1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Going through past papers... Making it bearable!

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by tru_smoov, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. My year 11 recently sat their mocks. They were not brilliant and they NEED to be given advice and guidance on common mistakes they were ALL making on the papers.
    They are quite a difficult group and I have always struggled 'going through' work because they just don't seem to care or want to improve.
    They adopt a "I got a C, oh well" attitude and have NO desire to get 10 extra marks for a B. (I'm sure many of you have experienced the same). So they are not interested in correcting their papers or making notes of exam tips and strategies which I give them.
    I feel I am wasting my time doing it :(


    I wondered if anyone has any ideas or methods they use for going through past papers they have done to make it bearable for me AND a useful exercise for the kids.
    Past papers are such a useful resource and having one with full working and corrections can prove an invaluable resource.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. My year 11 recently sat their mocks. They were not brilliant and they NEED to be given advice and guidance on common mistakes they were ALL making on the papers.
    They are quite a difficult group and I have always struggled 'going through' work because they just don't seem to care or want to improve.
    They adopt a "I got a C, oh well" attitude and have NO desire to get 10 extra marks for a B. (I'm sure many of you have experienced the same). So they are not interested in correcting their papers or making notes of exam tips and strategies which I give them.
    I feel I am wasting my time doing it :(


    I wondered if anyone has any ideas or methods they use for going through past papers they have done to make it bearable for me AND a useful exercise for the kids.
    Past papers are such a useful resource and having one with full working and corrections can prove an invaluable resource.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  3. A change of strategy sometimes helps.
    You could work out which mymaths lessons/homeworks/booster pacsk are relevant and set them?
    If can get a computer room during class time, I put the teacher summary sheets up on the screen and don't let them go to break until they've got the required number of green lights.
    If I set if for homework I set them one a week for however many weeks. By half way through if some of them haven't done it I phone home (obvious checking with their pastoral lead first that they're happy for me to do that). I've found parents have really appreciated this and have been very supportive. If appropriate I've given them their child's personal logins so they can check on their progress for themselves.
    If one strategy has been ground into oblivion I find it's usally best to try a different strategy.
     
  4. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    I would suggest that you simply don't.

    Why force yourself to have a dire lesson with the kids, trudging through papers? What will it achieve? The kids already feel defeated by the questions, and now they are going to be shown how easy it really was. Is this good for their self-esteem? Will this make them care more about the subject? Make them more keen to be successful? Most importantly, will seeing <u>you</u> solve one question of the type make them any better at that piece of mathematics. I really have my doubts.

    Surely a clean slate is what you need here. Be honest with the kids - ok, this is where we are, this is the situation. Fine. Now let's sort it. It's not too late to make sure that you don't feel that way again in an exam.

    Forget the papers. Teach the kids.

    You know what their weaknesses are, you know what topics you want them to be confident on. So don't waste time regurgitating papers (they won't take it in), instead get on with engaging them in some proper learning around those topics.

    You could, in a few weeks time, say, after letting them learn about a topic put one of the exam questions on the board and let them all be successful at it. Don't mention the mock. But then, if you have taught them well, they will simply solve the problem. This is the point where you can say, hey look, this was one of your mock questions, see you can all do it! Well done! Aren't you great!

    You say past papers with working and corrections prove and invaluable resource. Do they? Why? Again, I have my doubts. The time that you take going over these papers (and probably to the general dismay of the kids) would be better spent getting on with teaching and learning.

    You also say that you have always struggled going through work. So why put you, and the kids, through this? What is it achieving?
     
  5. I can but concur with Tandy, I've done the 'going through the paper' lesson before and it never, ever works. There is very little for the pupils to do in that type of lesson and very little is achieved. I have done the re-teach a topic lesson and then get them to re-do some of the questions they had struggled on and that works extremely well.


    At this stage, other than a pep-talk, there is probably not that much you can do to boost their confidence but you certainly want to keep them onside. Some lessons that help them with the topics they have struggled with and maybe setting some questions from the exam as a homework after that would help.


    Best of luck with your class and for the real exam.
     
  6. DM

    DM New commenter

    I agree with Tandy. I don't go over the papers. I let them keep them in their folders and then I reteach the subject. At the end of the topic, I ask them to pull out the paper and try that question again. They are then left with the impression (it may only be an impression!) that they are making progress.
     
  7. My lovelies in year 11 [set 5, quite a challenge] all got D on last attempt at GCSE in November.
    For some, that is target grade achieved.
    I had them do the second half of each paper again - by 'do', I mean they annotated each question with TICK, ? or X. TICK = Can do, ? = not sure can do all of it. X = no idea.
    We formed two lists - calc and non-calc topics.
    We put away the papers and started revisiting X topics.
    Received actual raw scores this week and they discovered just how few additional marks they needed to achieve a C.
    Result? They now believe they CAN get it. They know how close they are. They have identified just how few topics [between 2 and 5] they need to 'nail' to get it.
    So, now I teach and they make better notes. Loads of discussion / what-if conversations / peer teaching [when in pairs]. Then I give them a Past Paper Pack of questions on the topic and THEY mark it from a prepared solution - with lots more discussion / questioning of me on detail.
    The future is bright....
    [​IMG]

     

Share This Page