Monday, 29 July 2013

Paper Plates and #poundlandpedagogy

Thinking of how I was going to teach my set 5 year 10 class provided something of an ongoing headache throughout the year. I was constantly having to ask myself what would get them involved in the lesson, what would actually benefit them - students who didn't see much 'point' in most of the things I was having to teach them in order for them to perform at all in their examinations. I tried all manner of ideas throughout the year.
These have included my mini Scheme of Work that I made and delivered for them. This worked for a while, but towards the 7th or 8th lessons in the Scheme of Work they started to lose interest in it. However, they did get a lot out of it and I will use this in the future. To see the Scheme of Work post click here...

http://mrcollinsmaths.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/your-new-flat-scheme-of-work.html

I tried to make all of our lessons as interactive as possible with as many manipulatives that I could find appropriate for each lesson. I tried the 'text book' approach by just giving them a text book to work through on a topic after a brief instruction from me. Strangely 1 or 2 of them preferred these lessons over any other and liked being able to just get on with it. The rest ran out of concentration half-way through the lesson and the amount of questions attempted by some were embarrassing to say the least. So, having gone through this see-saw like attempt all year I decided to stick to what I felt they had worked best with when planning some revision lessons and that was with the more bizarre lessons, the lessons where that element of 'are we really doing this sir?' would crop up.

For one particular revision lesson I decided to use the paper plates I had bought as part of my experimentation with #poundlandpedagogy to revise everything we had done concerning circles. I also got out some straws to form the 'tangents' and gave them specific things to do with each paper plate they were given. The students were given a plate at a time and these were the things I asked them to do/draw on each plate...

1st I asked them to label all the key parts of a circle using the key vocab list I had put on the board. They had to write/draw/label each of the key words on their paper plate in the correct place. Here's what they created...


 As they were annotating their paper plates I was going round the class asking them why they were putting each word in each place - trying to get a definition out of them.













After they had finished this task I then got them to (roughly) draw any 3 or 4 lines from the centre of the circle (radii) and to then, as accurately as they could, with a protractor measure each angle of the sectors created. This led to discussions as to what the angles should sum to, how to use a protractor and the accuracies/inaccuracies of the lines they had drawn being the reasons behind why/why they didn't sum to 360 degrees...
















After this task I then got students to measure the radius of a plate, it's diameter and then work out it's circumference and area using the formulae I reminded them of on the board and the approximation of Pi for those that didn't have a calculator with them (don't ask)!

At the end of the session we had a lot of plates annotated with circle vocab, angle facts, area and circumferences etc etc. Some students moved on to work out areas and lengths of sectors/arcs respectively. This then gave them all a clear visual aid to take home and hang up somewhere or add to their revision notes when revising for their examinations.


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