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Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by jactom, Nov 26, 2011.
I'm after year 7/8 maths resources to use with very able maths group in year 6 - any ideas?
You don't think targets apply in year 6 then? There's pressure to improve and push children as much in year 6 as there is at secondary school.
Why should they get bored in year 7? A year 7 teacher should push them just as much. Would you tell a year 7 teacher not to extend to year 8 work?
But I also agree that time should be taken to explore and reinforce Level 5 learning. Are we allowed to spend time just reinforcing and exploring?
who mentioned targets? who mentioned bored?
The OP specifically asked for year 7 resources and said they wanted to "take them into year 7".
Both DM and I (as secondary teachers) expressed the wish that we rather they experienced enrichment, and a different type of mathematical experience than "go into year 7 work."
Personally I have never taught "year 7 work" or "year 8 work" . My top set year 8 are doing far harder work than my lower set year 9 for example.
And yes, please please reinforce and explore!! And enrich! And enthuse! And enjoy!!
DM: "Ok Year 9. Today we are going to start to learn something I found astonishing when I was your age. It is called Pythagoras' Theorem."
Luke: "Boooring! We did that in Primary School with Mr Rush."
DM: "Ah! So what can you tell me about it Luke?"
Luke: "He was Greek like Theo from Dragon's Den".
DM: "Ok what else."
Hannah: "He got stuck in the bath and had to be rescued".
DM: "Err ... you may be thinking of Archimedes".
Georgia: "No she's right Sir. He got stuck in the bath and a fireman had to get him out with a ladder".
DM: "Oh a ladder. Right I see. So does Pythagoras' Theorem have anything to do with a particular shape?"
Luke (confidently): "A circle."
DM: "I was actually thinking about a shape with three sides."
Hannah: "It IS a circle Sir."
DM: "Mr Rush taught you about the unit circle?"
Toby: "A bathplug is a circle."
DM: "Ok Year 12. Today we are going to start to learn about something I found astonishing when I was your age. It is called differentiation."
Eddie: "We did this in my old school with Miss Haste Sir."
DM: "Oh ok Eddie. Well most of the class won't have seen it before."
Hayley: "You're wrong Sir. We did it with Mr Bolt Sir".
Samir: "I did it in Year 10 AND Year 11. It was rubbish."
DM: "Right well I won't need to start right at the beginning then. What can you all tell me about differentiation?"
Hayley: "It's to do with powers."
DM: "I was hoping for a bit more than that Hayley".
Hayley: "You add something to a power."
Eddie: "No you don't. You times the powers together."
DM: "Forget all that for a minute. What is differentiation used for?"
Hayley: "I told you already. It's for adding something to a power."
So what do your year 7 children do? How do you set the work for them? Shouldn't you be pushing them yet at the same time reinforcing and consolidating?
Should a bright year 8 pupil be introduced to Pythagoras or should they have to wait till year 9 to find that out?
Should a bright year 3 pupil be introduced to percentages and more complex fractions if they are capable of understanding it or should they have to wait till year 5?
Don't get me wrong - I'm all for reinforcing and exploring but at the same time, I don't see an issue with stretching and taking to the next level.
Surely work should not be year specific but should be ability specific? It's just that fine balance between when to introduce a new concept and how much to explore within that level.
And your analogy about differentiation is based on children being introduced to a concept when they are not ready. A good teacher would introduce such a concept to children who were ready and capable of understanding. I am aware it's not in the GCSE curriculum but a bright year 10 or 11 might just find it interesting and understand it.
Controversial statement on the way.... That's the Year 7 teacher's problem, and is no justification for not extending little Year 6 minds... I agree with enrichment AND extension for more able students. Nothing wrong with taking students into next year's territory, or even further. That having been said, the best thing would be to find rich tasks which make students think about what they already know, as well as potentially taking them to pastures new. For this NRICH tasks are just the ticket...
hence why DM and I both recommended nrich.............
As I said, I do not teach "year 7 work". As I said, my top set 8 do far harder work than my lower year 9.
So doesn't that mean that a top year 6 set should do far harder work than a lower year 7? I think the teacher was saying that she has some bright year 6's and wants to stretch them - ie do harder work.
What does harder work mean? Is it extending and enriching within what they know or is it extending to work that they may do next year?
Which is the year 7s teacher problem.
What do your top set year 8 do in year 9?
I think the difference between primary and secondary quite often is in the approach via "year" or "level". My top set year 8 are working within level 7; my low year 9 at level 3. So there is no concept of "next year's work". The year 9s may well never meet the material the year 8s have already covered. Next year the year 8s will cover level 8 work, which will prepare them well to get A*/A at GCSE.
I appreciate it is far easier to have continuity of curriculum from year 7-11 than it is across year 6 - year 7. Also far easier within a setted environment than in mixed ability.
I am all for stretching as well as enriching, but I don't like the rush to go further/faster/quicker without fully embedding those topics with the basics that should be there already.Often (and I'm talking all ages of pupils here), these are missing in the rush to "teach new stuff".
As an example, my year 7 group could mostly all recognise the Fibonacci sequence, but not one of them could explain how it worked; invent a similar sequence of their own; knew that Fibonacci was a real person, etc etc.
Had the OP mentioned "level 6" work, it may have got a different response than "year 7 work".
Indeed Primary schools will soon be <strike>forced</strike> encouraged to teach Level 6 to their pupils. Of course, this new Level 6 will differ from Level 6 as we know it and won't be called Level 6 but hey!
!!!!!! Have you ever been in a primary school? We teach by level - if a child can do multiplying U by U, then hey, we might just do TU by U. Can they do simple division? Yes - then we stretch them to more complex division. In our school we stream year 5 and 6. I have the pleasure of taking out a small year 5/6 group who are mainly Level 2b / 3C. I differentiate within that small group - some can just about do multiplication within the 2 and 5 x tables and others can do TU x U (on a good day so I have to reinforce that). We have pupils in another class who are 3B to 4C (just) and the top set are Level 4 to Level 5 so again differentiation takes place within that.
I do find it patronising that you don't think primary schools do this. Do you seriously think a primary teacher in Year 3 just does year 3 work? Most of the pupils will be "at year 3" in their work i.e about Level 2A - 3C but you will also have children who are almost Level 4 (in some areas) and also Level 1 / P levels. Primary teachers are very experienced at differentiating within a lesson to try and include and stretch children who are working within such levels in their class. It is tricky and a challenge. Some schools set - but think of a small school with 30 children in KS2 so the teacher has children from year 3 to year 6.
And this is the same for all subjects as well. It makes primary teaching very difficult - imagine doing whole class teaching to children of such a wide ability.
I am sure the teacher did not mean Year 7 work. What she was suggesting was resources for Level 5 / Level 6 to challenge them.
I do know all that - I just referred to year as that was how you and the OP referred to it!!
(Robyn - I actually do not think you and I are differing too much in what we are saying)
.....however I do unfortunately meet too many pupils coming from primary who say "we did this at primary", and then proceed to actually know very little about it rather than just the name- Pythagoras is a classic.
Maybe it is just my bad luck.... (we have had issues with this at my school and are working with our feeders... part of the problem is we have a very large number of them - hence my comments about continuity of curriculum.
I have no issue with very bright level 6 primary children being extended and enriched....however I do take issue when 1) they only have a superficial knowledge of the basics that underpin the topic they have been extended into; and 2) it isn't just the very brightest that are "taught" these topics.
My lower year 9 will probably never ever meet Pythagoras. It would be pointless me trying to teach it to them when they don't know squaring,how to recognise a right angled triangle etc etc.
I appreciate your comments about the OPs likely intentions.... however that isn't actually what they said, hence DM and I directing them towards things like nrich and UKJMC (which, by the way, is a) great and b) hard!!)
PS...and do remember the thread is called "KS3 resources".... not "challenge material for bright year 6 pupils"....
Pythagoras - well that's interesting. For the life of me, I still don't get what is so hard about recognising a right angled triangle. Then again - some children in year 6 still don't get right angles. But it is an interesting idea - the fact that it works for right angled triangles is a fun bit of maths for bright children.
I've just been to a problem solving workshop. One of the ideas was to investigate a number plate with 3 spaces and 3 numbers. Each number could only be used once. This developed the idea of what if - 2 spaces, 2 number, 4 spaces 4 numbers. Could they develop a hypothesis? Predict 5? 6? Develop a rule. This was aimed at children within year 5 and 6 (it could be differentiated) . But the thinking is combinations and permutations.
I've done algebraic investigations - but practically or with pictures. Building window frames and predicting how many blocks are needed. That was part of a year 6 / year 7 transition.
But as DM said - when does level 5 become the norm? Level 6. To be honest, there is still a lot of consolidation to be done at Level 4 and Level 5.
I like the sound of that problem solving workshop, and the algebraic investigations. Great activities like those promote thinking skills, discussion, deep understanding etc. Definitely what is needed at all ages and all levels.
Hey, you should have seen me work with my year 2 class. The King had a problem and needed to signal his servants. It's amazing how many combinations you can come up with using a triangle, a drum and cymbals.
On the one hand this sounds like a fantastic maths lesson.
On the other hand I am glad I don't teach in the classroom next to yours ...