Dear Jerrelle…

Dear coach…     

This month: Maths

A question box was placed in the staff room and staff members anonymously submitted questions they had about teaching and learning.

  1. How can I set targets beyond pass/fail in FS skills?

Firstly, no learners should be targeted to fail. All learners should be targeted to pass their course but the dates at which they are expected to pass will depend on their exam dates. Therefore, to make this “pass” target smarter, give a date by which they are expected to pass. Beyond this, each learner will be at different points within their ability in the course. They will likely each need to build different skills in order to pass their course, meaning, targets should be set regarding these skills the learners need to build. For example, if a learner has a strong ability in addition and subtraction but requires improvement within fractions, their target could be based on that. Another way of setting them targets beyond “pass” could be to allow the learners to set them for themselves. This could be fortnightly or termly so they themselves could reflect upon whether they have met them or not and why.

  1. I sometimes feel I lack imagination to deliver innovative lessons. This is genuinely an issue, particularly with IT. Can you advise?

Bringing different resources and activities into the classroom is always trial and error. Some things will work with some classes but then be a disaster with others. We mustn’t let this put us off though. Of course, it cannot be said what may work for your particular class but here are a few links and directions: – This site gives you a blank board which learners can click on and write on when given the link to the board. It is live, so if all learners have it up on their screens, they can see what each one types. You could potentially put math problems on there and direct them at particular learners (assign questions using the group profile to plan which questions go to which student). This is also a great tool for peer review. – This site gives you and learners the ability to make an engaging storyboard. You can add backgrounds, characters and text etc. This could be a way of making a worksheet more engaging for learners or learners could develop their own maths questions using this.

Time is always an issue, but it is worth having a shop around on the internet and playing with different tools and resources to find ones that suit you and your class.

Next month: English



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