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2hr Maths Lessons!!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by jchohan, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. I am currentry teaching Maths at an inner-city Girls Comprehensive School. We have recently been told by our SLT to teach 2hr Maths lessons from Sept for our year 7/10/11pupils. This was not consulted with the teachers. Other 'traditional' 2hr lessons, like Technology, have changed to 1 hr lessons. Could anyone who is currently teaching 2hr Maths lessons please advise on the best way to conduct these lessons and in-particular to the lower ability groups, whose attention span is usually less than 20-30 mins! Regards Jas Chohan.
     
  2. On first hearing this I would start to amass 20-30-minute videos of maths-stuff, I don't know, there are all these "let's popularise maths" type of programmes. I remember seeing one where Carol- yes, I know she's NOT called Voldemort, but what with all this Harry Potter I can't remember her name :D, anyway, where she explained how you use mental maths when you are trying to park your car, you know, stuff like this. Also life of famous mathematicians, examples of how maths is taught in other countries, etc., etc... I'm sure youtube will have lots of stuff. And then with a 30-min video and a 30-min discussion on it you have got rid of one of the lessons...
     
  3. les25paul

    les25paul Lead commenter

    Ah Carol Vorderman, she would have no difficulty keeping my attention for two hours.
     
  4. I have 2 hour MFL lessons. We always make sure that we give them a break half way through - 5 mins to go to loo, getup, leave the room if they want. It stops the boredom and recharges their batteries a bit - great on a Friday pm.
    You will quickly get used to it and it is surprising how much work you get covered
     
  5. Is this coincidental that these are all part of the new ebacc? What are your stats like are you likely to fall foul of the new measure? Seems interesting that subjects like DT have had their hours cut. I find this terribly worrying, not just for me as a teacher of subjects which do not feature but for our children, many of whom are not cut out for this intensive hot housing in subjects that they find difficult.

     
  6. Our double lessons are just under 2 hours and we have a fair few of them in maths! Like others have said, I found it necessary to have lots of small tasks, and tried to vary the style of them. I had a bottom set last year and found that for the first hour they could cope with the more intellectually challenging work, but for the last half hour or so, they needed to do something that was a bit more straightforward or more active. I usually played a game with mine after about an hour ( I told the students it was the middle of the lesson) such as fizz buzz or maths sums bingo which gave them a break but still had them doing maths.
    Double lessons were good though for some nice functional tasks (such as the ones on mymaths) as the students had time to really get into them and produce some good work.
     
  7. I taught 1 hour 40 minutes classes. I kept anything that resembled lecture at the beginning of class.

    The last hour take about 30 seconds to a minute every 15 minutes or so to show a funny cartoon or tell them a joke (be careful that it is nothing racy or political, of course) or even just say something funny. Anything harmless to make them laugh. If you aren't too funny, then let them be funny. Ask them if they know a joke. Stop them if they start to say something inappropriate. Or ask them if anyone had anything funny happen to them today. Again, if it isn't appropriate tell them TMI and stop them. They'll enjoy having a chance to share. Don't let them talk more than a couple of minutes. It is meant to just wake everyone up a little not take time away from the lesson.

    Sometimes I would do something totally stupid and spontaneous when it seemed needed. Like I would pick up a stuffed teddy bear I had that teaches math to little kids. Since they were high school kids it was completely stupid to have it in class, which was precisely why it was funny. I would tell them that we had a guest speaker coming. Then I would turn the bear on and it would tell them something like, 2+3=5. Then I would set it down and tell them tomorrow's guest speaker would be Miley Cyrus. Then I would go straight back to math. It took about 15 seconds from start to finish. It was just stupid things like that to surprise them and wake them up. It doesn't have to take long. It is just a matter of them always feeling like they never know what to expect so class doesn't feel endless and monotonous to them.

    The last hour do things that are interactive. I had some math puzzles that were directly related to what they were learning. We would do these together and they were allowed to shout answers from their seats. If I didn't have puzzles for a unit then I had them take turns coming to the board to work problems so they could have a chance to get out of their seats.

    The last part of class, I would give them chances to take their homework and join whatever group they wanted to work together. As long as they were staying focused on the math and not getting too loud then they could stand and group themselves however they wanted.

    Really anything that lets them actively participate will help them feel less bored. Long classes aren't as bad as you might think. They adjust to it.
     

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