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What ways do you have of introducing a new topic?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by brookes, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. I'm considering the different approaches we can use to introduce new concepts or skills to students, the part of a cycle which probably comes before students applying/practicing etc. Not neccessarily maths specific, but I've got: -
    • Chalk and talk - the teacher describes/demonstrates it. Students probably copy notes.
    • Students teach themselves from printed or electronic resources. Teacher probably provides some kind of structure, e.g. specific questions to answer.
    • An investigation or problem which draws out the new information. Teacher probably clarifies the new and relevant information in a review/plenary.
    • An electronic resource, such as a video clip or MyMaths lesson is used as an alternative to the teacher's voice.
    Can anyone think of any I've missed, or ideas which could be sub-divisions of those above? Also, does anyone know of any writing or research which goes in to how to introduce new maths?
  2. What about a combination of 1 and 4. Using electronic resources as a fundamental part of the lesson to support the teacher's voice rather than an alternative. Think Above Suspicion, where the detectives use touch screens to make presentations, zooming in to wounds, items of clothing, dragging suspects' mugshots around etc etc. Or football half-times, where Andy Towsend shows how a player was out of position for a goal by dragging them to where they should be. That is what Interactive Whiteboards are for.
  3. I like to try a slant on this with some groups. Start the lesson with a question which requires a combination of established and new skills/knowledge to answer it. Ask the pupils what they think. Why can't they answer it? What else do they need to know/research/investigate/be taught before they can answer it? This then gives you a ready made plenary as you can return to the question at the end of the lesson or series of lessons.
    For example, the class is comfortable in finding the area and perimeter of rectangles, and likewise with simple compound shapes. At the start of the next lesson show a compound shape made up of a rectangle and a semi-circle. They should identify what they need to do (split it into two shapes, work out the areas and add together), identify what they can do (find the area of the rectangle) and then that leaves them with what they can't do (area of a circle or semicircle).
  4. Depends on the group in front of me.
    For most groups allowing them to try and discover is not my approach based on either (i) Having x too many lessons than I need to deliver an exam SOW (ii) Pupils not having the ability/desire to be proactive and think (iii) behaviour.
    Chalk and talk is fine, its just not trendy.

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