Gandalf - graphThis week has been mental. Press article about why I became a teacher, developing resources,, writing some other article “thing,”,  teaching, being a wife /daughter  and oh yes! Our school received confirmation that it is officially the MOST IMPROVED SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY. Yes! Country!!!

Amongst all the chaos, I have been thinking about how to build up the resilience of one of my year 9 groups. A few times, when I have introduced a task or activity that is a little different I find that ONE student doesn’t understand what they have to do – and next thing you know they have convinced themselves that the work is too hard – this thinking seems to be infectious, and goes around the room faster than the flu hits the staff room at the end of term.

To try to overcome this I wanted to put together a couple of activities that mimic some of my other activities but with quite a low level of maths challenge (I chose number bonds). The idea being that these, lets call them “training resources” required the students to use similar systematic processing and evaluation skills that I want them to develop with more complicated topics without getting lost in the “maths”.  The first of these is a style of worksheet (25 – is the 13th odd number) I use in which the students have to “follow” the answers to reveal a phrase – in this case it should read “25 is the 13th odd number”  is they have completed the number bonds (to 25)  correctly. The second is a mini mystery (Who – where and when – number bonds) that involves evaluating statements to find out who, where and when our crime was committed – again, I use this style of worksheet quite a lot and I need to get them to develop and use strategies to help them.