Ms Steel Maths

I like to make things, get over excited about spreadsheets, enjoy maths and get bored easily all of which explains why I love teaching.

Gambling with futures

Yesterday’s letter has me wondering whether I’m doing the best thing for my students. The full letter is here but the paragraph I’m interested in is this one

“Under the new system, a grade 4 and above will be equivalent to a C and above. This isand will remainthe level that pupils must achieve in order not to be required to continue studying English and maths post 16. Therefore, a GCSE pass at new grade 4 will continue to have real currency for individual pupils as they progress to further study and employment. Where employers, FE providers and universities currently accept a grade C we would expect them to continue recognising a grade 4.” Continue reading “Gambling with students futures”

I like to know how students are feeling about topics, there’s usually a few points during lesson where I’ll get students to do either whiteboard or thumbs up/down so I can get an idea of where they are all up to. It works well enough but there’s usually a bit of looking around and wanting to be the same as others. As there’s now often chromebooks or tablets out in the lesson anyway I’ve been getting students to do a quick exit ticket in Google Forms.  It’s really easy to do and working well.

Capture Continue reading “Exit tickets”

Feedback sheets an update

A while ago I posted about helping students reflect on mock exams and learn from their mistakes. The original post is here . This year it’s all had an update as we’re using Google Classroom which makes it all much easier. Continue reading “Feedback sheets an update”

Recently Jack Brown ( @TLMaths) was asking about homework on twitter and the things I was trying to explain got too long and I needed to go so I said I’d blog later about homework. It’s not that I think what we do is brilliant or the best way to do it but it works for us and I’m always interested to find out what other people do so I guess that should go both ways. Don’t be expecting an exciting post though it’s just a description of what my department does. Continue reading “Homework”


Last night was the second Sheffield maths teachmeet and it was lovely to spend time with such wonderful enthusiastic maths teachers. It reminded me how lucky I am to be part of such a brilliant community both within my college and the wider community of maths teachers. I think time spent talking to other maths teachers sharing ideas and talking about some of what we do day to day is really valuable. Continue reading “Teachmeets”

Five favourites from AS Maths

Last year I wrote 5 favourite things from GCSE maths so this year I thought I’d put some from AS. There’s quite a few things that we’ve tried this year with the AS students so I thought I’d write about a few. We’ll see how results go but the students have been positive about the new things we’ve done. I’ve absolutely loved my AS class this year but they were a bit odd (well most of us are!) and quite weak so it’s been important to try and help them do well. I’ve done more about trying to look at the bigger picture and connect topics to give a better understand but there were also a few simple things that we did that I thought worked well. Continue reading “Five favourites from AS Maths”

Google classroom – Vectors

It’s always tricky to decide what to do at the end of the year with AS students after their exams. This year we’re going for a bit of GCSE revision in preparation for A2 and a quick look at some of the applied options. For the review of vectors we’re using a few things from Google Apps for Education. A bit like the getting started post I’ve written my plans and what actually happened. Continue reading “Google classroom – Vectors”

Introduction and set up

The first thing was to get the students into Google Classroom and in the AS Maths class. For now it is one big class with all of the students from the 3 classes so that I can do all of the admin and set up while Sharon and Ruth get used to it. Below are my plans with what actually happened. Continue reading “Google Classroom – Intro and set up”

Trying out Google Classroom

We are all set up as a google school now so over the next 2 weeks I’m trialling google classrooms with our AS students. Maths is still modular so they’ve just finished their exams and we’re looking at things to help them prepare for next year. My aim is to try out as many of the features of google classroom and google apps for education as a whole. If all goes well we’ll be using classroom with all of the maths students next year and might get a few other departments on board. I’ve put my ideas for what we’re going to do over the next couple of weeks below. Continue reading “Trying out Google Classroom”

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