Thursday, 30 August 2012

Grade C Card Sort

Its a series of 'worksheets' split into different topics. They are all different types of questions mainly grade C according to the topic. What I have done is adjusted the worksheets slightly and then printed them off as card sorts in different colours as you can see below. This just makes the whole process of revising a little more engaging for those students who 'really can't be bothered' as they say. I have put up a picture of the cards so you can see a snapshot of the content. 

The way I delivered the lesson is I put the students into groups of 3, asked student 1 to pick a question for student 2 and student 3 to check the answer. This worked really well for the groups I introduced them to as it initiated discussion between them. It was clear to see some students are stronger than others at the different topics and so they helped each other with questions they found difficult.

Things I would change is the colour coding on the cards. If you look at the cards they are all in subgroups. Ideally I should have printed out each subgroup accordingly onto different coloured card so it would be easier for the students to see the different groups and work on the questions according to group. But...I was trying to save the trees and so printed them all onto the same colourJ

I have just the picture below for now. As soon as I figure out how to upload the document I will do so.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Back to school..

So it was the first day back to school today, strangely enough I actually feel glad to be back to a regular routine after these magnificent 6 weeks. I thought it might have been a reasonably laid back schedule with it being the first day back, silly me, we were in and it was all stations go!
We went through the results from last week and compared them to last years and the bench mark. From there we then dispersed into departments and analysed individual class results. I only taught AS last year but even so, the results of these students depend on whether or not they take Maths this year so it did make me feel very conscientious. From looking and comparing results of the different classes we were then asked to make certain targets in order to improve for next year. We were asked to take a few factors into consideration: the results, teaching and learning surveys undertaken by the students, lesson observation feedback, reflections on lessons.
Upon reflecting on all of the above there are a lot of targets I would make. Those of you who work in a sixth form college will know that the majority of the pressure comes from ‘above’ to make sure we get the least number of ‘U’ grades as possible. So, we try and concentrate as much as we possibly can to be on the back of the borderline students so they get their ‘E’ grade rather than the dreaded ‘U’ grade. But after thinking about this further, is this actually good for the student, and in turn better for us as teachers? Will the ‘E’ grade really make a difference for them (bearing in mind all the hard work put in by us and them). If a student is not ‘good’ at a subject then why should we have to break our backs for them to just scrape a pass? Wouldn’t you rather concentrate on getting those A-B grades? I’d like to know your views on this so feel free to leave comments..
I have not concluded any targets as yet, I will be happy to share them with you if anyone would like to know. 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Twitter in the classroom???

Has the world gone twitter mad???

I recently attended an inset session that showed how you can use twitter as a teaching tool. At first, I didn't know what to make of this, as the session was run by a teacher who was using it for a humanities subject. Once I had googled the use of twitter in the classroom, I grasped a few brilliant uses of it in the classroom for specifically maths...

Use 1: using it to engage the students. At A level you would have thought all students will be engaged by the subjects they choose but this is not the case! If you follow various mathematicians and retweet comments made by them you will find this may actually inspire a lot of students!

Use 2: a small tweet for due dates of home works or constant reminders for revision will always help!

Use 3: daily/ weekly short puzzles. I say short as it needs to be less than 140 characters. Another option would be to put up a link for a problem. This will get students to think outside the box even when they aren't in the classroom.

These are the main uses I have found so far. There are many more uses that are out there but these will be mentioned as soon as I have found them and gotten to grips with the use of twitter. Another useful point I should make is that there is an option to create lists on twitter so you can group up your different classes and then send tweets accordingly.

As I have only just started using twitter I will not be putting up a link. I will wait till later on in the year when I have added on the new classes at the start of term before I link it onto this blog. I think it should be a very useful tool to use as it is a way of communicating with students even when they are not in college. E.g. If a student is struggling with a question or a concept they can tweet you and pretty much get an immediate response rather than having to wait for the next class.

I hope I have inspired you to use this tool and fingers crossed if it works for me and I will hopefully be raving on about it later on in the year!