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 education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

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

    Dismiss Notice

Ideas for a Year 9 Top Set Demonstration Lesson

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by AJArmstron, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Hi - I have to do a maths demonstration lesson (50 minutes) to a top set Year 9 class this week. I would be grateful for any ideas on good topics to do.

    Thank you for any suggestions!
  2. Hi - I have to do a maths demonstration lesson (50 minutes) to a top set Year 9 class this week. I would be grateful for any ideas on good topics to do.

    Thank you for any suggestions!
  3. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter


    If you read back through the forum you will find that this sort of request doesn't go down particularly well! If you could give some context (interview, performance management, threshold, etc) then that would be useful. Explaining your idea and then asking for comment is likely to get responses.

    Good luck with it all.
  4. Hi - thank you for posting. It is a lesson for the purpose of interview. Unfortunately, I have not taught a top set year 9 for a while. I am trying to work out key topics in NC Level 7 and 8 and get some ideas.
  5. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Top set year nine are kids who will go on to get As & A*s and perhaps do Additional Maths or Further Maths within the next 2 years.

    Count on them being quick on the uptake and not tolerant of any indication that you're wasting their time.

    They're likely to have done conversion of recurring decimals to fractions, pi, may have done trig, and can probably draw a histogram with unequal class intervals.

    They're less likely to have covered circle theorems or transformations of functions.

    They may also be surprisingly lacking in confidence about significant figures and approximation - they tend to think of maths being "exact" and they're used to getting everything right all the time so they get upset when errors (rounding or approximating) are introduced deliberately.

  6. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Paul has given some good suggestions.

    Has the school really just told you to pick a L7/8 topic and teach it to the class? This seems a little odd. I would expect either some guidance as to what they have already done (or have studied recently) and an indication of the broad area to cover. Or an excerpt of the scheme of work.

    What if you turn up and the top set at this particular school are rather weaker than Paul suggests? What if they will all be taking A-level Further Maths next year?

    It might be a sensible plan to get in touch with the school when you have decided on a lesson to check that it will be appropriate. When I was Head of Dept I would have regarded someone who did that as being sensible.

    An alternative idea would be to pick something investigational that could be extended in lots of different ways (nrich.maths.org is always a good starting point). Only try this if you are used to doing that sort of thing, though: an interview lesson is probably not the place to start!

    Good luck - I hope all goes well.
  7. Hi - thank you for taking the time to respond. The lesson brief I have been given is:
    Year 9 Class of 32 students - Top Set (Very Bright) - choose any subject!
    I like the ideas of transformation of functions or an investigation.
  8. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    That isn't much to go on!
    But it does give you the opportunity to do something different, ie give it your best shot, rather than a very tight lesson plan.

    I think I would go for plotting the sine curve in steps of 10 degrees up to 90 initially. Does it stop there? How much further should we go? Go to at least 360 and probably more like 400 so they can see the repeat.
    I would then introduce solving sinx=0.5 so they can see that there isn't just one answer to this.
    Quite a few equatiosn for them to solve in particular ranges.

    If you have time do the same for cosine and tangent. Then develop a CAST diagram so they can see when each one is +ve or -ve.

    an investigation might be given dimensions of a piece of card, what is the largest volume/capacity they can enclose. So basically starting with surface area work onto volume.
  9. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Top sets can be a real challenge with investigations - you have to be very, very, clear about what it is you want them to investigate.

    Leave the problem too open and you'll have problems - these kids are used to getting everything right all the time and if they're not sure what they're supposed to be doing (or if they perceive you're wasting their time by not telling them stuff you could "just tell us") you'll lose them.

    And be prepared for them to do your investigation in minutes.. Something you fill a whole lesson with with a lower set will be finished by some of the kids before you've even handed out all the work.

    These kids expect to "get it" first time and will not tolerate poor explanations. You must be completely clear in your own mind precisely what the "key points" are that you're trying to get across and precisely where the "catches" are and what the barriers to understanding are.

    Give them layered challenges. Don't patronise. Don't try to do a "fun lesson" (these kids love maths - doing maths well and getting it right is "fun" for them).

    Oh, and try to enjoy it. :)
  10. You could do a lesson on completing the square extending that to using completing the square to solve quadratic equations or transforming the graph of y = x^2 + ax + b or using completing the square to solve quadratics that do not factorise. As a plenary you could complete the square of the general quadratic to demonstrate the QEF. I would check that they are familiar with quadratics before you plan this.
  11. weggster

    weggster New commenter

    I always set this sort of lesson for interview purposes, but it can be with any set. The brief is usually:"Teach any topic you wish to inspire the students".

    I'd always expect the good candidates to get in touch for the SoW and prior attainment (our registers include all the lesson objectives and our assessments have a question by question breakdown).

    I don't personally look for the teacher to go beyond the current curriculum, rather that they take a topic and go for breadth (maybe an interesting problem on a previous topic or a functional application). Our interview episodes are only 20 minutes and I look for how the applicant explains, questions, inspires and gets on with the students. Since we have smartboards and mini-whiteboards I like to know that the applicant is good with ICT and AfL.

    We also want to see the applicants' best rather than just seeing who is the best a particular topic.

    I saw a really good lesson with bottom set on Euler's Theorem using cocktail sticks, common everyday objects, a lovely smartboard, great questioning and just pure fun. Needless to say the applicant got the job.

    It might be worth looking at nRich for some ideas or Bowlands mini lessons.

    Make the lesson fun and challenging.

Share This Page