Questions that promote thinking

I came across this document awhile back on Twitter.

The link to this document is here. The poster has 100 questions for teachers to ask students to promote mathematical thinking and classroom discussion. I was really drawn to these and wanted a way to implement these in my classroom. Many of these questions I ask on a regular basis but felt that many of these questions would be very useful for my students to ask themselves as well. My problem was how to interpret these and display these in a helpful way.

Then yesterday I saw these on Twitter: Continue reading

Integers Misconceptions

Why is it that so few of my pupils have a real understanding of performing calculations with negative numbers.

I have recently been working on finding the equation of a line in slope-intercept form with my S3 class. They investigated how to calculate gradient and have a great understanding of how to calculate gradient. The problems arose when actually calculating the gradient. So many errors with calculations such as -4 – (-5).

Listening to conversations at various tables I hear statements like “two negatives make a positive” and “I hate negative numbers”. The main misconceptions seem to be that since 6 – (-3) = 9 then -3 + (-4) = 7 since two negatives make a positive. Continue reading

#MTBoS12days Looking forward to …

What am I looking forward to in 2016?

There are a few things that come to mind straight away:

  • writing my blog – this is very new to me and so far I have enjoyed writing my posts. It has helped greatly having the #MTBoS12days to base my posts on. When I don’t have them I will have to think a lot more about what I want to blog about and why.

Continue reading

#MTBoS12days Moment that challenged me

As a maths teacher I face new challenges every day but my biggest challenge recently involved my other job.

As well as being a maths teacher I am the Principal Teacher of Achievement. This is a promoted post that I have been in since September 2014. The post involves recognising and celebrating achievement in the school.

I was asked to lead an improvement team to develop a new merit award system. The moment that challenged me – when the Head Teacher informed me that I had to speak at assemblies to launch the new system.

Continue reading

#MTBoS12days One thing to improve

One thing I want to improve this term … this is the Yule Time Challenge set. This is incredibly difficult to decide upon because there are so many areas where I feel I need to make improvements.

However, if I want to make significant changes and have them be effective then it is wise to focus on one or two small changes and build from there.

One area which has always been a struggle for me is dealing with pupils who have been absent. Whether an illness or appointment or school trip or family holiday, pupils tend to expect to walk back into class and somehow magically catch up with the rest of the class. One of my biggest frustrations is when a pupil leaves a homework or test question blank and says “I was off when you did this”. Continue reading