Get them used to having a go

14th September 2007 at 01:00

Nurturing and boosting your AS groups now is the way to maintain their interest in maths in the future, as Clare Parsons explains

So, there you are, in front of your class of new AS pupils, and some seem to be struggling. In spite of a good grade at GCSE, everyone else seems to be coping better than they are. How do you stop them losing heart?

Nurture and boost their confidence. They may look cool and grown up, but they are still GCSE pupils. Many think that maths is a set of techniques and recipes to regurgitate in an exam. Thinking, experimenting, getting things wrong, are new. Get them used to having a go, making mistakes and discussing them.

Shake things up. Get everyone working together. Most AS lessons now include activity: rotate groups, allocate pairs, get them working co-operatively. Get everyone involved, and doing more maths outside the classroom.

Roll out problem-solving competitions (the Mathematical Association's Problem Pages 14-19 weekly prize puzzle), recruit for trips out (Maths Inspiration lectures), tell them about the UK Mathematics Trust's Senior Maths Challenge, kick-start a self-coaching group.

With TLC, not too many should vote with their feet. But if the message gets out that maths is OK, you may have to assimilate extra peopl *

Clare Parsons is head of maths at Sir George Monoux College in east London

Problem Pages 14-19, pound;9.99, the Mathematical Association: www.m a.org.uk.

Nationwide maths lectures: www.mathsinspiration.com. For UKMT Senior Maths Challenge details: www.mathscomp.leeds.ac.uk

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now