What I learnt about teaching Maths in 2016

I’ve been wanting to write another blog post for a while now. Throughout this year, I have been inspired by my students to get typing and start sharing my thoughts online. It’s been great, but now that they’ve finished up, I feel the need to have a look back to see what the year entailed.…

Ditching Tests for Desmos

Last¬†Friday, we took a massive leap in what we hope is a forward direction. The Maths coordinator (@Jason_Loke) and I gave our students a summative assessment task that could potentially change the way we assess students in maths. In South Australia, we have two main types of assessment in mathematics: Folio Tasks (Mathematical Investigations) and…

Solving Quadratics Using Misconceptions

8:33am I’ve just finished a conversation with a colleague to frantically finish/start planning how the hell I was going to teach solving quadratics to my Year 10s and 11s at 8.40am. I posted this photo on Twitter the night before the lesson, probably while procrastinating from actually planning the next morning’s maths lesson: This is…

What can you do with this? #wcydwt

Just over a month ago, Jason Loke (@Jason_Loke) tagged me in the video below and asked me, “What can you do with this?”. It wasn’t the first or last time that Jason had done this, but I thought that I could actually do something with it. I later found out that there was a hashtag…

The Best Worksheet I have ever (re)written

Sometimes a Professional Learning workshop can make you think. Sometimes they can make you so sleepy that you question whether there was any caffeine in that triple shot latte latte you just finished. Sometimes they can make you question how you teach and excite you to try new things. Luckily for me, I went to…

Time to talk about Learning

On Friday, I invited a first year teacher from my school to sit in on one of my Maths lessons. When I mentioned it to her, she leapt at the opportunity to see how someone else taught. I didn’t really have much of an idea about whether the lesson was going to be overly exciting,…

Engaging Boys in Maths

For the past eighteen months (three quarters of my teaching career), I have been teaching at least one “All-Boys” Maths class. Many¬†of my pondering posts have been about teaching such classes, with some explicitly referring to the context in which I teach them; Year 10 and 11 students in the same class, sometimes sharing the…

Five Resources I wish I knew about when I started Teaching Maths

Over the past few weeks, I have been working with a small group of Final-Year Pre-Service Maths teachers. As part of their Education degree at Flinders University, they have to complete classroom observations of Maths teachers against the Teaching for Effective Learning (TfEL) Framework. Additionally, I am lucky enough to be one of the teachers…

Using Problem Based Learning in Maths… Again

Creating wonder in the classroom is even better when you’re discovering things with the students. My terrible habit of preparing for lessons 5-10 minutes before they start is becoming more frequent, and scarily, more successful. Yesterday morning, in the ritual dance of having a shower, getting dressed, and making my coffee before leaving for work,…

Watching TV and planning lessons?

Whether it’s picking the trigger happy judge on The Voice or the next raw egg in Jimmy Fallon’s Egg Roulette, television shows are rich with potential lessons for your classroom. As a Maths teacher, I use my powers of finding what the students enjoy and ruining it with what they hate – maths problems. I…