Risk your Quadratic skills

My last post about this great revision game was “Risk your Algebra skills“.

completing-the-squareIn Year 11 Maths Methods, we have been learning about Quadratic equations. Like most classes there is a wide range of abilities. Some kids get quadratics and others struggle. “Completing the Square” is like learning Chinese to some. Finding the meaning of the discriminant is harder than trying to store your luggage at a Russian railway station!


But I will help these kids experience success.

In Bob Sullo’s excellent book “The Motivated Student“, he states that: “All behaviour, from birth until death, is purposeful, engaged in so that we can meet five human drives:

• To survive and be safe and secure
• To connect and belong
• To achieve power and competence
• To be free and autonomous
• To play, enjoy, and have fun” (page 38)

“Rather than cultivating an environment of fear, build a culture of success. Adopt the following three key messages, articulated by Saphier and Gower:

  • This is important.
  • You can do it.
  • I won’t give up on you“. (page 13)

I have articulated these last 3 statements to my students and I’m pretty sure they believe me.


So tomorrow we start revising Quadratics and the students are looking forward to Risking their Quadratic skills (I have planted some seeds!) This time round I have changed one important thing:

Instead of me allocating their FACTOR based on past assessment, they have chosen their own factor on a scale from 1 to 6. However this number is open to peer approval. Luke had no hesitation in nominating a factor of 1 and of course no one objected. When it was Megan’s turn she nominated a factor of 4.1. Her peers were very certain that this was way too high and reversed it to 1.4. Megan came back with 3.9 and finally settled with 2.9.

I think that this method empowers the students to realistically assess their progress on a particular topic.

Their nominated factors are:  1.0, 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 1.9, 2.0, 2.9, 3.1, 3.4, 3.5, 4.0, 5.9

Here is my game sheet.

Stay tuned to see how the students risk their…..


About webmaths

I have been teaching Mathematics in Victorian secondary schools for 30 years. I use the www to make my maths lessons better. I hope this blog will give other teachers some ideas to try in their own classes.
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