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motivating yr 10

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Marko_Khan, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. I have a year 10 maths class on the C/D borderline. I feel that how I am teaching them is good, however they are completely demotivated. They would rather chat and do very little work in class. They also do very little revision at home and so got very poor grades in their mock exams.
    I am concerned that they will drastically underachieve in their GCSE exams unless I implement some raising attainment strategies with them. Does anynody have any suggestions?
  2. Praise and reward my friend, praise and reward.
    I've got a C/D borderline year 10 class myself, and they were in a similar position to yours.
    Firstly, what are you teaching them? Are you sticking to the C grade topics or are you challenging them by looking at B, A or even A* topics (conditional probability and histograms in Unit 1 are pretty accessible). Are you giving context to your teaching - can you match their interests to your programme of study?
    Secondly - what discipline/reward strategies do you have in place? Do you speak to parents? Do you make a fuss of those who are actually going the extra mile in class? Those who are chatting - do you just tell them off or do you make an example of them?
    Thirdly - highlight the general weaknesses in the mock exams and target those areas. You'll usually find that the errors made were down to a simple misconception that can be dealt with quite swiftly.
    Finally - persevere. When the little darlings finally realise you're rooting for them, they'll come round. It takes time.
  3. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    This is a suggestion that I liked but haven't yet tried myself. It would work best if the group is not too large.
    Get them playing people bingo at the start of a lesson. Split up a sheet into boxes and get them to find someone else in the room who can:
    • complete this tessellating pattern
    • draw an equilateral triangle
    • multiply these decimals
    • etc!
    First to get a different name in all of the boxes wins.
    It sounded like a good way to give some value to being able to do something and to introduce an element of competition.
  4. Thanks for the advice. I am trying some B/A topics which are accessible. However, the class want me to do A/A* topics all the times. They don't seem to realize that for a lot of A/A* topics, they willl need to understand the C/D topics which unfortunately they dont. For example, some of the lower ability pupils in the class have struggled with solving basic equations, due to their lack of revision meaning that they keep forgetting the basics. If I try to go onto simultaneous equations for example, they will fall behind (with the exception of the higher ability pupils)
  5. How do they know the grade of a topic

    If necessary ... start the lesson with an A+ question and then look at the knowledge they will need for it ... building blocks

    I like the people bingo

    Give them a copy of the syllabus ... get them to write questions for each topic ... if they cannot write a question then they need to learn that topic
  6. In response to googolplex,
    "Sorry Marko. Go back to your second sentence. If they are chatting, doing little work, and are completely demotivated, then you can't be teaching them well. "

    what I mean by this is that how I am teaching my year 10 class is no different to how I teach my other classes where there isn't much chatting. I therefore dont think my teaching is the issue. But yes, I do agree that I perhaps need to be a lot firmer with them to avoid them chatting
  7. yeah but - there are classes and classes
    for no good reason, my y6 class are wonderful, except one child who needs to be rocketed at regular intervals
    my y5 class are sweet but away with the fairies and i need to do my harshest sargeant major act twice a term
    my y4 class are foul and need to be kept under the thumb at all times
    my y3 class are seriously promising and need to be encouraged
    why does one class need treating differently from others? why is one cohort so different? is there something in the water the year one group was born?

  8. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Well, teach them differently, then. As the previous post states, classes respond differently. You have to adapt. Find out what combination of teaching methods makes them tick. Asking people here won't work. Try observing other teachers in the same school teaching the same kids. And, as you say, be much firmer. They won't thank you for trying to make life comfortable for them; they might appreciate you if you create a purposeful learning atmosphere, though.
  9. You could try 'unpacking the problem' - give groups or pairs of students a problem and ask them what they need to be able to do in order to solve it, then show them how the basic knowledge is needed to solve the harder questions. This works well with diagrams from past papers, where you can also give them the diagram and ask them what the question could be, and from there what the knowledge / skills required are.

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