At the moment both me and the colleague I joint plan with have ITE students teaching our Year 10 top sets for 3 out of 4 contacts a week. In the remaining lesson we’re teaching them a mixture of geeky enrichment and Level 2 Further Maths. I’ve been wanting to try some of Dan Meyer’s 3 Acts activities for a long time so a few weeks ago we dived in with both feet and gave one a go. My class loved it and left asking “can we do another activity like that, Miss” and “that’s proper Maths that is!”
Yesterday I tweeted after spending a double lesson with 10A working on problem solving; its generated quite a bit of interest and I’ve been thinking about problem solving in the context of the new curriculum quite a lot recently.
I can’t praise the Bowland Maths resources enough. These projects are Mathematically Rich and help pupils develop excellent skills of problem solving and team work. I’ve used many of the activities before but this week I have been delivering the Highway Design project to my Year 9 group.
I’ve spent part of my day working on this problem, so thought I should blog about it.
A colleague had set an investigation for his Year 9 class to find the biggest tetrahedron that could be fit into a cube of side length 3cm. In itself, this is a nice problem which pupils attempted initially via trial and improvement before realising that they could incorporate some Pythagoras’ calculations to help. Pupils made models and hence practiced their skills of construction. Ace. Fantastic. Then another colleague who teaches the parallel Year 9 top set to me (NC levels 7a to 8a) began to think about how we could extend this task for our groups. That’s where it got more interesting…
My Year 10’s are preparing to sit AQA Unit 1 in November. They have previously sat Unit 2 and currently about half are on a grade C and half on a grade D. They have mastered the basics of the content but are struggling with the more functional aspects and questions which ask them to explain or interpret. They are at the “read and panic” stage so I wanted to devise an activity where they could work with their peers and increase their confidence whilst learning from others.