I was looking to review the mocks with year 11 and decided instead of working through each paper, I’d work through by related topics.
I noticed Ss in my class had trouble with finding of amounts when you ended up with parts. They also didn’t notice things in diagrams like 3.5 shades out of 7 is a half or 3.5 out of 14 is a quarter. They didn’t seem comfortable with decimals in fractions
I hope students are able to find the fractions shaded in the images below
I have seen function machines throughout my teaching career but I have mostly dismissed them as a way of displaying a question and I didn’t really appreciate how they could be useful. It wasn’t until I came across the ICCAMS question below that I began to see how they could be useful in the classroom. I have used the question below with a variety of abilities and I always love hearing how the students respond to the question. Usually the lower attaining classes would say that both outputs would be the same and then try values to see this isn’t true. With higher attaining students there was a mix of students who thought it might be the same but felt it should be different and those who thought they weren’t equal but would try values and confirm that they weren’t.
What I liked most about the question was the absence of formal algebra but also that it gave students an opportunity to look at order of operations and how multiply and addition affected values when used sequentially. I also liked how students could reverse the machine and think about inverse operations.
Another thing I liked about the function machines was it gave students the opportunity to notice connection between expressions so I thought about a few of my own questions. In the first pair of machines, I hope that students will notice the outputs are equal and start to think about why this is the case. I like an image that I saw in the ICCAMS project handbook. I have used it as a model to create a similar image for the first set of function machines.
A little puzzle that doesn’t have a unique solution. Students in my year 9 class enjoyed solving it
I enjoyed seeing some responses from class on a perimeter question. There was a shape and its perimeter was given and then students had to find the perimeter of a larger shape made up of the smaller shape.
Students spent time finding the length and width of the smaller shape and then using it to find the larger shape. It wasn’t badly answered, students managed to understand how they would go about answering it and this method worked but the perimeter was 15cm so one of the lengths was 2.5cm. None of the students looked at the edges of the larger shape and saw how they related to the smaller shape. Perimeter
Students in year 11 were struggling with a Perimeter question and I started making up some other questions for them to try. They found each one challenging and had to reason to why certain lengths were equal and how to find the missing lengths.
I’m going to start a page for puzzles. I already have a lot on this site but here’s one that’s a variation on KenKen puzzles. Puzzle
The task below was created to link two topics students were looking at. They need to know what Prime numbers and square numbers are in order to be able to work through the problem. They also need to understand Mean, Range and Median. Students could list Primes and Square and use trial and error but i hope they think about ways to reduce the numbers they need to trial.
Averages, Range and Types of Number
I’ve been observing a trainee teacher teach angles in polygons to year 8. It gave me some time to think of questions I could ask when I teach this next time.
Angles in Polygons