Thursday, 28 October 2010

MEI Mechanics Day

I went to the MEI Mechanics day yesterday. I really enjoyed it despite fighting against London public transport putting me in a bad mood. The presenter was friendly and knowledgeable. She was easily understood and not patronising. I found the graphical representation of the constant acceleration formulae fascinating. I wish I'd known earlier that you could derive most of the formulae from area under a velocity time graph. The man next to me was slightly irritating to work with as he didn't listen to anything I said. There is a nagging feeling as I undertake more of the TAM course that I don't know enough maths to teach it. I'm finding it increasingly frustrating as I don't know enough maths. I learn one bit and then discover I don't know a huge bit more. Also parts I thought I understood I'm finding I didn't really. I just knew procedures.

Frustration number two is equations with modulus functions. Why does mod(2x)+10=0 not have any solutions?

On a more positive note interesting debate on primary homework on woman's hour at the moment.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Observed Lesson

Right now this one's official. I need to make comments on my observed lesson for my TAM course. Now this was on Tuesday so I'm a little bit late. Hmm I felt I talked too much. I wasn't sure everyone understood particularly the new people in the group. Some of the kids on the front row weren't completely focussed. I intended to recap remainder theorem the next lesson. Which I did. I also let students write on the board which worked well. I need to let the students have more control. I think I like to control as much as possible but need to more of a facilitator but not be afraid who to talk more. Maybe I should have done this earlier in the week...

It's half term yay! Going to have the full weekend off and not think about work. Well I failed there then.  At work on Monday/Tuesday then on a course in London on Wednesday on Mechanics. Then two whole days off before observation week.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Functional Maths ideas?

No posts for a while as work has got predictably manic. Had a productive morning planning A level lessons ready for the two observations I have coming up. Now I'm teaching 27 hours a week I seem to be struggling to keep up with everything. The admin alone seems to fill my time and I have little time for actually thinking through the teaching and learning except on weekends. I probably have taken too much on which is my usual habit. My other hat is functional maths co-ordinator and I'm struggling to find interesting resources for this. I have a bunch of problems for them to solve but I want to create something relevant to engage them. Any ideas? I thought of something to do with alcohol consumption and when it would be safe to drive the next day but thought that could backfire on me.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Bad day

Ach had one of those dark teacher days where you try to convince yourself you're not totally useless. Had a confrontational functional maths lesson where a group of girls decided they wanted a fight with someone and today I was there chosen victim. So irritating, particularly for those you actually want to help. Then I had my A2 proof lesson which I was really looking forward to. I'd found lots of bits over the weekend I wanted to use including that lovely 1=2 proof. Came to the lesson and I forgot two of my demonstration proofs halfway through. Even though I normally know them like the back of my hand. I think it was a combination of being asked to be recorded and my confidence being shaken earlier in the day. So annoyed with myself. What is even more irritating is that I did a TAM session on proof a couple of weeks ago. It was my first proper taught lesson with this group and I'm sure I came across a complete numpty. Need to do a better job of the next session on logs to make up for it.  Think I will keep it nice a simple, work through every question carefully and write out my solutions clearly this time. Now need to try and relax and move on. If only I had mastered that skill!

On a positive note I've just found out you can get an index of all the slides on elluminate and skip to the one you want. Very useful. (You click the up arrow by the play/ fastforward buttons on the bottom left of the screen)

Saturday, 2 October 2010

It's the weekend

The dreaded cold has almost gone and I have successfully passed it on to my husband. I've been full of post cold efficiency today and the house is marginally cleaner and I've caught up on all those personal statements I promised I would amend. The comment from one of my students of would I check it through the plagarism test to see if it would pass was slightly worrying.

Is anyone doing Nanowrimo this year? I will attempt to sell it to my tutor groups again this year. I might have a go but with my TAM course and the possible call up to do functional maths marking (fingers crossed) I will be a bit overstretched already this autumn. Have two TAM recordings to watch. One on discrete and one on statistics. I've never taught discrete maths but I enjoyed the module at uni. Everyone just seems to do M1 and S1 for the pass rates. I'm also interested in how to make statistics more inviting to students as I tried and failed last year.