It was the second week of prelim study leave for our senior pupils so I had a reduced teaching timetable again. This gave me time to attend a meeting with our Primary head teachers to discuss numeracy and how we are going to work more collaboratively to try to raise attainment. It was a really productive meeting and I now have scheduled visits to primary schools to observe their teaching and help with numeracy lessons. Hopefully this is a positive step forward. I also attended training on how to use data from the SNSAs (Scottish National Standardised Assessments) to help raise attainment. Along with prelim marking, verification and discussions about results, it was a busy week.
Here’s what my classes were doing:
S2: we were continuing with our work on volume and surface area. We spent one period reviewing work from last week with some of the class practising basic calculations while others worked on problem solving questions.
We then moved onto looking at volume of prisms. To begin with we explored what a prims is. I held up a shape and said “this is a prism”, then another shape and said “this is not a prism”. The class then had to consider what they thought a prism could be. I continued with examples of prisms and non-examples until the class understood exactly what a prism was. There was some debate about a cylinder!!. The class work was a set of questions I took from a Corbett Maths worksheet which allowed pupils to review area of a triangle, parallelogram and trapezium.
The last part we did was finding the surface area of a triangular prism. Next week we will spend time on mixed practise of volume and surface area.
S3: the class had a numeracy assessment, which the majority of the class passed. I was very pleased as these pupils often forget everything as soon as it comes to an assessment. We then started our work on algebra. Most of the skills we covered the pupils had met in S1 and S2 but they need to be revisited as most of the class had no memory of it. We started with simplification of expressions involving adding and subtracting. I used example problem pairs then the class worked on a textbook exercise. We then played Simplifying Shootout – a game from www.goteachmaths.co.uk
For each question, the fastest pupil to give a correct answer gets one point and everyone who answers correctly gets one point. The class loved it. The competitive element provided fun whilst everyone still aimed to get one point even if they knew they wouldn’t be the fasted. I will definitely use more of these.
S1: my numeracy group were tackling mobiles this week. With my aim of improving resilience and problem solving, these sheets from Don Steward were perfect and most pupils enjoyed the challenge.
To finish, I used the website SolveMeMobiles for whole class questioning. It was really engaging and I could see instantly which pupils understood and those who didn’t.
Next week it will be back to normal with all my senior pupils back. This means there will be many conversations about prelim results – good and bad – and recommending change of levels for those who have not met the required standard.