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Decision Maths

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by bombaysapphire, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Any advice on teaching D1?
    I have taught it once but I didn't study it myself. I did cover bits of it during my degree and accountancy training but it isn't an area that really stimulates me.
    Any suggestions for ways to excite myself about this and therefore my students?
    We are changing exam boards to Edexcel this year and don't have any textbooks for the new board so that is going to be a challenge. We do have mymaths, which I have found useful for some topics, and access to the Further Maths network resources.
  2. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    Go with the further maths network stuff.
    The main area for concern I had when i taught this was that on the face of it much of it seems really easy but the exam question can really challenge understanding and are often very difficult to understand what the examiner requires.
    I would spend a lot of time of past papers and exam techniques.
  3. DM

    DM New commenter

  4. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    Even if you are not going to have a set of books I would suggest you at least get one copy for you to work from as a starting point. Personally I quite like the Oxford published books but others, including Edexcel's own one do the job.
    I echo the point already made about the importance of plenty of exam practice. Beware the change of spec involving D1/2 with Edexcel only a few years ago - so older papers will need to be used with care. Off the top of my head it was just a couple of things moved from D1 to D2 - the simplex algorithm part of linear programming and something else that I can't remember without looking it up.
    It can be a challenge to get students to realise just how much they need to write sometimes. And there are a few little things like choice of pivot that have to be done exactly according to the spec.
  5. DM

    DM New commenter

    Avatar pwc?
  6. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    Thanks DM!
  7. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Thanks everyone. That's all very useful.
  8. I have taught D1 for the past few years but do AQA. I have found with less able students it can be tricky getting them to understand the exam questions. My year 13 this year were reasonably able (predicted B/C's) and all 8 of them got in the 90's for D1.
  9. DM

    DM New commenter

    Avatar time!
  10. Has it worked?
  11. Now it should have!
  12. DM

    DM New commenter

    Sort of. Half of your J has disappeared. I should learn to select pics with a wide surrounding border.
  13. fieldextension

    fieldextension New commenter

    When teaching D1, preparation is key. Many of the algorithms, such as Dijkstra's, take a long time to write out if the students are doing the questions in the book, so a lot of time is wasted. If you make a booklet of questions on those sorts of algorithms from past exam questions, this problem is avoided, as the exam questions all have answer booklets, with everything drawn out, for them to write in.
    If taught badly, D1 can be utterly boring. Depending of the abilities of your students, don't start lessons by introducing the new algorithm you are trying to teach, instead start by giving them a problem to solve using whatever method they like (e.g. here is a diagram with some cities and suggested roads we could build between them - we need to be able to drive from one city to any other, directly or indirectly, but want to build as little length of road as possible - which team can come up with the best solution of which roads to build? Then, later, is there a good method for doing this sort of problem in general?). Students readily engage with such competitive challenges, and sometimes someone comes up with the algorithm you are trying to convey by themselves. Even if they don't, at least it helps them all to remember what each algorithm does and helps to make sense of all the new terminology which the less able find initially difficult (e.g. "minimum spanning tree").
  14. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    I have found that my pupils, many of whom are EAL, often run out of time if they have not done enough practice questions and preparation.

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