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# Secondary Magazine - Issue 120: Eyes Down

Created on 10 March 2015 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 29 April 2015 by ncetm_administrator

# Eyes Down

Our monthly picture that you could use with your pupils, or your department, or just by yourself, to make you think about something in a different way. You can find previous features in this series here.

What do your pupils do when they get stuck? Is there a forest of hands asking for help, or have they developed some alternative – some more resourceful – strategies? Katie Holt at South Dartmoor Community College has done some work with her Year 10 pupils on getting stuck and now has this display in her classroom [click image to enlarge]. Thank you for sharing this with us Katie

Having had some initial exploration of the equation of a circle, the pupils had been asked the question, ‘What does the graph of $\inline \dpi{80} \fn_jvn (x+2)^{2}+(y-3)^{2}=36$ look like?’ The teacher recorded their responses and stuck them on the wall to model “knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do”.

Along similar lines, you could:

• Talk to your pupils about what they should do when they get stuck.
• Create a similar “I’m stuck – what now?” display of your pupils’ strategies in your classroom. What will you use for the stimulus question?
• Make a video of your pupils talking through a problem where they get stuck, and how they respond to this, and upload this to your YouTube channel.
• Talk to your pupils about the benefits of getting stuck, and explain to them that it’s when they are grappling with difficulty that they learn the most. Nobody got fitter/stronger/faster without getting sweatier first!
• Spend some of a department meeting sharing with colleagues how you manage the plaintive “I’m stuck” cry, and agree some common cross-department responses so that there is consistency between classes.
• With your colleagues look into the research of Jo Boaler and Carole Dweck, and then share this with your pupils. They need to have a growth mindset, just as we teachers do – and their parents/carers do too.

Let us know what you try, and what works well – and what doesn’t.

If you have a thought-inducing picture, please send a copy (ideally, about 1-2Mb) to us at info@ncetm.org.uk, with a note of where and when it was taken, and any comments on it you may have.

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