Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Y11 - The Final Countdown

It's getting nearer to that point in the year where all the Y11s will be sitting their GCSE examinations and the final push for these will be well under way when we go back after the Easter holidays. Given the very short half term after the Easter holidays (ours is only 4 and a bit weeks), the fact their other GCSE examinations will have started and all that time off over Easter where I have no idea how much/little Mathematics revision they'll be doing I decided, earlier this term, that I needed to do everything I could to make sure they were aware of exactly how little time they have left before their Mathematics examinations.

So, just under 100 days before their 1st GCSE Mathematics examination (we do the Edexcel Linear [1MAO] spec) I put up the following display on the back of my classroom door. Each day, having double checked with my 'DaysUntil' app, I change the number of days left until their 1st Mathematics GCSE examination. This display is all aimed at making them aware of how much (or little) time they have left. In the majority of our lessons it has been referred to and it's strange how much impact it is having on some of my students. For example, I often here a lot of 'Ooo, we've only got 74 days left' or 'te he he, 69 days left' (a popular day)!

My tutor group are very good at reminding me to change the post-its each morning and they themselves (more than some of my Y11 students, perhaps) are aware of how long their older peers have left.

For each of my Y11 classes, in their last lesson before we broke up for Easter, I gave them the 'spiel' about how the number on the back of the door will be greatly depleted by the time we get back after the Easter holidays. I also reminded them that the number included the entire Easter holidays, the May half term and every weekend between now and their 1st examination (highlighting the lack of 'lesson time' we have remaining).

I tried to get them to see that they HAD to be doing some Mathematics revision/work over the Easter holidays so they do not drop down from their current, what I called, 'Mathematical State' and that if they did nothing they'd have to build themselves back up after the Easter holidays just to get back to the level that they left off on.

In order to help them all I have given them each, based on their preferences, a pack of grade targeted revision packs that I got from the brilliant @MathsAlex who has been tweeting these out over the past month or so. To see all of these papers, the front sheet for each grade and the mark schemes for the questions included, click on the following link --> https://t.co/iCpombGR8S.
I have also put all the papers on our school's VLE so the students can download other grades once they have finished with the one I printed and handed out to them.

By giving them these packs I hope they will have no excuses to not to be doing some sort of work/revision over the Easter holidays! They've also got my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/mrcollinsmaths and mymaths etc etc.

I will also, over the next couple of weeks, be putting up a new display in my classroom all targeted towards their revision - useful websites, reminders of revision sessions, key info etc etc.

In addition, when we get back, I intend on showing them the below video by @Actionjackson. I saw this last year and it was shown to all my previous school's Y11s in a mock exam feedback session in the school's hall. This year, when the time is right, I will show it to each of my classes as I feel it is exactly what some of them will need! Thanks @Actionjackson for creating this, and your other videos.

If the video above does not load click on this link --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMNGzUm0170

So, the clock is well and truly ticking for our Y11s. There are still a few topics I have to teach my top set Y11s, then it'll be straight through to revision, in and around the time they will spend out, in other examinations, which start the 2nd full week back I believe. For my Y11 3rd set, we'll be going through some of the 'easier to pick up marks on' A/A* topics that they haven't seen before. We've covered all of the D/C and majority B grade topics and they have been given individual revision sheets based on their performance in these topics (see my previous blog post on 'alexpett's GCSE topic tracker http://goo.gl/fwa7IP).

It's going to be a busy month or so when we get back!

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