A very simple sentence emphasised by Stephen Tierney at ResearchEd York “Find out what children don’t know and then teach them it” seems so obvious, but how often do we forget this? Life after levels has seen a rise in “check in” and “check out” tests, which can be great for full topics but what about a shorter period of time? It is important to note that I haven’t used the word lesson as the hour given is an arbitrary length of time and we shouldn’t limit (or even stretch out) a key point of learning to a full lesson as students will most likely require a different length of time.

Let’s take adding fractions as an example. How often have we got a class in our mind when planning a lesson and thought something along the lines of “lesson 1: add fractions with same denominator, and the extension can be changing one denominator. Lesson 2: start with changing one denominator and then move on to changing both denominators. I am guilty of this in the past but hopefully with a little fine tuning I can avoid doing this again in the future. What happens if, and usually most do, students remember how to add fractions with the same denominator – do you plough on and teach the lesson anyway or do you jump straight to “lesson 2”. I have used adding fractions as an example here but the same could be said for any topic - it must happen on a regular basis where we plan an hour lesson (or series of lessons) on a topic because the scheme of learning says we should. We have all had one of the two following feelings far too often:

- They know it already, this won’t take as long as I thought – I have 32 copies of a worksheet printed off that I won’t use now!
- They never got that, I could really spend some more time on it. Now you’re left with the choice of taking your time with it or thinking “They will cover it again another year, I’ve got a scheme to follow”.

Both feelings are far from ideal but are far too common – but this goes against the very simple sentence mentioned earlier “Find out what children don’t know and then teach them it.” It sounded so obvious when I first heard it that I almost dismissed it. Then I applied it to how I teach and thought I don’t do enough of this – it shocked me! I like to think I am a good teacher but moments like this make you question “what if I have been doing it all wrong for so long?!” But that is what good teachers do, find ways to adapt and develop their teaching.

Now I have set the scene I will introduce the resource I put together. It came about in a department meeting. We have check in and check out tests for Key Stage 3 but not Key Stage 4. How can we assess if a student understands a topic before we teach it, and how do we work out how long to spend teaching it. With this in mind I have made a multiple choice question PowerPoint linked to the Edexcel scheme of work. Using the six headings of Algebra, Number, Geometry & measures, Probability, Statistics and, Ratio & proportion and rates of change I have linked a multiple choice question to each objective in all of the topic areas. A handful of questions we had on the system from somewhere so I edited them in to the same format, about a quarter were written by two other colleagues and the rest by me. For each question we have tried to make the wrong answers from common mistakes.

I will be using this for all my GCSE classes next year, both higher and foundation, for each objective. From this simple starter I will be able to:

- Gain an understating of the starting point in which I will teach a topic from. This will hopefully eliminate the first feeling mentioned earlier.
- Address any misconceptions right at the start of the unit to reduce the chance of these being built on and made worse.
- Some topics will be secure. If students can demonstrate this it will mean I won’t need to spend as much time as I first thought on a unit or topic. It will then save time for teaching topics that require more time, and in turn start to be a solution to the second feeling mentioned earlier.

The questions could be simply used as a class settler or 5 minute starter, but the real value to this resource is probing wrong answers, getting students to explain why they got the correct answers. A more thought provoking task for students to do is to work out the mistake made in getting the wrong answers. This way I will find out what children don’t know and then teach them it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, feedback is always welcome.

Phil

@pbrucemaths

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I have always stated that my ambition was to become a successful head of department. After 7 years of teaching I have been given the opportunity to do this. Come September I will start my new role as Head of Mathematics, it is the word “successful” that now stands in the way of me and my career ambition. What defines successful? Will I reach it? I believe I am capable and ready for the challenge so here goes… This blog is intended to sound off some ideas and questions I have? I would be grateful for any responses on any of the points raised. They are in no particular order, just how they popped up in my head over the time it took to write this!

1) Social Media

1) Social Media

I have my own twitter account but is there any merit in a social media account for the department. Is it worth it? What are the benefits? I am looking for a way to communicate (although a one-way dialogue) with students about relevant mathematics. My initial thoughts are that twitter would not be the way forward as many students don’t have twitter accounts, but they are more likely to have an Instagram or Snapchat account. I am aware of the negative first thoughts people may have about this but, if policy allows, I believe that a photographic (Instagram) account for mathematical pictures, student work, infographics, test reminders etc could prove useful. I have read about some snapchatters (I think that’s a term!) sharing “stories” of them solving questions. But I have very little experience on this app. Have you any experience, either positive or negative, with a social media account that you are willing to share?

2) Disengaged bottom sets

I have been informed this could be an issue. My first thought is – mixed attainment. I currently work in a school which teaches mixed attainment at KS3 and it works well. I’m not saying it is perfect and it was easy to implement, but the students are now seeing the benefits. I am also aware that mixed attainment done badly is worse than setting so I am in no rush to move just yet. I believe I have to fully understand my new department and students at the school before changes like this can be considered. So for the time being it will be setted. So back to my original question – how to engage the disengaged?

- Peer to peer mentoring?
- Class/ year group trip?
- Reward system?
- Nothing – just concentrate on delivering high quality lessons?
- Intervention?

3) Effective feedback

The school currently splits the year group in to halves. Each halve (4 classes) are taught at the same time. This is true for all year groups. I have a feedback policy I want to introduce already but one idea was the use of DIRT time. Too often after an assessment I go through the paper in detail with the whole class. I’m sure most of us do this, and it does have some positives. However, I am also aware that when we go through a question that some/most got correct what do those students get out of it and are we wasting their time? My idea: “Gap Filling Groups”. After teachers have marked end of topic tests, which we intend to do roughly every half term, could we use the following lesson (or even week of lessons) more effectively. Between the four teachers (remember four classes from the same year group are timetabled together) could we identify 4 key areas where pupils have gaps in their knowledge. We then temporarily divide the classes up based on the topic area they need to work on and assign them a temporary teacher for the “Gap Lessons”. This way it doesn’t matter what set you are in, you get specific feedback for your needs without wasting time looking at questions you got correct/understand. Has anyone had experience of this in the past? Was it useful? What are the pitfalls?

The school currently splits the year group in to halves. Each halve (4 classes) are taught at the same time. This is true for all year groups. I have a feedback policy I want to introduce already but one idea was the use of DIRT time. Too often after an assessment I go through the paper in detail with the whole class. I’m sure most of us do this, and it does have some positives. However, I am also aware that when we go through a question that some/most got correct what do those students get out of it and are we wasting their time? My idea: “Gap Filling Groups”. After teachers have marked end of topic tests, which we intend to do roughly every half term, could we use the following lesson (or even week of lessons) more effectively. Between the four teachers (remember four classes from the same year group are timetabled together) could we identify 4 key areas where pupils have gaps in their knowledge. We then temporarily divide the classes up based on the topic area they need to work on and assign them a temporary teacher for the “Gap Lessons”. This way it doesn’t matter what set you are in, you get specific feedback for your needs without wasting time looking at questions you got correct/understand. Has anyone had experience of this in the past? Was it useful? What are the pitfalls?

4) Paired numeracy

I would imagine most schools have a paired reading scheme which takes place during registrations. How many have a paired numeracy scheme? Are the two not just as important as each other? Could a pack of questions or problems be put together so that Year 10 students can sit down once a week with students in KS3 that need a bit of extra help? If you can effectively get around 30 students signed up for this then surely this is a better way to get to those KS3 students without staff burnout? Does your department do something similar – I would be interested in speaking to you about the initial set up, monitoring process and benefits of the project?

I am really looking forward to September – not that I am wishing August away, my first summer holiday as a dad and I can’t wait to spend all that time with my son (and I best mention my wife as well!). I have a great team together already and I am genuinely excited about the new chapter. However any words of wisdom or advice are welcomed.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to reading the replies/comments.

Phil

@pbrucemaths

]]>I would imagine most schools have a paired reading scheme which takes place during registrations. How many have a paired numeracy scheme? Are the two not just as important as each other? Could a pack of questions or problems be put together so that Year 10 students can sit down once a week with students in KS3 that need a bit of extra help? If you can effectively get around 30 students signed up for this then surely this is a better way to get to those KS3 students without staff burnout? Does your department do something similar – I would be interested in speaking to you about the initial set up, monitoring process and benefits of the project?

I am really looking forward to September – not that I am wishing August away, my first summer holiday as a dad and I can’t wait to spend all that time with my son (and I best mention my wife as well!). I have a great team together already and I am genuinely excited about the new chapter. However any words of wisdom or advice are welcomed.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to reading the replies/comments.

Phil

@pbrucemaths

My first blog of they year! Becoming a dad in September has certainly taken up more time!! The Pareto Principle, which is more often referred to as the 80:20 principle, was first introduced to me midway through this academic year on the back of a blog by Kris Boulton. His fantastic blog can be found here – and is a must read for all maths teachers. It’s ok, I’ll wait – you really need to read this first!

It left me with a lot to think about, and in September I will be taking on a new role as Head of Department at a new school. At this school they currently start their GCSE at the beginning of Year 9. At my previous two schools this has not been the case, don’t get me wrong the progressive build-up of mathematical skills will still be taught but do we explicitly say “you’re a GCSE student now” at the start of Year 9? Although this is a debate for later, and something I will look at during my role next year.

On the back of the 14 mathematical skills, which Kris listed in his blog as the 20% which underpins the other 80%, my fellow assistant subject leader and I produced a package to address this. It is a very straight forward test which addresses these vital skills and highlights to both teachers and pupils the areas which they need to focus their immediate attention on. After this test there are 8 homeworks which can be set that are linked to each area. You can find the test and homeworks here.

How I intend to use them:

Each year 9 student will take the test in their first week back in September. The teachers will then set the homework tasks accordingly. Some options available are:*simple *skills fluently as well as highlighting to the teachers what they need to work on as well as *covering the GCSE content*.

I would value any feedback on this, and if your schools do anything similar? Thank you for taking your time to read this,

Phil

@pbrucemaths

]]>It left me with a lot to think about, and in September I will be taking on a new role as Head of Department at a new school. At this school they currently start their GCSE at the beginning of Year 9. At my previous two schools this has not been the case, don’t get me wrong the progressive build-up of mathematical skills will still be taught but do we explicitly say “you’re a GCSE student now” at the start of Year 9? Although this is a debate for later, and something I will look at during my role next year.

On the back of the 14 mathematical skills, which Kris listed in his blog as the 20% which underpins the other 80%, my fellow assistant subject leader and I produced a package to address this. It is a very straight forward test which addresses these vital skills and highlights to both teachers and pupils the areas which they need to focus their immediate attention on. After this test there are 8 homeworks which can be set that are linked to each area. You can find the test and homeworks here.

How I intend to use them:

Each year 9 student will take the test in their first week back in September. The teachers will then set the homework tasks accordingly. Some options available are:

- Set one a week for the first half term.
- Set multiple tasks each week if you think they are relatively quick/short for your students.
- Issue students with the ones they highlighter in red or yellow in their analysis.

I would value any feedback on this, and if your schools do anything similar? Thank you for taking your time to read this,

Phil

@pbrucemaths

Firstly, teaching for mastery is not a new thing! I was at a very informative talk from Mark McCourt at ResearhEd where he posed the question: “Have teachers only just started to want students to understand everything?” By claiming the Shanghai method does this are we saying teachers currently in the UK are happy with students not understanding topics? Whether you agree or disagree that the Shanghai method is better for mastery learning is not my biggest bugbear with the whole debate but much rather this:

- In Shanghai pupils have daily maths lessons in short 40 - 45 minute bursts rather than 3 hourly sessions. Parents expect homework to be set every lesson and the total amount of hours spent working on mathematics can be around 15 hours a week compared with the 3-4 hours a week UK students currently receive.

- Teachers’ workload is completely different. In the UK teachers are entitled to 2.5 hours a week non-contact time to plan lessons and mark books. This is significantly different to the 3 hours a day the teachers in Shanghai get. To look at the Shanghai model being implemented in the UK system makes the £41m spent on texts books and training seem irrelevant. Lessons 1 and 2 specialist maths teachers would teach three 40 minute lessons compared to the two 1 hour classes in the UK.After break the UK based teacher would then go on to teach their third lesson of the day whilst their Shanghai equivalents would have the hour to mark the homework. (I will come on to the marking later!). After lunch, and most likely a detention or club the teacher based in the UK would then go to teach a further two lessons. In Shanghai the teachers have this time to plan and develop lessons together and review the lessons they have previously taught so their practice can continually develop. All of a sudden giving half the Primary schools a textbook to help is like saying to a child with a broken leg – “here, have a plaster” although I’m not sure we could offer a plaster now without parental consent!

- Marking. To do this properly and provide valuable feedback takes time. In maths it is often viewed that we just “tick and flick” but this is not the case as detailed feedback is required. In Shanghai they can tick and flick because if a student has failed to get a certain score they have to attend an after school session that day to correct it.

- Culture. Can you imagine the uproar form parents in the UK if they get a phone call to say their child was in an after school session that evening as they didn’t get the required score in their homework? In Shanghai teachers have parent contacts on their phone for all of their classes and contact home is just one click away. Parents expect their child to have daily homework and behave impeccably in lessons. If this isn’t the case sanctions and extra classes are accepted without question. When I taught at an international school this work ethic and expectation was very clear. Now I am not saying parents in the UK don’t care, because they do. We just have different expectations for children and how they should spend their younger years. Going back to the broken leg analogy, to try and change the culture of a country by spending £41m on textbooks is like amputating a broken leg without any consultation because you know it won’t hurt if you don’t have it.

- Collaboration. All schools in shanghai teach from the same textbook. This model is consistent across all the schools over a number of years. In the last 6 years in the UK I have taught 4 different schemes of work to GCSE classes as the battle of linear v modular exams took place, a change of exam boards and now a change of exam specification. This textbook wouldn’t last the required two years here if the government keep changing the system for political/ personal gains. Why can’t they put their own career ladder to one side and focus on the children’s futures.

- Child wellbeing. This is my last but most crucial point. As great as the Shanghai model is for getting maths result does it take into account the mental health of the students? I am not going to generalise and claim this particular method is the cause for the higher stress and suicide rates as I would be as blunt as Nicky Morgan is for suggesting this method will cure the perceived problem in UK mathematics teaching. However, with reports saying more and more primary school children are suffering stress and other mental illnesses due to the new testing system forced upon them by this government surely this has to be looked at.

England would win the football world cup if we could defend like Germany, pass like Spain and attack like the Brazilians but getting to that point is surely about changing habits and culture slowly through a well thought out plan. Unfortunately buying textbooks for half the primary schools or bringing Sam Allardyce will just not work by itself!

I welcome comments to try and change my opinion but surely funding on teacher retention and reducing workload would be more beneficial?

Thank you – I feel much better now!

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1. The session which has had the most immediate impact on my teaching was delivered by Rodica Ernst-Militaru and Plonie Nijhf “How teaching metacognitive skills changes teachers and students”. We have all seen methods of how to teach problem solving techniques to students but how much time do we spend coaching students to do these steps, and slowly remove our input until they complete the full process by themselves? Rodica and Plonie demonstrated the META-method to solve problems which can be broke down in to 4 steps:

- Understanding: spend time highlighting key words, and vigorously analyse what the problem wants from you.
- Connecting: Make a detailed mind map of all the things you know about the topics identified from the first step
- Strategies: formulate a plan and start to solve the problem using the mind map you have just created
- Check your answer

The intention is to print them on A3 and laminate them so students can use whiteboard pens to write on them and give them a general structure to solve problems. It was mentioned that they use this at the end of every topic/chapter taught to assess their understanding. This is a time consuming way of doing it however it is very thorough.

2. Bruno Reddy (@MrReddyMaths) and his timetables rock stars had to be seen to be believed. Students from key stage 3 were answering around 150 questions correctly in a minute!! @mathsjem wrote a section on her blog about it here, and I can’t put it any better – so I won’t! But I would recommend you take the time to read what Jo wrote about this as it is highly informative. Although I will add my praise to the young students involved, and I look forward to the conclusions Bruno will make from his exciting study.

3. Mark McCourt (@EmathsUK) spoke passionately about teaching for mastery, and the fact it is nothing new. He really did make the obvious obvious, and made me question why these points haven’t been raised before. Referring maths to a Jenga block where the most important blocks are the foundations and the key principles why do we feel the need to keep adding blocks on the top by trying to keep up with what the scheme of work says we should be teaching this week. I was teaching my Year 10 class today factorising and expanding quadratic equations, when it became apparent that multiplying negative numbers was holding them back. If it wasn’t for this talk by Mark I may have persisted with the lesson as planned – but with his talk still ringing in my ears I dropped the original plan an spent the rest of the lesson working with negative numbers. With 1600 hours across 11 years and only 320 concepts to learn to get an A* why do only 5% of students get there? Mark spoke about the driving test and how you only pass when you can do all the skills. Driving instructors don’t move on until skills have been learnt, so why do we as teachers rush students through topics just to stick with the scheme of learning – we have the time, but we must make sure the blocks are built patiently and solidly.

The only negative from the day, after rushing home for the football, was the result – If only Roy Hodgson used the research and evidence available to him to better effect! Unlike England I want my students to perform well and get the results they deserve.

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2. Bruno Reddy (@MrReddyMaths) and his timetables rock stars had to be seen to be believed. Students from key stage 3 were answering around 150 questions correctly in a minute!! @mathsjem wrote a section on her blog about it here, and I can’t put it any better – so I won’t! But I would recommend you take the time to read what Jo wrote about this as it is highly informative. Although I will add my praise to the young students involved, and I look forward to the conclusions Bruno will make from his exciting study.

3. Mark McCourt (@EmathsUK) spoke passionately about teaching for mastery, and the fact it is nothing new. He really did make the obvious obvious, and made me question why these points haven’t been raised before. Referring maths to a Jenga block where the most important blocks are the foundations and the key principles why do we feel the need to keep adding blocks on the top by trying to keep up with what the scheme of work says we should be teaching this week. I was teaching my Year 10 class today factorising and expanding quadratic equations, when it became apparent that multiplying negative numbers was holding them back. If it wasn’t for this talk by Mark I may have persisted with the lesson as planned – but with his talk still ringing in my ears I dropped the original plan an spent the rest of the lesson working with negative numbers. With 1600 hours across 11 years and only 320 concepts to learn to get an A* why do only 5% of students get there? Mark spoke about the driving test and how you only pass when you can do all the skills. Driving instructors don’t move on until skills have been learnt, so why do we as teachers rush students through topics just to stick with the scheme of learning – we have the time, but we must make sure the blocks are built patiently and solidly.

The only negative from the day, after rushing home for the football, was the result – If only Roy Hodgson used the research and evidence available to him to better effect! Unlike England I want my students to perform well and get the results they deserve.

Wandering through the mathematical thoughts of my brain has led me to think about ways to revise before an exam. Now I never advise students to cram the night before an exam as little and often is much better. However, when I think back to taking exams myself, I remember the panic the night before a morning exam or the horrible wait for the afternoon sessions. Which led me to think of this idea - final 5ive...

We have all had the rush of students come to us just before an exam with questions they got stuck on the night before and they have worked themselves in to a panic. No matter how much we, as teachers, try to help them all, there just isn't enough time in the final few minutes. The idea being they each get a final 5 sheet in the run up to the exam or their final lesson which is sealed like this:

Then the night before, or over breakfast, when they want to wake up their mathematical brains, they can attempt these five questions. I have chosen these questions as they are straight forward mathematical questions which will appear in their exams in one way or another, and also we have done plenty of them in class! When they have done them they can open them up and see my worked answers

As they aren't new topics and should just be a recap if they get them right they can enter the exam a little more relaxed and a little bit more confident. If they make a mistake they can see where their mistake is, review their answer, and relax a little more before the exam as well!

This way all of my students get 5 minutes of my time right before the exam when they need it - even when I'm not there to feed them breakfast!

The PDF can be found here.

This way all of my students get 5 minutes of my time right before the exam when they need it - even when I'm not there to feed them breakfast!

The PDF can be found here.

@mathsjem has recently blogged her “Gem Awards 2016” and a combination of @Just_Maths and @mathspo created a time wheel where GCSE questions were put in each section to keep students motivated and to get used to answering questions under timed conditions. More can be read about their idea and other ideas in the blog here.

This got me thinking of how I could adapt it for KS5 students, as I found in recent mock exams students were running out of time to answer all the questions. It is easy to say:

- 8 minutes to annotate paper and read through it
- 1 minute per mark
- 10 minutes at the end for final checks

I initially wanted to put the questions in each section of the wheel but I couldn’t fit them on the page and still make it readable! So I listed the question topics instead. I have now set this past paper for students to do as homework with this time wheel attached. They can then break it down to do a few questions a day without losing the pressure needed to complete them within the given time. Core papers may be easier to fit into the space as the questions aren’t as easy. Alternatively, next time, I could print them off on A3 the students could cut and stick the questions on the old fashioned way!

Thank you @mathsjem for bringing this idea to my attention. Hopefully teachers will find my take on it useful as well. The PDF version of S1 paper can be found alongside the PowerPoint template here.

]]>Thank you @mathsjem for bringing this idea to my attention. Hopefully teachers will find my take on it useful as well. The PDF version of S1 paper can be found alongside the PowerPoint template here.

Whilst away on holiday I saw a tweet from @Just_Maths showing the month of April with a maths question for each day. You can find this calendar here. Such a simple, yet effective way to get students to practice maths got me thinking…

On average, students at the school I work at get around 10 marks less on the non-calculator paper than they do on the calculator equivalent. On a recent mock paper the first question was for four marks. The majority of my C/D border line class could get the three method marks but the vast majority failed to pick up the accuracy mark. In essence you had to increase £720 by 15% then divide this by 12 to work out the monthly cost. When speaking to other teachers in the department it was a similar story, the students could explain what to do to answer the question but dropped accuracy marks with their calculations. These methods are currently taught to Year 6 pupils under the new curriculum but have either:

- Been forgotten by the time they arrive in Year 11
- Become unclear as students are out of practice due to being over reliant on calculators
- Not been taught originally

Either way that is another discussion, I have 6 and a half weeks to prepare my students for their upcoming exam where these methods will be tested.

Adapting the method used by @Just_Maths I have created a “stepping stones to success” sheet which will hopefully prepare students better for their non-calculator exam. In essence it is a calendar starting on Monday (the first day back after the Easter holidays) until their exam on the 25th May. Each student will get this sheet and be expected to answer the daily question. Then at the beginning of each maths lesson we will model their solutions on the board and discuss common mistakes, clear methods and good thinking.

If you would like a copy of the PDF you can find it here, if you would like it in a PowerPoint version to edit dates etc. then get in touch and I will forward it on.

]]>Wandering through the mathematical thoughts of my brain has led me to share the main reason I wanted to be a teacher, and how this can't be marked or graded!

I went to watch a school production of 'The Wizard of Oz' put on by the very hard working and dedicated Miss Spiers and the amazing team of students from my previous school, Malton, about 3 weeks ago.

I initially bought tickets to go see it as I really enjoyed the previous years production whilst I was still working there but also because I thought it would be a good opportunity to catch up with some old colleagues. The show was brilliant and I really enjoyed watching it but the best part of the night was catching up with the students... and why wouldn't it be?! - after all that is why I went into teaching, to see students enjoy themselves and be presented with opportunities they wouldn't necessarily get. Their hard work and commitment could not be questioned and the rewards they felt because of this will inspire them to continue to work hard in the future. I was genuinely surprised that the students wanted to take the time to speak to me and ask how my new job was going. But more importantly the pride they took in their studies as they wanted to tell me how well they were doing this year.

So why am I writing about this now? and why mention grades...

I nearly didn't make it to the show as I was stuck under the mountain of 'end of term assessment' marking with over 200 test papers to be marked, graded, and then analysed so I could give valuable feedback to ensure my students could progress up the grading system. To manage this task I didn't get to mark any class books for the final two weeks of term so I have spent the majority of my bank holiday marking books to get these up to date. (the post-it notes mark the pages where students can respond to feedback in their first lesson back!)

Whilst I understand marking is part of the job, this is one time consuming task which hinders so many teachers who would love to use their time to give students more opportunities. Until I find the correct balance I will have to leave this to teachers like Miss Spiers who do an amazing job.

Now I must go and mark my general studies exams, but before I do I need to congratulate the students at Malton School once again as they were truly brilliant!

]]>Now I must go and mark my general studies exams, but before I do I need to congratulate the students at Malton School once again as they were truly brilliant!

I was teaching how to solve quadratic inequalities to my Year 12 class and wanted them to have a 'step by step' instruction guide to use as a reference when answering questions. @MsSteel_Maths appeared on my twitter feed as she had been re-tweeted by someone I followed. It was because of this I found her website and read the blog foldables which grabbed my attention. One of the brilliant ideas mentioned seemed to fit the bill and is a very simple but effective way for students to follow a process.

By gluing 4 circles back to back it creates a continuous loop of instructions which is ideal for algebraic questions because when you get to the end and find a solution you turn straight back to the beginning so you can check your answer!

I split each circle in half. On the top half I wrote the generic steps of how to solve similar problems. On the bottom half of the circle I did a worked example for each step. Here are pictures of each side I did for solving quadratic inequalities.

I split each circle in half. On the top half I wrote the generic steps of how to solve similar problems. On the bottom half of the circle I did a worked example for each step. Here are pictures of each side I did for solving quadratic inequalities.

What I like about this idea is that it doesn't matter how many steps are required as you can just use more circles to create more pages! With the exam season just around the corner I'm sure I'll be asking my students to make more of these to aid their revision.

Thank you @MsSteel_Maths for sharing this idea - anything to make revision more interesting and memorable is appreciated!

]]>Thank you @MsSteel_Maths for sharing this idea - anything to make revision more interesting and memorable is appreciated!