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Help with maths lesson observation for deputy head job

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by foxymox, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Hello,
    I've just found out that I have an interview for a deputy head post at a primary school and part of the process is a lesson observation where the objective is 'learning and using strategies in worded problem solving'.
    I teach a Year 6 class with an excellent top group of Level 5s who really need a challenging and a very large group of borderline 3/4s, who struggle with worded problems full stop!
    It's the last thing I would want to teach in an observed lesson but unfortunately have no choice.
    Any ideas or inspiration would be very very gratefully received.
    Thanks in advance [​IMG]
  2. That should have said 'need a challenge'!
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    You want to be SMT and you are asking for help with an observation?

  4. Thanks for that, Robyn. Really helpful. Hope that made you feel good
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Seriously - you are going for a deputy head post. That means you will be observing and passing judgement on colleagues.I would expect someone in SMT to be able to prepare a good lesson if they are going to pass judgement.
    You also have years of experience. Word problems are bread and butter in year 6. Just use your experience. You know what outstanding looks like - and I am sure you will be asked that in an interview.
    Have faith in yourself.
    The obvious strategy is to read the question and figure out the sum to do. How can that sum be represented? What type of maths is it? How will I know the answer makes sense?

  6. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    Good luck foxy mod, you're going to need it.

    I'm with Robyn on this one.

    I don't mind seeing a few NQTs asking for help for an interview, but for a deputy head?

    Why don't you post your lesson plan, ie what you've done so far, and see if we can help then?
  7. Ok, fair point.
    I guess it must seem an unusual request from someone with so much experience who is going for a leadership post. I always get at least good judgements, often outstanding so I do know what I'm doing: I just don't have much faith in myself (although others seem to and I have been actively encouraged to apply for the post by the headteacher of the school I am applying to).
    Thank you Robyn and Pipipi- I can do it, I'm just a bit nervous.
    (Apologies for my response, Robyn- I had a really **** day yesterday)

  8. Hi,
    Have you ever used the book "We can work it out!" I think it is published by ATM and is available as a download from their website. It contains a collection of worded math problems/ card sorts with all sorts of contexts. They are really good for kids working in groups to figure out how to solve and really gets them thinking. I have in the past got classes to solve one of the problems and then design their own similar problem. Whilst I often use them for my year 7's I'm sure lots of them would be suitable for year 6.
    Just and idea.....
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    There's really only 4 kind of operations to worry about. Vocabulary is important and I am a massive believer in visualising problems. You buy something and give too much money. What do you expect back? I have £25 - going to share money out / buy x things at this price. What do you need to know? What clues are there?

    There's some interesting GCSE ones (I know). You make 20 things at £6. Sell 1/3 at this price. Rest at that price. What profit do you make? - good challenge.
    Good luck - but believe in yourself. That's what's important - I wish I had belief in myself at the moment but that's a whole different thread.
  10. I quite like ratio and worded ratio problems. Easy starter, lots of things to discuss, plenty of room for easy differentiation, plus it lends itself to easily visualising.

    Throw your lesson idea up here and I will give you my 2p worth, discussion is the basis of learning, don't forget that.

    Oh, and nice one for not being too proud to ask for advice, if all teachers had this attitude teaching would be pushed forwards a lot more quickly!
  11. You like them for level 3/4/5 pupils?
  12. Level 5 certainly.
  13. Hi,
    I always find the 'splattered sheep' strategy good for drawing out information.
    The students work in small groups and have an A3 piece of paper between them with a splattered sheep (just a cloud really...) in the middle with the worded problem written in it.
    There are four 'legs' (yeh just straight lines) coming out, the first one pointing to "what is this question asking me" (area, length, cost). Second one "what maths will I use" (multiplication, rounding). Third one " working out". Fourth one "Put your answer back into context".
    Promotes group work and mathematical discussion.

    Good luck!
  14. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    I'd guess that if they can understand phrases such as that, the picture of the sheep is rather redundant!
  15. Level 6 topic, therefore not suitable for those at level 3.

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