The week that was (no.24)

This week was a good week. I found out that our department had passed our SQA verification. Whilst I was confident that we would, it was a relief to get official confirmation. Other than that, my week has been spent focussing on senior classes, trying to sort out change of levels and starting the build up to exam time.

My classes have been working on:

  • S2: expanding single brackets and stem and leaf diagrams
  • S3: factorising quadratics
  • N5: vectors
  • AH: inverse matrices, transformations and Euclidean Algorithm

Progress of the week Continue reading

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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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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