Showing posts with label summer school. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer school. Show all posts

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Summer School Day 4

Due to unforeseen circumstances I find myself at home instead of at summer school since day 1. Although frustrating, it has given me time to ponder why I consider it an important part of each year.

These I think are the main reasons:
1. It gives me an excuse to investigate areas of the curriculum in detail and develop my understanding of a topic
2. It provides time to interact with other mathematics teachers and gain insight into their motivation, teaching methods and knowledge
3. It's a great time to spend with the kids outside the pressure cooker that is TEE (and I know we're supposed to call it WACE now, but the pressure of L3 WACE is far different to level 1 & 2) and gain that rapport that helps when you have to give them a nudge to get over the finish line.
4. It's a time where you can develop method/pedagogy and style and measure results in an environment where you are not going to leave yourself weeks behind if it doesn't work.
5. You can work on the motivational, career oriented, aspirational and inspirational components of students rather than just focus on curriculum.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Summer school day 1

Today was the first day of summer school and what a great bunch. We worked on some areas that have caused difficulties in past years...

1. Fractional indicies and how to simplify where the numerator of the index is greater than one or where the index is negative.
2. Graphing a variety of different functions
3. Domain and range of a variety of functions
4. Odd and even functions
5. Piecewise functions and domain/range
6. Counting techniques and associated proofs

From an IT point of view it's great to use tools (such as slideshows) and make them highly interactive through joint presentations with other presenters. The students seem to enjoy the change in venue too! Students were actively challenging each other to speak up when they didn't understand and demanding more information when an explanation was incomplete.

A productive day!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Summer School 2010/2011

Summer school is about to start again when we get our year 10->11 and year 11->12 students ready for level 3 subjects. It was interesting to hear the students volunteering this year and plaguing us to run it so lets hope they turn up.

A whole week of students and just maths. Who would have guessed it would have been successful?

I wish I could find our slides from last year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Summer School 2010

Sometimes you stumble upon concepts and ideas in discussion with others. I ramble on but a grain of insight can sometime emerge.

Yesterday it was this statement that stuck - "You have to stay focussed on student outcomes if you are to maintain inspired".

Frustration can set in if you lack time, materials or ability to satisfy the needs of your students no matter your success in other areas.

It follows on from what I was saying about students the other day. Students only stay motivated if they experience competitive (real) success.

Similarly for teachers - if courses that we run do not amount to student success we too become demoralised. Big picture approaches are good where we know systemic/school success will come once a project is developed, but we still need the day to day success at a student level to maintain our enthusiasm, else we risk a jaded and compromised implementation as we focus on finishing the job at hand rather than seeking improvement as we develop an idea (and if you lose focus from the student you lose the opportunity for continual improvement).

When we finally reached the discussion on the summer school focus for this year it was eye opening the changes that we need to make from our successful course last year.

Focus 2010 Summer School
Algebra, Quadratics and linear equations
Bearings and Vectors
Trigonometric Identities and Exact values
Functions, continuity, domains and range
Moving Averages, Residuals and Seasonality

Hi ho, it's back to work I go!