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Secondary Magazine - Issue 137

Created on 06 September 2016 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 20 September 2016 by ncetm_administrator


Secondary Magazine Issue 135

Welcome to the first Secondary Magazine of the new school year. In this issue, we begin to address those new GCSE topics with suggestions and ideas for the classroom (a feature we intend to continue in future editions), we offer some thoughts about what your new Y7 class might have experienced in the primary school maths classroom, and we tell you about a new, free A level resource package. We also review the summer exam results – offering a maths focus to those headline figures – and we take a look at recently published research into the effects on maths attainment, of teachers sending texts to parents.


Heads Up
Here you will find a checklist of some of the recent, or still current, mathematical events featured in the news, by the media or on the internet: if you want a “heads up” on what to read, watch or do in the next couple of weeks or so, it’s here. If you ever think that our heads haven’t been up high enough and we seem to have missed something that’s coming soon, do let us know: email info@ncetm.org.uk, or via Twitter, @NCETMsecondary.

Classroom View
How are your new Year 7 finding their first few weeks in their new school? Have you learnt their names yet?! How well do you know them now?

In this issue, Dan Polak, a primary teacher who made the move from secondary, explains how his Year 6 class use elicitation and application tasks to demonstrate not only that they can find the answer to a question, but also share how much they understand the answer.

This is often something we try to encourage with students at secondary, but is there a way that you might find out if any of your feeder primary schools have already built this with their children so you can continue their work?

Sixteen Plus: Underground Mathematics
An exciting new set of resources for teaching A level maths has recently come online. Underground Mathematics - formerly the Cambridge Mathematics Education Project - is a DfE-funded initiative providing rich and varied resources, with mathematical connections between topics explicitly made through the use of a ‘map’ resembling that of the London Underground. Here we review the site and resources and talk to a teacher who uses them regularly.

From the Library
The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has recently published a report suggesting that regular text messaging parents can play some part in raising student attainment in maths. Here we provide a summary of the research findings and some views from participants.

It Stands to Reason
A double bill this month! First, with our eyes on the unfamiliar topics in the new GCSE specification, we offer a nice puzzle that involves completing the square to find turning points.

Then, we suggest some visually breathtaking ways to introduce geometric sequences and series, with a particularly enticing visual demonstration of the formula for the sum-to-infinity. Although much of the material here is for use at A level, GCSE teachers introducing the idea of geometric sequences and their nth terms (new on the Higher GCSE) may like to use the patterns or to ‘read ahead’ to understand where the topic goes beyond GCSE.

Qualifications and Curriculum
What did we learn from this summer’s results? Here is an analysis of the maths specific results. How do they compare to yours? Does any of this surprise you? See what others thought by trawling through last week’s Twitter chat. Add your thoughts to the comment box at the end.



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