Yes I know, it’s the Easter break for some of us (and for those of that are still at school you will get your revenge when we return to work earlier than you guys) and today I’ve been ticking off all those “housey” jobs that I never get time to do in term time (nothing too exciting I can assure you!).
What a term it has been! We’ve been doing lots of stuff with other schools and then add in a “mini-UK tag tour” whereby one or other of us (I mean myself or Seager) has been out doing stuff up and down the country that we’ve had very little time to bounce ideas off each other. You know that time when you just sit and discuss ways of working? Well last week we were talking about a lesson I’d done with years 9 and 10 based on problem solving and discussing strategies for approaching them (I’ll talk about the whole “what is problem solving?” thing and my feeling that students need to have a “body of knowledge” in order to tackle them successfully in the next couple of days). It isn’t an approach I’d recommend but I wanted to explore how my groups would approach the questions – I genuinely believe that the kind of “problems” students will encounter at GCSE need to become embedded in our practice – I do it anyway, but think I need to be more explicit about when we are linking with other areas of maths etc. Anyway, during the conversation we played around with the idea of introducing another 2 bread and butter worksheets (we have 4 lessons a week and may use the 5th for Homework) that included something to get the students thinking but wasn’t just a straightforward “apply” question and more in keeping with the AO2 or AO3 strands of the new GCSEs.
Let me the introduce the “crusts” … there will be 2 additional sheets a week (keeping with the labelling convention I’m going to call them .4 and .5) that have a few of the normal bread and butter topics and then a bigger “think about it” question and just like the normal bread and butter sheets they’ll get tougher over a period of time. The below shows the first one (I’m starting nice and easy!) – When it came to the normal questions I have tried to use SOME areas of maths that they may choose to use to tackle the problem (there are other ways but I’d encourage them to try it algebraically) and I’m aiming to get a load of these sheets ready to use when we return after Easter with year 9 … watch this space.
I have added the sheets I’ve made to the original bread and butter post HERE (and also added them to the extras in the teacher toolkit!)