Showing posts from September, 2008

My TeachMeet slot - Animation in Maths

Here's what I would have said if I'd had more time:

I have grabbed one hour per week in an IT suite with my class of level B/C S2 mathematics pupils. We have spent some time using Tutpup, which has been good fun, and has caught the students' imaginations. But it does not fill an hour per week - 20 minutes is about enough at one time.

The biggest success has been the work we have done on creating mathematical stories. We happen to have been using GoAnimate, but I think this would work just as well with Comic Life, Digital Video or any medium which has some depth of skill acquisition but delivers rapid initial gratification.

Here's an (unfinished) example of one of the animations:

I am pleased with this project for several reasons:

The pupils are enjoying learning how to make animations. Enjoyment is sometimes a bit thin on the ground in maths for some of these students, despite my efforts to jolly things up, so I'm delighted to see them turning up early to the computer l…

Is there a third way for S1/S2 maths?

As people all across Scotland are busy "re-imagining school education" I've been reflecting on my experience over the last 18 years as a secondary maths teacher, particularly on the two ways that classes have been organised over the years.

When I began teaching at Newbattle High School in 1990, S1 and S2 maths classes across Scotland were mixed-ability, and almost every school was using a resource called SMP Maths (my legendary PT Simon Smith at North Berwick being a rare exception). SMP consisted of a series of many small booklets, each of which taught a small bit of mathematical content. The booklets were only a dozen pages or so long, and pupils worked through them in a set order, at their own pace.

The big advantage of this system was that every pupil could engage with work at an appropriate level, and work at their own pace. The disadvantages were many: teachers spent hours marking tests and organising the booklets and very little time teaching; when they did teach…

This week I have been mostly...

My blog posts have become rather sparse of late.  Twitter is largely to blame.  You can see what I've been up to by following me here: