Ramblings from the Classroom – Week 13

The way i’m generally working this blog is now taking photos of certain new phases of lessons that I am developing as it is ensuring I properly reflect as it’s sometimes hard not just to do the next job on the list!

The first part of the blog is looking at a long consolidate phase after one of my groups had progressed well through an equations unit but felt they needed to spend time comparing different equation types and seeing the similarities and the differences in each method.

I displayed the question set on the board and asked them to complete the first question in each section.

As the group settled well I decided to start completing the questions on the board. Have blogged on this previously but students seeing you working on the board seems to encourage their independence further and I now commonly have students walk to the front and look at the steps to try and work it out themselves.

Above was my modelling of the questions and more below:

We took around ten minutes to complete these and this was much quicker than we previous model of doing around 6-7 revision questions and sprinting around the room trying to help each student with the method issue they had. As the models were all on the board the students could refer to them and also it had the motivating effect of them being able to self assess as soon as they had an answer. As I was ‘busy’ modelling on the front two boards the students who normally would be straight out with a question managed to maintain clear focus for this period of work.

We then spent around five minutes with me asking for a show of hands up on each answer to see how the class he done and talking about any errors that students had made.

I then used a slide that another teacher had provided and asked the students to not only complete the method but makes notes at the side for each steps that they took and why.

The picture above is around ten minutes into the activity as I would model the steps on another board and decided to write the solutions to each on the board as i was more focussed on the notes the students were writing for each question. Once I’d finished modelling a question on theboard i’d walk the room and bang up a couple of great examples of notes (trying to highlight boys in particular if I could) as a way of upskilling other students in the room. Its very hard for a student to argue when the example of from a student in that room at that moment!

This then continued and then I numbered the questions as students were struggling to know which board to look at for support.

The above two pictures show the board getting more populated with answers.

These were snaps of the modelling I completed whilst the students were working. We took the full 60 minutes looking at each of the questions and comparing each other notes to see what were the key points for each one. I am not recommending this method for a new group and this level of focus has been built over the weeks, working them for 10 minutes, 20 minutes with then discussion points where needed.

Visual Models Ratio

After Equations last week I have started experimenting with visual models with ratio. The part I am really enjoying is after ten+ years of teaching I am trying new things and making mistakes with the models in front of students and actively showing my own learning journey with them. This week I used the board in tandem with the visual model to show simplifying ratio:

I Q&A’d with students the first 3 examples and then at the end asked why this works – again the majority of students said because we have been told to do it that way. I then build the visual model above showing 2:6 and then 1:3 which clearly showed its equivalence. We then moved to looking at writing the ratio in the form 1:n

We started looking at 2:5 but began with visual model this time. Then had a discussion about why we would want to express it in the form 1:n.

Two different ramblings this week. Any feedback greatly appreciated. Have a good week everybody!

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