As part of my work with Sheffield Hallam University, I have the real privilege of visiting the next generation of mathematics teachers in their host schools in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Each time I observe a lesson, I always learn something and it gives me the opportunity to reflect on my own teaching and CPD delivery. Today I’ve been thinking about the structure of questions offered to pupils after watching a year 7 lower set tackle the topic of algebraic substitution. Why did I use to throw more complex expressions alongside negative numbers, BIDMAS?….recipe for disaster really. It also made me consider how these Y7 pupils can be exposed to reasoning and problem solving with their newly practised skills. This very much ties in with my work as a NCETM work group lead looking at ratio and proportion and how we expose pupils to the different types of questions.
On another note, I am always amazed about the tenacity and rambunctiousness of young people and their capacity to still make me smile. Quote from a Y8 pupil: “I don’t mean to be rude, I’m enjoying your company but who are you?”