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How do you revise maths?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by brookes, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I think you may have finally managed to scare off bgy1mm.
    At least until he gets the calling again to evangelicise on this forum.
     
  2. fair point - I have never done weekend or holiday sessions as a HoD.
     
  3. I've done holiday sessions at my previous school. You do tend to get a lot done, and those who turn up want to be there, which is always a bonus!
     
  4. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    We do these and have found them successful.
    We now prepare a booklet which we can work through. It gives the students who come something concrete to take away and contains lots of exam questions pulled from examwizard, space to make notes and fill in examples etc.
     
  5. DM

    DM New commenter

    Praise be.
     
  6. MathsMA

    MathsMA New commenter

    We too run holiday (Easter and Summer half term) and weekend sessions (just prior to Modules and/or Terminal exams) and have found them to be really beneficial. Generally, our students do little homework and/or revision independently and have found that providing these opportunities (along with after school sessions) give them a chance to revise.
    There's always some bribery involved (pizzas, KFC etc - not sure how that fits with our Healthy School status!!!), but generally they are productive sessions with students eager to learn and the format is slightly relaxed, yet this is probably a positive factor.
    A couple of points on this one though.
    Staff have in the past turned up out of the goodness of their heart. Should they be getting paid anything extra, or is it thought to be something that is expected of them?
    Secondly, the small(ish) rump of students who we find it difficult to engage with still don't turn up (I'm not even sure they'd turn up if we offered to pay them!!!). However, these targetted sessions do mean that this small rump can then be targetted in other ways e.g. removing from Maths lessons and other lessons in the summer term for intervention, collecting them (read forcing them!!!) for after school sessions etc.
    We've never had a formal revision booklet or resources to use, instead have outlined key topics to teachers and given them the freedom to go through which of these topics they feel their students need support with (additionally, we have asked students to suggest areas of the curriculum they need support with). Is there any decent resource that we could just pick off the shelf for our newer teachers, or should we be providing one for them?
     
  7. We pay them (apart from myself) out of our Gaining Ground money

    Having a bit extra is handy [​IMG]

    I have to say that ... when we have these more casual lessons on Saturdays ... I wonder why we force formal stuff on them as the usual diet ... If they do not actually learn during the standard lessons but a different approach works ... ... ...
     
  8. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    There was some rumour about us being paid for the last session using Gaining ground money. I must chase that in January.
    I wouldn't describe our revision booklet as formal. Key topics are agreed through discussion with teachers of the C/D borderline classes and the teacher can deliver these in anyway they want.
    Given the timing these sessions are based on preparing students to tackle exam questions on these key topics. The booklet is just a way of giving students something to take away rather than just giving them lots of bits of paper. It is something I have prepared and the format varies but the theme is - space to recap key facts, an example to work through as a group, then some questions on the topic from examwizard.
    Now we have the booklet prepared for a range of topics we can get it printed up to include those we want for any particular sitting or cohort. Feedback from students has been positive.
     
  9. I'm a frequent visitor to this forum but rarely have anything useful to contribute. My thanks to all who take the trouble to share valuable advice.
    A question out of ignorance: do you object more to contributors who impersonate a teacher or evangelise? And how do (did) you determine that a contributor isn't a teacher?!
     
  10. DM

    DM New commenter

    I'm indifferent to both. I do object to people who come on here and try to sell stuff (they often pretend to be a satisfied customer).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_by_ordeal
     
  11. I object to wooly waffle package as pedagogical theory, or people who philosophise on education without any idea of what goes on in a classroom.
    Evangelising is fine - I'm always open to ideas. The problem is that there's too many evangelicals who are a) not Mathematicians and b) have very little classroom experience trying to tell teachers how they're getting it wrong, and not how they're getting it right.
     
  12. Remember all students revise in different ways -

    cater for
    visual learners with mind maps - plenty of colour and diagrams,
    auditory learners with discussions, stories to 'hook' their knowledge to - often referred to as journeys - think back to the old game of 'I went to the shop and I bought....'
    kineasthetic learners with movement and actions - the discredited brain gym does give students a chance to unwind and also something to remember. Those students who constantly tap could use rhythms to remind them of concepts. Rhythm and Rhyme connected could be a way into this - and cross the curriculum divide with English...

    Bear in mind students usually need all three styles and will learn in different ways at different times of the day / week.

    I would suggest the morning on styles of learning, then the afternoon putting them into practice. If you want evidence - try testing them the day before and the day after on the same topics!

    Above all - make it fun - colour, sound, humour and competition with prizes!
     
  13. DM

    DM New commenter

    We had a maths only D to C parents presentation one evening. We invited 50 parents by letter and the Head of Department followed each letter up with a telephone call. Total attendance: one parent and he politely sat through our presentation surrounded by food and wine. I'm STILL cringing about it five years later.
     
  14. Ouch! I'm sorry to hear about that! Ours was pretty well attended, about 50 parents from a year group of around 200. My school is fairly 'middle of the road' but as always with these things, I expect a fair proportion who turned out would have helped their children in some way anyhow.
     
  15. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I was disappointed with our attendance of 12 last year. That was from the full cohort but I still feel better now.
    I still think it was useful. Those parents seem to have talked. I guess they were the most proactive of the bunch.
     

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