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Interesting standard form lesson - HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by joanneiwood, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. joanneiwood

    joanneiwood New commenter

    Could anyone help me with an "all singing, all dancing" standard form lesson which I am being observed on - and (for political reasons) needs to be at least a good! It is a with a year 9 set 2 class who have not encountered standard form before. Very gratefully anticipating help!
  2. joanneiwood

    joanneiwood New commenter

    Could anyone help me with an "all singing, all dancing" standard form lesson which I am being observed on - and (for political reasons) needs to be at least a good! It is a with a year 9 set 2 class who have not encountered standard form before. Very gratefully anticipating help!
  3. DM

    DM New commenter

  4. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    If behaviour allows I like to introduce standard form with a silent lesson introduction.
    I have large numbers on the board and the class watch me convert them to standard form. When one feels confident they put up their hand and come and do the next one. Keep going until they all appear to understand what is going on. Then they can explain why it works and they're off.
    I always use the Powers of ten Java tutorial to introduce small numbers (first one that comes up on Google).
    Whether that comes up as all singing, all dancing really depends on the behaviour of the group.
  5. I like the Maths4Real clips - it also helps that they are linked to chocolate :)
  6. DM

    DM New commenter

    The original Powers of Ten is the best. Accept no substitutes, this is one of the things that switched me on to maths and science when I saw it broadcast on TV in the early 1970s as a filler between programmes.
    It got a round of applause when I showed it to year 9 top set (I'm not entirely sure why). Unfortunately it can look very dark at times full screen projected on the whiteboard.
  7. The film posted by 'DM' is awesome, love it to bits. I've previously used a similar idea in lessons but the film would really bring it all alive.

    I can recommend the poem 'Warning to Children' by Robert Graves as an ideal accompaniment to the film:

    'Children, if you dare to think

    Of the greatness, rareness, muchness

    Fewness of this precious only

    Endless world in which you say

    You live, you think of things like this:

  8. It doesnt have to be all singing all dancing. It has to be a fair reflection of your teaching and how you are advancing pupils.
    Fabricated lessons can backfire on so many levels.
    What are the outcomes you need to meet?
    If the pupils will be doing foundation GCSE then the scope is quite limited
    I personally would say
    1st lesson
    big numbers into SIF vice versa
    2nd lesson
    small numbers into SIF and vice versa
    UNLESS they are quite handy and you can do both in the first lesson
    3rd/4th lessons operations (mult/divide)
    For me the easiest way to introduce it is football crowds. Many pupils can understand how a local team get 30-40 fans, an ok local team 2-300, alisghlty better team 12-1800 and so on up to the 120k crowds seen at top top games over the years.
    But again it must not be a circus act just to tick boxes. It shouldnt need to be. Did the students make progress? if yes then you are on your way. Have you got the correct data and differentiated? etc etc
    Chucking sand around and rolling 10ft dice around is not where its at in my opinion.

  9. joanneiwood

    joanneiwood New commenter

    I am in agreement with you - completely. I have been assigned to a teaching and learning mentor based on a 10 min observation and told I need to improve my questioning and teaching techniques. My mentor is suggesting I set up a mission to the moon - bringing in distances, fuel consumption etc and give one child of each pair the role of mission commander ....... He is a creative arts person.
    The class is a year 9 set 2 doing their Unit 2 Higher module in March. They have sat a practice paper, scored low marks, have no confidence and need thier hands held at the moment. My mentor is understanding, but he wants them to try the task, fail, me teach then they succeed. I want to do it differently!!

    Thanks for your message - it helps me to know that how I'd do it is OK!!!
  10. Well, that's a polite way of putting it.
    Instead of setting them up to fail, a more positive approach would be to get the class to use a calculator to work out some multiplication (and division) calculations that lead to answers that the calculator will show in standard form. This gives the pupils an incentive to work out what the calculator is showing and they can experiment with a range of calculations, generalising where they can.

  11. Right there you have shown why the UK education system is flawed.
    These pupils need concrete learning thats repetitive, challenging and direct. Panto starts at the end of the month not now. The performing arts/dance/drama/english teachers mentors who believe that this tripe has a place in the teaching of maths day in day out are on a different planet. Let them pass comment on an exam which is based 'art based' outcomes, not dilute that into a subect that simply doesnt require it or certainly not to taht degree.
    Questionning is good but don't force things. If the timid 2 girls sitting at the front just get on with their work don't start drilling them on why but why yes but why?
  12. 007maths

    007maths New commenter

  13. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    another vote from me for the Powers of Ten film.
    (I think there are a few versions knocking around.)
    I seem to remember someone saying that the human body contains 7 trillion atoms, but I am happy to be corrected on this.

    a thousand seconds is about ten minutes
    a million seconds is about ten days
    a billion seconds is about 30 years.
    (I would include a note about how the british billion is a million million, and an american billion is a thousand million, so be very careful if you are an investment banker buying overseas)

    and there was a program on how the UK debt in £50 pound notes would be a few thousand miles high.
    and some examples of speed of light and how long it takes to get from the Sun to Earth , about eight minutes,

    good luck
  14. I agree with Betamale here.
    Strip out all the fluff and break it down to three points.
    1. What do you want them to be able to do.
    2. How do you want them to get there.
    3. How are you going to be able to assess that students have made progress.
    Frankly, the bit about letting them get it wrong is frankly, perverse. I've found that if most students can't click with the Mathematics straightaway, they make an unconscious disconnect with the concept, full stop, in the lesson. Thus you've wasted your lesson, pretty much. Instead, structure the lesson so that each student in your class can click with the concept straightaway. ENGAGE the student first, don't alienate them.
    I'm getting increasingly fed up with staff from subjective (ahem) subjects trying to dictate how objective subjects should be taught.
  15. DM

    DM New commenter

    I was quite impressed by the fact that the creative arts person still remembered standard form.
  16. Its amazing what the SLT issue blackberry can google between their office and your classroom before the observation.
    I raised concerns about my lesson being observed by a more artistic teacher where it was suggeted we have 'time to explore and articulate' in the next lesson.
    I would prefer my pupils mute if they want to and just crack on using my help when required rather than me asking them to audition in a panto to try and make it look like I can teach.
    Outstanding teaching is Value Added through specialised help to advance a pupil.. Just how you do that should be left to your 'professional judgement' like so many other things are.
  17. One thing children struggle with is knowing WHY...I have in the past played Chines Wwhipsers with the class and said a very big number and then as they have passed it around it has obviously altered..even when five people write the number it is never the same..and THAT is why we have Standard Inex Form..once children understand its relevance they will be more accepting of it.
    One thing I have used for differentiation is to have key words around the room and definitions written on the back so if a child can't remember why or what they can indepentantly find the answer try that and let me know...your mentor is wrong to think that children learn by failing first..horrible way to treat children...(and adults..)
    Questioning...watch, wait and answer..never ignore an answer and even if it may be 'out there' sometimes it is good to go with the child...a skill that takes years to learn..

    Best of Luck
  18. I have a 2/3 of points to raise:
    (i) So, this is something similar to what you do 20+ lessons a week, 38 weeks a year?
    (ii) Do you have key words for all topics around the room with information written on the back? or is this just changed every lesson for your learners? or is it done only if you know someone is observing?
    (iii) Do you believe going with wrong answers (or out there as you say) is beneficial all the time?
    Many pupils struggle establishing rule let alone having a grey area of more and more (wrong conjectures) floating around. Whilst I believe in not putting a pupil down and there are many ways to do things, there comes a time in maths where creative thinking (if too wrong) should IMO not be encouraged
    Your posts, whilst nice, is IMO unrealistic teaching and staged for someone to make a judgement of your teaching. For the depth of SIF tested at KS/4 these days the idea of exploring could be kept to a minimum and simple repition would serve many pupils far better.
    A brief 'real life intro' followed by 100-200 example worked with individual support from the teacher, differentiated by level of difficulty and by support given is, from experience, far more effective and concrete knowledge and understanding than a panto that is often not appreciated or understood by many.
    The idea of instric rewards to learning rather thn fun and entertainment in a lesson and having pupils jump through hoops in front of someone IMO will lead to better results and more respect as a teacher.
    As stated before, fashions in pedagogy change....good hard and fast grades wins everytime.
    Again, just my opinion.

  19. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    That's spot on.

    When I was training, my mentor made a point that you should never allow them to go too far off the intended track and certainly never do an exposition of an incorrect method.

    If you do, then most of them only remember getting it wrong (and lost confidence) and some don't remember you saying "don't do it this way", they just remember your exposition and think it's they way they should be doing it.

    Show them what they're aiming for. Show them how to get there. Have them practice it.

    (If the topic is something they can reasonably investigate and extend for themselves, so much the better, but most maths isn't like that - I mean, I'm pretty good at maths but I don't think I'd have come up with standard form in a lifetime of "investigate". I might well have found some way to express large numbers, but would it have been the standard way? I doubt it.)

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