Teaching Angles – Part 2

In my last post I wrote about my week of lessons about angles with my S1 class. You can read about it here.

The next focus of our angles work was angles in triangles. We spent a lesson looking at calculating missing angles in scalene, right and isosceles triangles. Most of the questions I set were from a school textbook but for extension I used these sheets from Don Steward. Continue reading


Lesson Fail No. 1

Blog posts I have written previously have focussed on resources I have made, examples of pupil work, activities that were successful and anything else related to teaching and learning (including classroom decorating). The same could be said for Twitter – positive messages to share great things happening in my classroom.

However, not every day is a great day. There are lessons which go wrong for many reasons. Days when I feel like I’m right back at the start and feel completely lost.

It is important to share the lessons that didn’t go to plan, to share days where I’ve struggled just to make it to the end of the day. Teaching is hard. Teaching is demanding. Teaching is learning.  Continue reading

Common Mistakes Wall

mistake 1I was listening to Mr Barton’s Podcast with Doug Lemov as I was driving home this afternoon. If you haven’t listened to this podcast or others then you should as they are the best CPD out there and are so informative and interesting. Here is the link to the podcasts.

During this podcast the issue of common misconceptions that pupils have and how to address them in class arose. Continue reading

Maths Game – 1 to 100 grid

I recently shared on Twitter about a maths game I had played with my Higher class. We were practicing differentiating using the chain rule. This is a game I read about on Twitter previously but cannot remember where from. 

Here is how the game works:

On the whiteboard I put up a 1 to 100 grid as shown below and choose one of the numbers as the winning number, which is written on a piece of paper and hidden away. 

I have a set of questions and answers prepared in advance (and all numbered to help marking).

The pupils, who were working in pairs, take a question and work out the solution. They bring me the solution for checking. If it is correct they get to select a number on the 1 to 100 grid. Then they take another question.

If the pupils answer incorrectly, they take the question back to re try. If still incorrect I will provide a hint.

This continues until all the numbers are taken.

The winning number is then revealed and a small prize awarded to the winners. 

I like this game as the more questions each pair answers correctly the higher the chance of choosing the winning number and I get to check every single question completed by the class. This allows me to see all the common errors and misconceptions. 

This game works well with a relatively small class as it can get quite hectic. I will definitely be using it again. 

It can be used for any topic at all. Here’s an example.  

Everything Organization

I do like to organize. I like pretty folders and files. I like colourful drawers and trays. I like labelling boxes and shelves. I like to organize cupboards and rooms. Disclaimer – even though I try to be organized, it doesn’t always go to plan. I do end up with piles of messy papers, misplace things and my pen drive is a mess.

Life is very hectic as a teacher. Constantly changing from one class to the next. Being handed jotters and pieces of paper. It is very easy to lose important documents, pupil work and feel chaotic.

For me, how do I cope? Continue reading

Classroom Management #1

Often there is a pair of rose-tinted glasses on my blogs about awesome lessons and amazing students. While there are great things going on in my classroom there are also periods, classes, days, weeks etc where I am faced with behaviour issues that impact on learning.

I would like to regularly share stories about difficult situations I have faced in my classroom (or corridor) to paint the realistic view of my teaching life. Some of these stories will have happened as recently as last week or as long ago as I can remember. All the names have been changed.  Continue reading