The week that was (no. 23)

It was a four day week this week but it still felt really busy. It was mostly due to having the S4-6 parents evening on Wednesday. I had a full schedule which meant I was talking from 4.30pm to 7pm without stopping. I always find it so useful to chat to parents and wish there was a way for us to be able to do that more often.

My classes have been studying the following:

  • S2 – expanding single brackets
  • S3 – factorising expressions
  • National 5 – vectors
  • Advanced higher – matrices

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How to teach? Expand single brackets

I was introducing how to expand single bracket to a class this week and it got me thinking. I have taught this hundreds of times and in many different ways but what is the best way? Recently I have used an area model to demonstrate. The examples I might use are: 20190209_1341166122175435526542096.jpg
I really like this method as it shows very clearly why 12(x + 1) = 12x + 12 and leads nicely into using a grid for expanding brackets.

So why did I want to change to a different method?

Whilst exploring Open Middle I came across this problem. Continue reading

The week that was (no. 22)

This week started with a snow day and ended with a holiday so I was only at work for three days. Even though, it was still a very busy week. We had a mini inspection, with a team from the Council in doing focus groups and observations.

My classes this week were working on:

  • S2 – calculating bearings and simplifying expressions
  • S3 – foreign currency
  • N5 – trigonometric identities and percentages
  • AH – no lessons this week since I only see them on Mon and Fri

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The week that was (no. 21)

This week saw the return of my senior classes after study leave. This meant I was back to a very busy timetable. It can be tough returning prelims to pupils. It’s great if they have done well as there are big smiles but it is tricky if they haven’t done well. I become torn between the sympathetic tone of “it was a tough paper, don’t get too upset by it” and the harsher tone of “if you had actually worked hard you might have done better”.  Continue reading

The week that was (no. 20)

This week was a quiet teaching week – I taught 10 lessons out of 33. This was due to senior classes being on study leave. While I wasn’t teaching many lessons I was still extremely busy. I attended a meeting about emotion coaching, had two departmental meetings and a link meeting with my line manager. I managed to get some development work done which I had been struggling to find time to do previously.

Here’s what my classes (that I had this week) were doing:

  • S2 – review of decimals and fractions
  • S3 – review of trigonometry and circle and assessments

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The week that was (no. 19)

This week was a little different from usual. The S4-6 pupils were on study leave for their prelims which meant I didn’t have my N5 classes or my Advanced Higher class. It did mean though that I had a large pile of prelims to mark. Marking prelims can often be frustrating as you see pupils making so many mistakes (some careless and others not) and not answering questions you know they can do. It can make you feel like you haven’t taught them anything over the past few months. However, there are always others which make you smile especially when you see a piece of working that you didn’t expect. I also had to take an S1 class this week to cover for a colleague who was on a school trip all week. Continue reading