Monday, 18 February 2013

'Your New Flat' Scheme of Work

This year I have been teaching a year 10 class (set 5) that have proved, for a number of different reasons, a bit tricky to teach. Sometimes we can have fantastic lessons, other times Mathematics is the last thing they want to be doing and not much is achieved. I have found it difficult to continue to plough through the SoW we have to get the class through their METHODS in Mathematics examination and so needed a fresh perspective on things.
As the class won't be sitting the examination until November 2013 we have some time to come away from the SoW and do something a bit different. So, here's what I've come up with...

I wanted to give the class a more 'functional' project to complete whilst still learning as much as they possibly could throughout it. I started to look around the TES for resources I could use, or incorporate into my teaching, and one resource/idea stood out. The resource was uploaded by TES user 'kyliew52' and was centred around students getting a £1000 budget to kit out a new (and hypothetical) flat. The resource can be viewed and downloaded here -->

This is the front page of 'kyliew52's' ppt:

This was exactly the type of thing I was looking for. I saw this resource before Christmas and was very keen to implement it straight after the new year. However, the Argos catalogues were no longer available due to the fact that they had a new one coming out on the 26th January 2013. So, I waited until then and eventually the day came and I was able to pick up about 12 catalogues from the local Argos to use in class. Where the Argos catalogues come in is that the students use these to find the items they will kit out their flats with. Now, obviously, this can be done via the use of the Internet to find certain items etc, but I wanted to restrict where the students would get the products from, due to certain behavioural problems that might develop if given free access to the Internet. It would also help focus them on the task at hand.

However, I didn't just want them to budget £1000 and then stop here with the project and so, around 'kyliew52's' original resource I have developed a mini scheme of work for my class.

The scheme of work is based on the 'your new flat' idea but I have carefully tried to incorporate as much of the Edexcel METHODS in Mathematics criteria as I possibly could at the same time. These links are highlighted throughout my new scheme of work. The scheme of work document itself is in line with our KS3 and KS4 SoW layouts and I thank Miss A for allowing me to use her template to create my scheme of work.

Here's a view of some of the pages of my SoW:

So, the scheme of work starts with the class kitting out their new flat using the Argos catalogues and this provided a really engaging start to the 'project' I was giving them. I told the class in the 'introductory' lesson that the reason I was giving them this project was that I wanted them to come across a 'real-life' problem they would/could be faced with in their near future and to give them as much of an idea as possible as to what is involved when they are looking for their own place and having to pay for everything that comes with it.
The introductory lesson was split over 2 lessons with students using the Argos catalogues to kit out their flats. After this I got the students to think about saving some money on their expenditures. We went through a lot of percentages work in order to find percentage savings, percentage decreases, writing one amount as a percentage of another etc. I used, for this, real deals from the Argos website/catalogue. After this session we looked at them getting a hypothetical job and salary. Using this yearly salary we then calculated their monthly salary (after tax - more percentages work here) has been taken into account and then deduct from this all of their monthly outgoings, including their rent which they found using and taking real monthly rent for a flat of their choosing in the local area.

The next session after this would look at store cards, loans and savings and these sessions looked heavily at the Natwest website ( and the tools available on their for individuals to work out their monthly budgets/savings as well as loans, interest rates and monthly repayments.

Throughout each session, I have planned in some starter activities that link to the lesson. Some of these resources have come from (the settler activities), some have come from @mathschallenge's tweets, which Mr Taylor (@tayorda01) has kindly created on his blog; you can view and download these here. Other resources have come from past papers or from tarsia activities found on the TES. I have also planned a lot of AfL activities for the students to constantly reflect on what they have achieved, what they have learnt, what they may need to consider when doing certain things and what they might want to know next.

After the students have considered their wages, kitted out their flats and looked at ways of spreading costs or saving money I then move them on to looking at hosting their own dinner 'parties' to save money eating out etc. These sessions are based around the C4 series 'Come Dine with Me' and involve students using ratio and proportion to work out the amount of ingredients they need for a certain amount of people and how to make certain drinks with ingredients in given ratios. There is an opportunity to get the food department involved here and do a really practical lesson in the food rooms!?

Finally, the last few sessions (which I'm yet to create the resources for), will focus on the students sharing the costs of their flat with a flatmate (to save money) - again this session will focus on ratios and them sharing the costs respective to their relevant earnings (not everything 50/50). The last session will look at students re-tiling the bathroom or kitchen using tessellations.

As I mentioned earlier I wanted to try and build in as much of the Edexcel METHODS (Unit 2) SoW as possible whilst keeping my students engaged in the 'project' set. The SoW covers: percentages, calculator work, ratio, proportion, fractions, tessellations and basic number work; all references to the original METHODS SoW are included in each session's plan.

I have put ALL of the resources for my scheme of work into the following Dropbox folder for others to use and tweak as they feel necessary...

...I have shared this with my department at school and some are intending to use this with KS3 classes as an end of year project.

All of the resources, unless otherwise mentioned above, have been created by me (mainly all the notebook files, the SoW itself and the worksheets provided). It is still a work in progress as I'm just about to start the 'Come Dine with You' sessions, so if something is missing it's because it hasn't been created yet!
If you use this it'd be great to hear how it has gone down and if you have created any other areas of development of it it'd be great to see these too. I have included an image of a flat's floor plan and so there is the possibility of doing metric - imperial conversions, working out areas of rooms to work out how much floorspace you have etc, you could get the students to paint/wallpaper the rooms and then work out the costs of doing so etc etc.
There are many things that could be added to what I have done already and I suppose it could last as long as the class are motivated towards it.

I have recently split up the 'project' by getting the class into the ICT room to use Manga High to consolidate their knowledge of some of the topics we have covered so far in the SoW, including doing the 'money management' task and other similar tasks on the website.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed in some way to the resources used in this - especially kyliew52.

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