I meant to post this at the end of last year but it sat neglected in my drafts for a while. I was thinking about the things that had been useful over the year.
Foldables are like little pop up books. I saw one on pintrest from an American blog and set about making some myself. It’s nice when you’re revising and students ask something to be able to say ‘just check your foldable’ as they are easy to find. I’ll write a longer post soon and put up some of the examples I’ve done but I’ve used them for everything from simple things at GCSE to the SUVAT formulas.
2. Peer assessment Questions
When asked my students often say what they would like is more exam questions. I’m not sure why but they feel like that’s what they need to be doing but I’ve run with it this year and had them doing one a week. The trick though has been to get them into marking each others work and giving useful feedback. I started the year by giving them the mark scheme and sentence starters for feedback, by the end I could just remind them to write a strength and area for improvement.
3. Diagnostic questions
I’m not quite sure when MR Barton sleeps but his new website http://www.diagnosticquestions.com is brilliant. Diagnostic questions have been my go to plenary or quick skills check when starting a topic this year. I’ve just used mini whiteboard as they are already out on the tables and then had students explain their answers but hopefully I can have a go with the new tablets next year. I love them ever more after the presentation at the edexcel maths conference where Craig showed us all the analysis that can be done. I do like some good stats!
4. Questions by topic
For personalised revision the questions by topic collated by mathed up here have been brilliant. All of my students have a blue sheet with the list of topics on that they tick off as they go through. After assessments I can give individual work to do in workshops just by writing down which numbers to look at. We got a class set of tablets so I’ve put on a QR code so that students can watch the videos which works well as it’s always difficult to improve without a bit of help and there is only one of me. At the back of the classroom there are folders with the answers in so students get into the habit of checking their answers.
5. Bread and butter starters
Saving the best for last is this simple but brilliant idea from Just Maths. It’s a set of starters to give repeated practice on the key skills needed for GCSE and you should read Mel’s post about them here. I’ve done one a week with all my GCSE classes and they love them, so much so that there was nearly a riot the week I suggested we do something else. They give a calm purposeful start to the lesson where students know exactly what is expected of them and everyone achieves something straight away as there’s a good variety of questions so there’s always a few they can answer even early on. As my students have come through different schools it’s always interesting to compare methods. We’re working on an AS versions for next year.