These are going down really well with my students … so I’ve put another one together (here), along with the solution. It even features a little festive kitten which is my nod to the forthcoming festivities (it is after all still only November, so lets not get too excited!).
Last week was, as usual, hectic and its not until the weekend comes around that I get some real time to stop and think about the previous week and what has (or hasn’t) been achieved. In my day job I got loads done, new display (my maths criminals) is nearly finished, every book marked with “next step” comments, tests from the previous couple of weeks have all been RAG rated by my year 11’s. I have to say that I think the past exam papers that they are doing for homework over 4 weeks, is making a real difference to them, in helping them to remember how to do all the “bread and butter topics” (they’re a set 1 and set 2). The first week of marking is the worst but as they progress through the paper, it gets easier and they get a kick out of seeing the progress through the grades they make. I’ll take some photos on Tuesday and put a proper blog post to explain it and also show off my new display.
I also had a “blink” observation that went well … and of all things, the one thing that let me down was my feedback and marking, and the fact that the students didn’t know their target grades (it turns out, having spoken to a couple of them, they didn’t know that their Mechanics 1 targets are the same as their core grades) and what they needed to do to improve despite my “lengthy” marking. I’m still mulling over what I can do differently to address this and also kicking myself slightly that I didn’t put their tracking folders on the tables in front of them … doh!! But having the information in front of them, won’t prove they know they know their targets … it will show they can read their targets…. hmmm … no doubt I’ll come back to this at some point.
Outside of my day job, JustMaths continues to go from strength to strength, and not just this site (who guessed people would want to read about the trials and tribulations of a maths teacher?), but also more and more schools every day are using the Top 40/JustMaths online. Additionally, the response to getting involved in a collaborative scheme of work has been phenomenal and there are now about 45 teachers all ready and chomping at the bit to start working on what could be, the scheme of work that Carling would write (obviously that’s if they wrote schemes of work!). More on that when we’ve heard what timescales the exam boards are working to, in terms of producing specifications.
The highlight (honest!) of my day on Friday was getting a new travel mug:
To be honest I’ve had better Fridays – I was told my Uncle Peter (the last relative on my dads side) had passed away, earlier this month (don’t ask!) and it put the whole week into perspective. We think what we do defines us – its not our job who defines “who we are”, it is the effect we have on those we deal with day in, and day out. On that note, I’m signing off … it’s all getting a bit deep and meaningful for me.