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Here Is How You Teach Maths!

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by JosephBloggs, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. By the way Joe, I was taught method at university and hated every moment of it. I couldn't relate to what they were babbling on about. It was only in the final year when I focussed on the applied maths that I enjoyed uni. That is why I got a third! Not the best result I know but I make sure my students don't suffer the way I did. My students, get excellent results AND understand what they are doing. That way, I cater for all the students in my class and not just some of them!

    You got a 3rd because maths isn't the subject for you. MY GOD - you say that I am arrogant. "Hey - Mr Lecturer - I can't understand something. It must be your approach that is wrong - can YOU change to suit me"

    And here is the best one from you...

    "In my classes I am teaching differently so that people like me can understand and people like you in my class will do less well and hate my methods. But I don't care - cos I only care about people like me.


    When these people like you get to university (if - even) they will be unprepared for the differences in teaching. If you teach them my way they will find it harder initially but at university will have the skills to outdo the pupils that come from teachers like you. Your way lets you get short term lesson objective ticked off results and the belief that they are learning. My way teaches them methods that work for life!

  2. Hey Joe,
    thanks for all your pointers, that's my teaching sorted now.
    What advice do you have for me regarding cycling? I'm getting increasingly worried now. I ventured out on my bike again today, took the back roads and I think I got away with it, don't think anyone saw me but on Sunday I did a 40 mile run. Should I just pack it in completely or should I go for my cycling proficiency test?
  3. ATTICAN wrote....

    "I disagree with the posters who make it seem as if something is wrong with teaching maths using methods."

    Thank you ATTICAN

    WOW - Sooooooooooooooooooooo CORRECT!

    WOW - Sooooooooooooooooooooo CORRECT!

    WOW - Sooooooooooooooooooooo CORRECT!
  7. Hey Joe
    So you do critical analysis as well, that will hold you in good stead as you write your literature review.
    But never mind that, how about my cycling problem?
  8. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I am enjoying the fact that you are assuming that none of us went to university JB. We may not all have come out with a 1st, I'm sure for many and varied reasons, but a lot of the posters have degrees, mainly in Maths. I know that I did well at Maths (Mrs Bombaysapphire MA (Cantab) and yes you do get an MA if you study Maths at Cambridge) because I understood why every method I used worked. All my teachers showed me that as well as giving me opportunities to practice. I do the same with my students now, tailoring the level of detail as carefully as I can to their abilities.
  9. Hey Joe,

    Let's get a couple of things straight. If you want to quote me from my posts then that's fine but please ensure that you quote me and not someone else! As for my third, Maths IS the subject for me. I just don't expect someone like you to understand. Method did not work for me! I'm not saying method is wrong but as i have said before, a good teacher uses a variety of techniques (method being one). I am a bloody good teacher and have evidence to back this up!

    Is it true that you have just finished your NQT year and have already been in two schools? Or has this been made up?

    Also, I have never called you arrogant on this forum so please don't start with the false accusations.

    I can't understand why you think that you are right and everyone else on here is wrong.

  10. LOL Ragpicker. I love that clip.

    Well, I'm convinced. Count me in. Method rules!
  11. Hey Joe
    Well you've converted two of us. Love the suit by the way, I didn't realise you were a mature student.
  12. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I don't think that most of us are arguing with teaching Method - only with the idea that it is the only way we teach. A problem with it by itself is that students forget the right method, or get them muddled. Here is an example.

    My daughter had been taught the method to find the surface area of a cuboid. Unfortunately, she got it muddled up with the method for a cube. 0/10! So, we drew a cuboid and she worked out the areas of all the visible faces and added them together. She then realised there were 3 hidden faces the same as the ones she could see, and was able to discover that she needed to double the previous answer. Problem understood and method reinforced.

    When I was at school, a reason I enjoyed Maths was because I didn't need to learn very much. My teachers explained why things worked as well as what to do. Therefore, I try to do both, provided that the explanations are comprehensible to the class concerned.

    Are AfL and VAK not included in the PGCE? I did GTP quite recently, and both were included. I'm not convinced that VAK is in conflict with Method. VAK is about the way people receive information; Method is about the content. I really don't understand why VAK involves a 'short term philosophy' I do think that Method can do that - it is very successful in the short term but easier to forget in the long term. I agree with ATTICAN about the 'constant wave of new ideas each year'.

    ATTICAN, why do you think we are being hypocritical? As far as I know, we are all writing about what we actually do. JB has praised your post, and I would want to agree with much of your final paragraph (post 133). In my opinion, if they don't know the method they will get nowhere, and if they understand it too they will have every chance of remembering it and building on it.

  13. I agree with JosephBloggs and cauchy777.

    I have met so many teachers (especially new ones) who go on about three part lessons, AFL and VAK, I am still after all these years (10) just stunned by their stupidity Can't they see through all of this snake oil? It's all about power. If you are mouthing the latest rubbish then you can feel superior to people who aren't up with the latest jargon.

    AFL only appeared a few years ago. Are we really to believe that after thousands of years of teaching a new method was suddenly invented a couple of years ago.

    We had a guy (one of the original blokes on that Black Box report thingy) come and talk to us for TWO DAYS about assesment for learning. On the way home I turned and asked someone who was raving about him, what did he actually say? Nothing, he waffled for two days and hoped no-one would spot he was a con artist who earns ten times what I do.

    It's all about careers. If you sit there and say well you can make a few tweaks here and there but basically Maths teaching is about as good as its going to get you aren't going to get anywhere in academia. However, if you stand up and say 'I've found a wonderful new way of teaching after thousands of years' you'll be riding off into the sunset with all your money before anyone realises what a load of old rubbish you're selling.

    Nowadays we all have to enter our results for all years into a spreadsheet. It is often embarassing how much better my kids do than the idiots who spout this nonsense and I normally mumble something about being lucky to have good kids in my class.

    PS JosephBloggs and cauchy777 I was wondering how you cope with Management who seem to becoming less and less tolerant with good teachers who want to do their own thing. My way is to not cause any trouble or announce publicly that its a load of rubbish but just now do it but I feel like a bit of a coward. How do you feel?

  14. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I am tempted to contact the moderators and request another forum for Mathematics teachers resistant to change. There appear to be three recruits already and that way they could discuss their brilliance without being interrupted by the moronic ramblings of the rest of us.

  15. I'm not resistant to change, merely resistant to changing from something that works to something that doesn't.

    I'm fascinated, genuinely. Do you really think that new, better ways to teach have been invented in the past five years?

  16. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Afl isn't a way to teach - it is a way to give feedback in order to help progress. I haven't been in teaching long but I get the impression it is giving a name to something a lot of good teachers were doing anyway.

    I confess that I don't agree with VAK. I agree with varied lessons and activities to maintain interest but I don't tailor my lessons to accommodate the "learning needs" of certain individuals. I made that decision based on reading up on research about it's effectiveness, particularly in Maths.

    I was at school over 20 years ago and I don't think the teaching I received was METHOD-METHOD-METHOD. I think it was better than that so this discussion is not about change for change's sake. I do think it is important to have an open mind to new ideas though. A lot of people on here seem confident that they have made Afl work in Maths. Based on their other postings I have respect for that.
  17. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    No, Granny Smythe, AfL has been around for years. Even in my schooldays, the best teachers were using it. All that has happened recently is that is has been recognised, given a name and had some research done on it.

    I'm still puzzled that those who say they dislike AfL can think of no reason apart from saying that it is new or that some teachers like AfL but not Method. Can any of you tell me why assessing in a way that aids learning is a bad thing? Please!
  18. "I'm not resistant to change, merely resistant to changing from something that works to something that doesn't."

    It works in my classroom/department.

    Teachers are different. Some might be very successful at 'Method method ..' and not so with other techniques, vica versa and everything in between.

    IMHO the best teachers are those that are very proficient at using a variety of techniques tailored to the class and individuals in front of them and getting the balance right.

    "AFL only appeared a few years ago"

    A better way of teaching has not been invented in the last five years it has been around far longer than that. Much of the 'new' techniques are 'old' techniques with new names and modern dressing.

    "I'm fascinated, genuinely. Do you really think that new, better ways to teach have been invented in the past five years?"

    Do you really think that teaching is as good as it is ever going to get?

    P.S. It is easy to teach 'Method...', much more engaging using a variety of methods! ;-)

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