Lesson 1 – Set 7 (10 pupils- all SEND)
Straight Line Graphs continued –
We were in a computer room so I decided to have the first half of the lesson doing straight line graphs on Mathswatch to consolidate what they were doing last lesson. I estimated watching the video and answering the interactive questions would take about 40 minutes. I told them to revise for their test next week if they had completed the straight line graphs work as they have a test soon. They have a revision task on Mathswatch.
Some of the sillier boys decided to go on the wrong website completely and needed to be taken off the computers and given written work to do when they ignored my warning.
Most of the class worked well and I could see their understanding of the topic improved.
Lesson 2 – Set 2 (31 pupils)
Converting between fractions, decimals and percentages –
I changed the seating plan based on the issues some pupils mentioned in yesterdays lesson.
I put all pupils that talk too much on one table at the front and then sat at that table. That worked well although I’m not sure how sustainable it is.
Put a puzzle on the board for pupils to do while everyone was finding their correct seat.
I put 6 conversions on the board and asked pupils if anyone thought they could answer any of the questions or, better yet, explain how to do a conversion. Through this I found that most pupils knew how to convert fractions to decimals and decimals to percentages.
Once those were on the board pupils quickly figured out how to convert percentages to decimals and fractions to percentages. We had a discussion around whether it was better to convert fractions to percentages by making the denominator 100 or by converting to a decimal first and then to a percentage. We agreed that it was sometimes more efficient but would sometimes be very difficult.
I was slightly surprised that they didn’t know how to convert a percentage to a fraction given what they did already know. When we went through that one of them asked whether they should simplify the fractions and we then did a quick recap of simplifying fractions.
Converting decimals to fractions was the only thing they found at all tricky so I really had to break it down for them and show them a few examples.
By this point we were 30 minutes into the lesson. I gave them some questions to do and put some ordering fractions, decimals and percentages questions on the board to do as an extension. That led to some interesting discussions about whether 0.33 was the same as 1/3.
This lesson went very well.
Lesson 3 – Set 1 (31 pupils)
I put some simplifying ratios question on the board as a starter. Most pupils remembered how to do it and quickly explained it to those pupils that didn’t. When we went through the answers the class said they were happy to move on to something else so we moved on to sharing in a ratio.
I showed them three different ways of approaching these questions focusing mostly on a bar modelling approach. I wanted to do that because I find that pupils in this school are surprisingly reluctant to use diagrams or drawings to solve problems. For some reason quite a few of them think it is beneath them to do so and I think that attitude disadvantages them.
About half the class used diagrams and by the end of the lesson they were all able to divide in a ratio correctly. The resource was just a screenshot of a pretty standard worksheet.
I put some extension questions on the board which combined sharing in a ratio with a bit of algebra and finished off with the candles problem from NRich.
This lesson went well but some pupils are showing signs of fragility when they find the work difficult. I think some work on resilience will help them. They are a bright class and some of them have not experienced struggling with questions much before. I need to help them experience the sense of accomplishment that comes from spending some time struggling with a challenge and finally succeeding.
Lesson 4 – Set 5 (16 pupils)
Scatter Graphs (continued) –
Asked pupils for examples of positive, negative and no correlation as a starter. Most pupils remembered the definitions. We had a discussion about outliers and how a correlation was more of a general trend than a rule in most cases.
Pupils finished off the exam questions from the previous lesson and then some completed an extension sheet. There were 2 parts to the extension. One was to, after discussing it with their group, sketch what they thought the scatter graph of various situations would look like. The other was to draw scatter graphs from scratch without the axis drawn for them.
Most pupils were well behaved today but there was some off task chatting and some silliness (taking each other’s stuff) which needed addressing. Had to give 2 tables more attention than others due to behaviour. I felt that the level of silliness started to rise unless either myself or the TA were in close proximity to them.
The TA (a different one to last lesson) was excellent. Very good at politely reminding pupils of what they were supposed to be doing. Lacking a bit of confidence in her Maths but she was capable and I think it will come.
All the pupils completed the main activity correctly and about 4-5 did most of the extension work too.
I was happy with how this lesson went but I will need to address the behaviour so that these 2 tables don’t occupy so much staff time in lessons.
Lesson 5 – Set 2 (31 pupils)
First 20 minutes- Revision booklet on basic Pythagoras and Trigonometry. Then Sine and Cosine Rules
They remember the bascic topics quite well. Main error was not reading the question. Class had forgotten what bearings are. They remembered what I said about labelling the sides and angles of shapes and what I taught them about avoiding rounding errors.
Then they worked on mixed cosine and sine rule questions. I used a screenshot from a worksheet. I spoke to them briefly about homework and then circulated. Everyone was working well most of the time although a few pupils were a little bit chatty and/or silly once or twice. My “death glare” was enough to deal with the chatting and silliness.
They struggled with worded questions because they found it difficult to draw the scenarios and thy weren’t confident drawing bearings.
I lost track of time and forgot to put the answers on the board, so I will have to do that as a starter next lesson.
I don’t really want to do an entire lesson on bearings so I might weave in some bearings starters.
This is class is way behind where they should be in the scheme of work. I’ve only just started teaching them and while they are a bit weak and lacking confidence I don’t know why they are so far behind.
I thought this lesson went pretty well despite the classes surprising difficulties with what is a relatively easy topic. I expected the problems with the worded questions. I did not expect bearings to be what tripped them up.
Lesson 6 – Set 2 – (31 pupils)
Ordering Fractions –
The came up with 2 ways of ordering fractions on their own. I just put the title on the board and one said, “Is that when…” and another said “I think it’s when….” And they were both right.
I gave them 8 questions to do. They had to order the fractions by making the denominators equal and then check their answers (thanks to @bcoops_online)
I put the “How many squares on a chessboard?” task on the board with some scaffolding for pupils to think about if they were finished.
The class’s work, effort and behaviour were almost exemplary. They all did the main task. Some of them had a decent crack at the chessboard problem and a few asked if they could finish the chessboard problem at home.
I know I’m tempting fate her but this class is already one of my favourite classes ever.
Lesson 7 – Set 2 (16 pupils)
Pythagoras and Trigonometry –
This lesson is only attended by pupils that have been judged to be underachieving or for another reason in need of some extra support. My group is full of lazy pupils with realistic targets, hard-working pupils with unrealistic targets and some nice, quiet kids that could use a confidence boost and a bit of extra teacher time.
Pupils struggled with understanding what some questions were asking them to do. This is partly because they don’t read the questions properly.
Once pointed in the right direction they can do the Maths. Much more practice is needed on exam style questions, but the problem is that they when they get stuck they immediately ask a peer or teacher, so they aren’t practicing figuring it out on their own. In tests most of them miss out any question they can’t understand immediately.
I’m not sure how to best address that problem but we’ll see if there has been any improvement when they do their mock.
To paraphrase, the meeting was:
- Here’s some detail about how insane your marking workload is about to get. We had a discussion amongst TLR holders and decided this is necessary. However if you can’t cope we will support you with it. (I think this offer is genuine but I can’t see anyone taking it up and asking for the support whether it is or not)
- Positive feedback about the quality of teaching in the department (which was nice)