Showing posts with label SMUG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SMUG. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Secondary Maths Users Group (SMUG)

The first run of the secondary maths users group was today, with a great presentation by Mahendra and his magic show. I'd seen a few of the tricks before and decoded a few more on the fly, but it will be great to look at the tricks in more mathematical detail.

It was a bit strange to be there in the lofty company of Alan Saddler - local textbook god, Greg Williams and the heads of department of many of the top schools in Perth. As one of the junior parties there we gained gobs of materials from Greg Williams but for the most part just listened.. these guys have wads of experience with a vast array of students and my two bobs worth doesn't stack up. One question did prick my ears though, a call for assistance in motivating low performing students - we do have a wad of those and maybe this is one way to give back to the user group.

An interesting topic raised was the running of 2C/2D in year 10 to assist students in year 11 3A/3B. The opinion was that students doing 2C/2D would do ok in year 11 and in 3A/3B year 12 but that the year 11 3A/3B students will do ok but will struggle with 3C/3D in year 12 without firming up some concepts earlier than commonly done now - especially with only the 3 terms available in year 12. Some schools are intending to run 2C/2D as the year 10 course (Scotch was mentioned and others said this was the intent in 2010) to alleviate the short year 12 issue.

Another was that many topics that were quite simple with calculators need reassessment under the new curriculum and non-calculator sections - one mentioned was trigonometry where 'trisolve' will no longer be "the be all and end all" as it is in Discrete mathematics.

It's definitely worth adding SMUG to your calendar if you are local and looking to see cutting edge teaching practices and problem solving in our elite schools. The next event is week 3, Term 4.