how have we as an exam board kept to the design principles that we established and discussed with teachers when the new GCSE’s were accredited by Ofqual back in 2014?

• Secondly, where can we start to look for evidence that the reformed GCSE, and the changes in teaching that it may have been a catalyst for, has met the government’s aims to raise the mathematical health of the country?

So, I’m going to start by looking at this summer’s papers and looking at questions that, I think, demonstrate our continuing and consistent approach to assessment. I’ll also be looking for the thoughts of teachers on this summer’s exams, whatever board you use.

Then I’m going to look back five years and consider where we might look for a measurable difference in mathematics standards (dangerous word) then and now. I’ll also discuss what is happening nationally to address that question.


You can see Andrew Taylor speak about "GCSE 2019 – How was it for you?" during #MathsConf19 at the Penistone Grammar School on Saturday 22nd June

Don't forget in July we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

What Maths is needed for the other GCSE's

Written by David Faram Saturday, 01 June 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

La Salle Education will be hosting @LaSalleEd MathsConf19 #MathsConf19 on Saturday 22nd June 2019, tickets still available.


#MathsConf19

'What Maths is needed for the other GCSE's’ ' is a blog preview of David Faram's #MathsConf19 session/workshop being run at #MathsConf19.


We know that there is increased content for maths in new science GCSE, but what about PE, DT, geography?

What Maths is needed for other GCSE's

With the new GCSE in place throughout the curriculum it seems a suitable time to reflect on the new content with regards to maths across the other subjects. Alongside my colleagues I have been looking at the maths that is required. It is probably widely known that the new GCSE science curriculum, especially physics , has a greater reliance on maths than before, but how might students outputs in maths be enhanced or hindered by the differences in language used to ask similar questions; the opportunity to get additional practice, and dare I say interleaving: by looking at schemes of work to ensure that the students are taught the maths correctly first time as opposed to, perhaps misconceptions being introduced or “tricks” that may hinder development of generalisable maths concepts.

It maybe that teachers of other subjects may teach the way they were taught and that a greater awareness of different approaches that students use will give them the confidence to accept other methods and not try and override that if not broken do not try and fix.

During this sessions I will look at the maths in Science (various applications), PE (percentages, ratio, speed, DT (ratio, area, pythagoras’ theorem , even trig?), Business Studies (percentages, two way tables), Geography (statistical diagrams) and maybe touch on Computer science (different number bases), Music (fractions) and even art (tessellations), with hopefully some ideas that will help all work cleverer rather than harder, whilst improving the outcomes of students and maybe help students to begin to see the links between their maths in the maths classroom and that outside.


You can see David Faram speak about "What Maths is needed for the other GCSE's" during #MathsConf19 at the Penistone Grammar School on Saturday 22nd June

Don't forget in July we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

Problem Solving using Web Resources

Written by Douglas Butler Friday, 31 May 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

La Salle Education will be hosting @LaSalleEd MathsConf19 #MathsConf19 on Saturday 22nd June 2019, tickets still available.


#MathsConf19

'Problem Solving using Web Resources’ ' is a blog preview of Douglas Butler's #MathsConf19 session/workshop being run at #MathsConf19.


The web is heaving with data, images, and information from all over the globe. Douglas brings his renouned talk to Penistone, and will show where to find the most relevant information that sets off any mathematically curious mind.
This includes a rich source of links to Excel-ready large data, and how best to analyse them, and images (including some from Google Earth) ready for analysis in dynamic software.
All attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the exciting new Autograph 4.

www.tsm-resources.com

Douglas Butler will no doubt give exhilarating I.T. workshop at #MathsConf19


You can see Douglas Butler speak about "Problem Solving using Web Resources" during #MathsConf19 at the Penistone Grammar School on Saturday 22nd June

Don't forget in July we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

Dynamic Example Questions from Complete Mathematics

Written by Tom Valsler Monday, 20 May 2019

Just over a month ago we released a blog describing our work on a dynamic worksheet generation tool. This was our first experiment in dynamically generated content. Today we announce our next experiment, dynamically generated example questions. Below are the first few questions we have created, available to all for a short time.

Try it for yourself - simply click the DYNAMIC button to create a new version of the question. Worked solutions can be viewed by opening the section beneath the question. The questions can also be viewed in full screen by clicking the expand icon.

Complete Mathematics members will be familiar with the example questions that appear on our online platform, but for non-members here is a summary of what they are, and what they are for.

Example questions, along with a wealth of other support materials, are available to a teacher once they have chosen the particular objective(s) for their lesson from the Complete Mathematics curriculum. The example questions come in three varieties: ‘Typical’, ‘Hard’ and ‘Probing’. ‘Typical’ questions are designed to offer some guidance to the teacher on the sort of questions their pupils should be expected to answer. ‘Hard’ questions build on the ‘Typical’ questions and provide more of a challenge to the pupils. Finally ‘Probing’ questions provide the teacher with questions that may challenge their pupil’s preconceptions and are intended to broaden the pupil’s knowledge.

We have found that, as well as using these questions for guidance and to inform their planning, teachers are also using them in front of the class as a teacher led activity. It is for this use case that making these example questions dynamic is an especially attractive proposition. Teachers will be able to walk through a question with the class, with help from the worked solution, then click ‘Regenerate’, and immediately have another version for the pupils to attempt on their own.

Further to this, example questions are also used on the pupil side of Complete Mathematics after the completion of a quiz. Pupils are provided with a page to analyse their performance, as part of this process they are shown similar questions to the quiz questions they have answered (particularly useful for incorrectly answered questions). This provides another brilliant opportunity to put dynamic example questions to use, with pupils able to generate as many further practice questions (and worked solutions) as they want. This gives pupils an even greater opportunity to independently fill the gaps in their learning.

The goal of these experiments on dynamically generated content is to lay the groundwork for making Complete Mathematics an even closer mapping of the mastery cycle. If we can use computing power to make the loops of the cycle more efficient it frees up teachers to spend more time planning and teaching brilliant, insightful lessons. But it is no good when creating a quiz or worksheet if the generation of questions is not intelligent or when generating example questions we don’t also provide responsive worked solutions. Our goal is to produce content that is as good as the teacher would have produced if they had the time (or pretty close to it!).

So what’s next? As well as continuing to populate Complete Mathematics with more dynamic example questions and more dynamic worksheets we will be adding new functionality to allow users to input (and check) their answers. This will make these questions much more powerful, whether they are used in a worksheet for homework, at the front of the class, or in a quiz.


If you are not a Complete Mathematics member, and you want to find out more, you can sign up for a free school visit or online demonstration here.

Dynamic Worksheet Generation from Complete Mathematics

Written by Chris McGrane Tuesday, 02 April 2019

Today we launch a new feature to be added to Complete Mathematics: our Dynamic Worksheet Generation tool. This initial launch is focused on the creation of worksheets for the factorisation of quadratics. We have created a tool which captures some of the ‘teacher logic’ inherent in worksheet design and have incorporated intelligent variation and sequencing in the questions generated.

The worksheet generator can produce worksheets with questions which come in a sensible teaching order for this topic. Intelligent variation sequences, are periodically included at appropriate places in the worksheets. These sequences of questions help pupils to attend to the key variants and invariants. One such example is shown:

x2 + 14x + 24 = (x + 12)(x + 2)

x2 + 11x + 24 = (x + 8)(x + 3)

x2 – 11x + 24 = (x – 8)(x – 3)

x2 – 14x + 24 = (x – 2)(x – 12)

x2 + 10x – 24 = (x – 2)(x + 12)

x2 – 10x – 24 = (x + 2)(x – 12)

x2 + 5x – 24 = (x – 3)(x + 8)

x2 – 5x – 24 = (x + 3)(x – 8)

Teachers have the freedom to toggle on and off which variations of quadratics to include on the worksheet. This is particularly useful for the implementation of the mastery cycle. Based upon formative assessment a teacher can identify where individual pupils need to focus their attention. The teacher can then create a worksheet specifically for this pupil in moments for them to remediate and practise on these sub-skills.

At La Salle we talk about a learning episode as opposed to lessons. Learning and teaching can’t be neatly contained in sixty-minute slots, instead a learning episode spans a series of lessons and may include a number of related learning objectives. We consider a learning episode in the context of the following phases:

Teach
Do
Practise
Behave

During the Teach phase, the idea is entirely novel to pupils. It is just beyond their current knowledge and understanding.  The teacher will instruct the pupils, tell them key facts, pass on knowledge, show and describe, use metaphor and model, all in order to bring about connections in the pupil’s current schema so that they can ‘meaning make’.  This phase is often described as explicit teaching.  It is a crucial phase – after all, the teacher knows things and the pupil does not; so tell them!

The end of the 'Teach' phase does not result in learning.  It is merely the first step.  At this stage the new knowledge is ‘inflexible’, and it is our job as teachers to bring meaning and understanding to the knowledge so that it becomes ‘flexible’ (more on inflexible and flexible knowledge later).

We now ask pupils to Do.  At this stage, they do not yet know or understand the new idea, they are replicating what the teacher has told or shown them.  The 'Do' phase has two important purposes.  Firstly, the teacher is able to observe whether or not the pupils have made meaning of the model, example, metaphor or information they have been given or shown.  The teacher can see and act; are the pupils able to replicate what I have demonstrated?  If not, the teacher can change their model, example or explanation, perhaps making stronger and more explicit connections to previous knowledge and understanding.  The second reason for the 'Do' phase is to give pupils a sense that the idea or task is surmountable – that they, quite literally, can do what they are being asked.  Well structured 'Teach' and 'Do' builds pupils’ confidence and shows them there is nothing to be afraid of, the new idea is within their reach.

The Complete Mathematics platform supports teachers in delivering the 'Teach' and 'Do' phases by including pedagogical notes, typical misconceptions, key vocab, and example questions. Additionally, on our CPD days we explore evidence-based techniques to enhance the effectiveness of these phases.

Once both teacher and pupil are clear that the pupil is able to ‘Do’ – that is to say, they can perform – the teacher now segues the pupil to the Practise phase

During 'Practise', we wish to move beyond simply performing.  We want the pupil to gain a confidence in working with the new idea, to see its underlying relationships and to assimilate the new idea into their schema of knowledge.  In order to achieve these more meaningful goals, the pupil needs to be able to attend to a higher level.  In other words, as described earlier, the pupil needs to have achieved fluency at the performing level first, so that they may attend to connections, relationships and a deeper conceptual appreciation.

So, we shall define the point at which the pupil moves from 'Do' to 'Practise' as the point at which they achieve fluency. This is where the dynamically generated worsksheets can be particularly useful. They give pupils ample opportunity to build procedural fluency but also develop conceptual understanding through the built-in intelligent variation as described above.

The final phase, Behave, is the most important phase.  This is the phase that brings about understanding. At this stage, teachers create opportunities for pupils to behave mathematically. Complete Mathematics has tasks which support this phase, however, the pedagogical actions are perhaps the most important factor in this phase. You can learn more about this on our CPD days: Deeper Understanding in Mathematics, Embedding Problem Solving in the Mathematics Classroom, Designing Mathematical Tasks and Curriculum Design.

This worksheet generator is our first experiment in this area and we would love to hear any feedback you have either by commenting below or talking to us on twitter. There are a multitude of other ideas we want to explore. For instance, allowing teachers to implement their own variation logic in these worksheets and allowing pupils to answer the questions online. Also, in addition to these further experiments on dynamic worksheets, we are working on dynamic versions of the example questions found on every objective in the Complete Mathematics platform.

Complete Mathematics members will be able to see all these developments and more appearing on the platform in the coming weeks and months. In fact members can use this worksheet generator right now in the 'Factorising Quadratic Expressions' objective in unit 10.5. If you don't want to miss out on these developments, or you want to take advantage of free attendence to the CPD courses mentioned above, you can find out more about becoming a Complete Mathematics member here.

A Beginners Guide to Your First TLR

Written by Kathryn Darwin Wednesday, 06 March 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

La Salle Education will be hosting @LaSalleEd MathsConf19 #MathsConf19 on Saturday 22nd June 2019, tickets still available.


#MathsConf19

'A Beginners Guide to Your First TLR’ ' is a blog preview of Kathryn Darwins's #MathsConf19 session/workshop being run at #MathsConf19.


This year has seen me take on my first TLR as Second in Department, and resulted in my blog post; 'A Beginners Guide to Being Second in Department'. There was a huge response to this and since then I have shared my ideas and approaches to the job with many teachers locally and across the UK via Twitter. Networking has helped me a to make sense of the job, and make it work for me. Though my ideas may not be revolutionary and are quite often stolen from other teachers, I wanted to share my experience with anyone that has recently taken on a TLR or is thinking of doing so. This is also a great place to add to the community that have helped me to be the best Second in Department I can over the past year.

Here are some further thoughts from Kathryn:

About a year ago, I took on my first ever TLR, at a brand-new school. It was a whirlwind of new faces and names, new policies and procedures, as well as a load of new leadership responsibility. After a crazy few months I sat down to write my blog post ‘A Beginners Guide to Being Second In Department’ ( Arithmatick's Beginners Guide Blog ) and could hardly believe the things I had learned. As with all my blogs, I wrote it to reflect, but as with my PGCE and NQT blogs, they seemed to help others in similar positions.

Since writing that blog, I have gained a whole year of experience in the role and moved school again! Despite that, the role and my main learning points from the first few months remain largely unchanged, though many have evolved. In my session, I hope to cover the evolution of my big 5 takeaways from my ‘limited’ time as Second in Department:

1. Your time is often not your own in school hours – how I have combatted this and become EVEN MORE organised.

2. Clear priorities and a plan to achieve them – Working with your HoD & SLT to make your subject work the best it can for your team and your students.

3. Continuing to be the best teacher you can be – as a role-model to other members of the team, and for the benefit of your students.

4. The transition from leading a class to leading a year group/key stage/subject - Being more visible to students and learning how to be a line-manager at the same time!

5. Taking time out from ‘Teacher You’ and maintaining a work-life balance.

I am learning as I go, and I certainly do not have all the answers. My aim for the session is to share some of the things that have helped me with the transition to TLR-holder, and perhaps give you a few things you can takeaway and use, but mostly to create a network of those of us in the same boat to share ideas and reflect together.


You can see Kathryn Darwin speak about "A Beginners Guide to Your First TLR" during #MathsConf19 at the Penistone Grammar School on Saturday 22nd June

Don't forget in July we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

OCR MathsConf18

Written by Steven Walker Monday, 04 March 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

The OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) are exhibiting @OCR_Maths at #MathsConf18 on Saturday 9th March 2019, tickets still available.


The recent qualification reforms have brought with them an increased emphasis on problem solving. In this blog we take a look at incorporating puzzles into revision programmes to help build students’ problem solving skills.

What is Problem Solving?

In GCSE and A Level, problem solving questions will often require students to interpret given information and decide on the techniques needed to obtain an answer.

For example, at first glance this circle puzzle might appear to be beyond GCSE (as equations of circles are limited to circles centred around the origin in GCSE), but could be solved by bringing together coordinates, constructions and Pythagoras’ Theorem.

How to use Problem Solving questions

Problem solving needs to be incorporated throughout the academic year, but in the run up to the exam season puzzles can make good revision tasks. These help students make links across the curriculum, help identify technique weaknesses and prompt discussions.

At first, many will see this additional grid as having 3 unknowns, but on closer investigation a pair of equations can be seen with only 2 unknowns, which can then be solved before going on to complete the puzzle.

Creating discussion

Maths is often perceived as a quiet subject. Puzzles encourage discussion and the process of sharing ideas can help consolidate knowledge.

OCR Support

Each of our Check In tests (GCSE (9-1), FSMQ, GCE Maths, GCE Further Maths) include an extension problem and our practice exam papers can be found on Interchange.

If you have questions then submit your comments below. You can also sign up to subject updates to receive up-to-date email information about resources and support and follow us on Twitter @OCR_Maths


You can see OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) in the networking / Exhibitor slots during #MathsConf18 at the City Academy Bristol on Saturday March 9th 2019.

Don't forget in March we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

Daydream Education MathsConf18

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

Daydream Education are exhibiting @DaydreamEdu at #MathsConf18 on Saturday 9th March 2019, tickets still available.


Daydream Education

Using Short Feedback Loops to Improve Student Knowledge Retention and Recall

Getting teenagers to revise effectively has always been difficult. Though, with so many entertainment options at their disposal nowadays, it can sometimes seem like a losing battle. Thanks to recent technological advancements, not only does the average teenager have a shorter attention span but they also have endless distractions. All these factors combined means it can be harder to get them to focus on written information in the first place, and then even harder to convince them to return to that information to test their knowledge.

Thankfully, Daydream Education has come up with a double-pronged solution combining strong physical resources with short feedback loops to improve students’ knowledge retention.

According to Wired magazine a feedback loop is “a profoundly effective tool for changing behaviour [in which you] provide people with information about their actions in real time, then give them an opportunity to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviours.”

The concept is simple. The shorter the feedback loops, the more often learners correct their behaviour and the faster they learn.

The first prong of the Pocket Poster revision guides’ solution is their high-quality printed format. They are small in size but huge in content, fitting the whole curriculum contained in normal revision guides into a travel-ready, more accessible package.

Designed in full-colour, strong paper and filled with engaging images and annotated diagrams, they are tailored to contain only the most essential information needed to master each school subject. At the same time, they are substantial enough to engage the brain’s sensory memory system.

As people tend to retain more information from physical paper texts, this first port-of-call, according to a study conducted by Scientific American magazine, provides the learner with a strong yet accessible revision foundation.

The second prong of their solution to revision comes in the form of the extra digital content Pocket Posters provide. Each book contains a code that learners can use to access a digital version of the book on a computer, tablet or phone – complete with a range of over 1,100 quiz questions to test their own knowledge.

Daydream Education

Questions are categorised into fluency, reasoning and problem solving to ensure students are being tested in all types of questions.

Not only do these quizzes correct students so that they can find gaps in their own knowledge and improve their academic performance, but they can also help teachers track students’ progress.

The Pocket Posters come with a teacher portal so educators can see their pupils’ progress and discover where there are common gaps in knowledge and, therefore, improve their own teaching practices. A similar tactic has recently been taken up by professors at Harvard University to improve their lesson plans.

Such a revolutionary concept isn’t just a way to improve exam performance, either. It can also improve attitudes towards learning itself. A 2001 study conducted by Stanford University’s Albert Bandura concluded that “people are proactive, aspiring organisms” who crave information about themselves in order to improve. The short feedback loops incorporated into Pocket Posters tap into this natural instinct, turning revision into an interactive self-improvement game.

Ultimately, Daydream Education’s Pocket Posters provide the best of both worlds – a strong, engaging print product and interactive digital content, all for a small price for schools on a budget.

Daydream Education

To check out samples of the digital content available to Pocket Poster users, check out Daydream Education’s app page by following this link: https://apps.daydreameducation.com/

Modules are available from Key Stage 2 Maths all the way up to Higher GCSE Maths, plus a range of other subjects. And it’s all free!

To view the full range of Maths books, click here.


You can see The Mathematical Association in the networking / Exhibitor slots during #MathsConf18 at the City Academy Bristol on Saturday March 9th 2019.

Don't forget in March we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

MA MathsConf18

Written by Mathematical Association Thursday, 28 February 2019

Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212

The Mathematical Association are exhibiting @Mathematical_A at #MathsConf18 on Saturday 9th March 2019, tickets still available.


MA Banner

The MA was the first teachers' subject association to be formed in England, in 1871, as the 'Association for the Improvement of Geometrical Teaching', the original catalyst being the need to develop and to lobby for alternatives to the then standard treatment of geometry. The Association's history is located within a broad context of changes in the educational system, developments in educational and mathematical thought, the growth of professionalism, and wider social, political and economic forces which influence the curriculum. MA reports and publications became standard references in the growing international interest in mathematics education throughout the 20th century.

Primary

The MA offers a variety of support for primary teachers and primary schools. We have a dedicated primary journal, offering a mixture of theory and practice, as well as ideas for instant classroom use. If you haven’t yet explored our Primary Mathematics Challenge, don’t miss it. It provides a fabulous resource for extending able children and developing problem solving skills with pupils in Y5 and Y6.

Mathematical Assocaition Image

Professional Development

A principal objective for the MA is "to promote and support the professional development of teachers", and so its Professional Development Committee organises a range of PD events for teachers of mathematics. The MA is an NCETM accredited provider of mathematics CPD courses and events.

Secondary

Four of the MA's journals (with issues between 3 and 5 times a year) are ideal for the 11-16 age range: 'Mathematics in Schools', 'Equals', 'SYMmetryplus' and 'Mathematical Pie'. The MA also publishes books aimed at secondary teachers. The 11-16 subcommittee monitors developments, responds to consultations (e.g. on the revised Key Stage 3, Functional skills, twin GCSEs) and produces resources.

Mathematical Assocaition Image

You can find out more about joining The Mathematical Association on the MA website Click here to #JoinTheMA


You can see The Mathematical Association in the networking / Exhibitor slots during #MathsConf18 at the City Academy Bristol on Saturday March 9th 2019.

Don't forget in March we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.

We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd

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