The week that was (no. 14)

It’s been a busy week. The tiredness is starting to hit and I’m beginning to feel the need for a holiday.

My classes have been learning about:

  • S2 – drawing and interpreting graphs
  • S3 – appreciation and depreciation
  • N5 – quadratic equations
  • AH – sequences and series

Don of the week

Yip, another Don Steward mention. Before looking at how to draw pie charts I showed this question to my S2 class.

don steward 5

It was a really great way to assess whether they understood how the frequency related to the size of the segment in the pie chart.

Frustration of the week

My frustration is the inability of pupils to use their calculators correctly. Whilst working on the quadratic formula, despite me pointing out exactly how to use the calculator properly, many pupils did this:

20181202_1118141834644705079295367.jpgWhen working out the highlighted calculation, by not putting a bracket around the -2, the calculator worked out the answer as 4 instead of 12.

This happened with several questions which led to incorrect answers as well as many MATH ERROR displays due to trying to find the square root of a negative number. Why do my pupils ignore me?

Joke of the week

Teaching the quadratic formula allowed me to share this joke with my N5 classes: “what do you feed baby parabolas? Quadratic formula”. It was received with a few smiles and lots of groans.

Resource of the week

My S3 lesson on Thursday ended up being a review lesson as half the class were away on a trip. I decided to recap non-calculator percentages with the help of this Code breaker by Andy Lutwyche (@andylutwyche).

codebreakerIt worked great. The pupils loved trying to figure out the punchline to the joke and then tried to create their own when finished.

Starter of the week

I used two task from Open Middle this week. One about multiplication and one about the quadratic formula.

I was pleasantly surprised by my pupils when tackling the multiplication that they began to spot patterns and connections, essentially using the commutative property of multiplication.

Personal challenge of the week

This week I had to face one of my fears – presenting a workshop to teachers. I was asked to share my thoughts on lesson planning with the secondary NQTs in my region. Even though it was a small group of 16, I was still nervous about standing up and talking to them. But the strangest thing happened, I actually got over my nerves and didn’t feel a complete fool. My workshop was based around evaluating how we plan lessons and sharing some thoughts on planning for learning. Hopefully the NQTs took something away from the workshop. I took inspiration from the blog by Mark Enser (@EnserMark) and from the book “Lean Lesson Planning” by Peps Mccrea (@PepsMccrea).


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