This week…

…such a busy one – so I’ll be brief (but can’t break that new year resolution of January 2011, the only one I have ever kept, to write a post each week!)

So this week – I have been using my name cards – I’m learning names fast! My classes all know that I think WolframAlpha and Desmos are rather useful and we have had some great discussions on the learning behaviours I’ll be noting about them all on ClassCharts.

I must recommend the free samples from Bring On the Maths, the Core 3 activity – Logarithmic equations worked really well with my Year 13 class and next week I’ll use the C4 Binomial Expansion resource when we are talking about the validity of a given expansion. I have used the Trigonometric Ratios resource before – and will again; there are several other great resources in that list of samples – explore!

Now to hand over to a master (and his son), I love this TED talk from Hans and Ola Rosling. Can you do better than the chimps? Why we are all so statistically ignorant! (More on The Ignorance Project)


Dollops of Feedback!

The most powerful single modification that enhances achievement is feedback. The simplest prescription for improving education must be “dollops of feedback”.
Hattie, J.A. (1992). Measuring the effects of schooling. Australian Journal of Education (see page 9).

Exam Reflection 8

Marking the examination papers for my Year 8 students (UK age 12-13) has made me think about the feedback I want to give them. I want to help them understand any misconceptions they have and what steps they need to make to improve. 

Having marked the set of papers I can see common misconceptions so I thought this time I would provide my students with a list that they could traffic light as we review their examination. There is also room for their own comments. Once they have reflected on their performance and decided what they need to focus on I will give them some further questions. I believe we should also reflect on their revision techniques and strategies.

I will also provide them with a form they can complete with the possible marks for each question so they can write in their own marks.

The list has obviously been designed for this particular test, but in case it is useful for providing ideas, you can download it here:
Exam review checklist (Excel)

Exam review checklist (pdf)

The reference to the gritty attitude comes from Angela Lee Duckworth.

Further References

Geoff Petty on feedback

Feedback – how am I doing?
This booklet summarises a survey of feedback and marking in key stages 2 and 3 which was completed under the Education Development Plan (EDP) over several months in 2000 – 2001. A team of 19 advisers and advisory teachers were involved and they focused their observations on practice which was making a discernible difference to students’ learning.

Mike Gershon – The Whole Class Feedback Guide (hosted on TES Resources – registration is free)
25 strategies for eliciting feedback from an entire class of students.

Websites for Students…and more!

One of the most popular posts on this blog is Top >10 Mathematics Websites. It struck me that it might be useful to think about my top recommendations for students; once again using some categories as well as individual sites gives me the excuse to mention more than 10! So for your students:
Top >10 Mathematics Websites for Students

Back to the teachers!

I have mentioned TED-Ed before with its collection of Mathematics videos, note the feature now offered by TED-Ed to ‘find and flip’ which allows you to use a video and turn it into a lesson; see ‘Flip This Video’.

Looking at some videos, it struck me that something like  Gaurav Tekriwal’s The magic of Vedic Math would be ideal to tinker with! (These ‘tricks’ can make ideal starters, I have linked to some further videos on this page on Number on Mathematics Starters.)

On the subject of videos and TED, have you heard Ken Robinson’s latest talk,
How to escape education’s death valley?


From TED who provide free and inspiring video talks comes a new education channel: Ted-Ed YouTube ChannelNew videos will be added regularly, the introductory video explains TED’s aims for this education initiative.

It is possible to browse the videos by subject. There are a number of Mathematics videos currently available and the collection will grow.

My year 10s (UK age 14-15) were impressed with the video, Hans Rosling’s ‘best stats you’ve ever seen’. We also answered the question he posed near the beginning of the video to see how we compared to the chimpanzees!

Students can try the Gapminder software themselves. A teachers’ page has numerous resources and guides on how to use Gapminder are also available.
It is possible to share a graph, try clicking on the image below to see this graph on Gapminder. You can easily generate different graphs by using the menus available on the axes.
Note the menu on the left of the graph which includes options to browse examples and download a pdf guide.

For further Mathematics videos – see the Videos page.
The TedEd collection has been added to the Evernote shared notebook.