Category Archives: Pedagogy

Hulk Smash!

How important is a “hook” into a lesson? Imagine this: A teacher runs across the room, jumps in the air and falls to the ground with his fists punching the floor, yelling “hulk smash”. For greater effect he would have … Continue reading

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A Challenge to all Mathematics Teachers

Steve Wyborney on his blog – I’m on a Learning Mission – recently challenged educators to: Think deeply about what you believe about every student’s learning potential.  Complete this sentence and post it. “I believe…” I replied: “I believe that … Continue reading

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If Solving Simultaneous Equations with Matrices is the Headache…

I really struggle to think of catchy headings – so I stole this one from Dan Meyer! My Year 10’s are currently learning Matrices – operations, determinants, inverse matrices, etc. Because this group of students “loves” forming groups and solving … Continue reading

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Equations of Tangents and Normals

My Year 12 Maths Methods students are now applying their differentiation skills to applications. Student D. has requested a worked solution to this question: For the function y = loge (2x+3) , find the equations of the tangent and normal … Continue reading

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Emotional Blackmail Backfires

I tried a new strategy to try to motivate my Year 9 Maths class. It went like this: 1. Friday morning. I meet my year 9’s at the door. As usual there are stragglers. 2. I tell the class that … Continue reading

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You can have your Maths Cake and eat it too!

My year 8’s are just finishing a unit on ratio. Their assignment included working out ingredients needed to make a “Harriet Hedgehog” and a “Calculator” cake. You can check out the assignment at hermathness. I added an extra ingredient (excuse … Continue reading

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Resonance

Resonance: Richness or significance, especially in evoking an association or strong emotion. Occasionally I come across blog posts that strongly resonate with my beliefs about education. Here are 3 examples that have evoked strong emotion in me lately: 1. Why … Continue reading

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Introduction to Year 8 Integers

I glance at the classroom door nervously (after 35 years teaching?!?!). My new year 8 class should be arriving in the next few minutes. Will they be as good as my year 8’s last year, which was my favourite class? … Continue reading

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4 More Sleeps

The summer holidays are nearly over. As usual I can’t wait to get back to school. I have had the time to do lots of reading (fiction and mathematics) and to do some planning for this years classes. But nothing … Continue reading

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Multi-Dimensional Learning and Assessment

Two major concerns I have with Mathematics teaching are: 1.  Too much time is spent in Maths classrooms on skills practice. 2.  Assessment is too heavily dependant on written, end of topic tests. Fortunately, these concerns are well addressed in … Continue reading

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