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Maths Conference - #Mathsconf13

mathsconf13 maths conference with mark mccourt

Wow, what an amazing weekend! The La Salle Education maths team excelled themselves again. Thank you to @LaSalleEd team and Mark (@EmathsUK) for another amazing conference #mathsconf13.

Rob Smith (@RJS2212) deserves a special thanks as well for his dedication to selling raffle tickets and also the amazing tuck shop!

The conference raised a £2000 for Macmillan Cancer today, thanks to the donations of all attendees and a significant donation to round the sum up by Mark.

400 maths teachers gathered on a Saturday morning ready for the maths conference to begin. As usual you could feel the excitement in the room. This time though there was a palpable buzz as people waited for Matt Parker (@Standupmaths) to take the stage.

Mathsconf13 - The Beginning 

Mark McCourt and Andrew Taylor (@AQAMaths) opened the conference in the usual style with Andrew talking us through what this summer's Maths GCSE results looked like for post 16 entrants. Theses results appeared to be very similar to previous years. He was positive but curious about why about several post 16 entrants chose to sit the now 9-1 GCSE instead of the old A*- G GCSE when they didn't have to.

Andrew had the pleasure of introducing Matt Parker to the stage. Matt Parker instantly had us smiling and laughing bright and early on a Saturday morning. He showed us that a picture is just a very large excel spreadsheet.  This resources can be found here on his amazing website Think Maths alongside many other free maths resources. On here you can make any picture into a spreadsheet.

There are some amazing events and resources on offer from Matt Parker and his maths friends for schools. These include

Maths Inspiration EventsMaths FestMaths in Action EventsThink Maths WebsiteNumberphile - YoutubeStandup Maths - Youtube and Maths Jams.

Matt Parker was also kind enough to share one of his guilty pleasures with us. His guilty pleasure was the discovery last year of the largest prime number which is millions of digits long.

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Thriving instead of Surviving your NQT Year - New Job Part 3

Surviving NQT

The NQT year for any new teacher can be rather daunting. It’s a weird scenario to be in. You are qualified in terms of passing your training but you still have to pass the year in order to be a fully qualified teacher. It is a sort of limbo. I remember getting to my RQT year and not feeling much different to my NQT year, apart from I now had a piece of paper saying I was a fully qualified teacher. 4 years later I’m slowly starting to not feel like a teacher fraud anymore. It’s weird, you don’t suddenly wake up one day and feel like a teacher. I’m learning everyday in the profession and I’m a great believer that is the way it should always be.

Your NQT year can be more intimidating than most for many reasons, such as:

  • Finally being let loose and trusted with your own classes on your own
  • Teaching lots more students as your timetable has significantly increased
  • You don’t know the names of the memebers of your department let alone the students

This lists only a few things. 

So here are my top 5 tips:

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Supporting New Colleagues - New Job Part 1

New Job Supporting Colleagues

This is the first in a series of blogs I’m going to be publishing this week to help support teachers who have new jobs. The first is one of the most important articles, as this is about how current teachers can support those teachers who are either training, starting their NQT year or moving schools.

The majority of schools this year across the country have new members of staff joining the ranks. Some will be experienced teachers and teaching assistants who are moving jobs and others will be newer to the profession such as trainee teachers and NQTs. As colleagues to these new members of staff we have a vital role to play. People are often very excited and dare I say vulnerable when they start a new post. It's a time in which we can have a big impact. It's important we help and support our new colleagues get off to a good start.

 How might we do this? I think it's important to say some of these ideas below will be nothing new. However it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder; You never know what little thing you might miss. Every small thing adds up tp make a difference to your new colleagues experience in the first few days. Try to remember how you felt on your first day and in your first week.

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Dealing with the Unknowns - New Job Part 2

Walking into the Unknown

Starting teaching or moving schools can be both exciting and daunting to begin with. It’s a world filled with lots of unknowns that can make us feel both apprehensive and nervous.

There are several key factors that can make this a stressful situation;

  • not knowing your way around
  • not knowing your colleagues
  • not being embedded yourself as a teacher
  • having a lack of personal space or classroom
  • having to learn the new systems of a school

All of these factors are common to any teacher who is new to school, even if they have been teaching over 20 years. Knowing these feelings aren't isolated to only yourself is important. The excitement and apprehension of a new role can be an interest mix.

Here are my top tips on how to manage the stress of the unknowns. 

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Guide to Maths Revision

GCSE Maths Revision
The time is finally upon us. We are less than two weeks away from the new GCSE Maths exam. Motivating and preparing students for this finally hurdle can either be like you are dragging a horse to water or that they come skipping and jumping. It is imperative that the students are working harder than their teachers. However it is also important they find time for their own wellbeing. A good night’s sleep can help students to retain 60% more of what they revise. So yes I am prescribing sleep to my students in this very busy time. 
 
Stress can compound on students in this busy GCSE period. I’ve found having an open door policy really helps my students, as they know they can access support whenever they need it. My year 11 class mantra is “just try”. We have come so far with that mantra. We are now doing GCSE Higher Maths instead of Foundation Maths as we originally thought we might be. 

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“Miss B is always coming up with great new ideas. I have been delighted to work with her on linking numeracy and literacy”

Simon Blower 
Simon Blower
@simonpobble
Co Founder of pobble.com

 

“Makes Maths interesting, relevant and accessible.”

Mark Anderson 
Mark Anderson
@ICTEvangelist
Author of ‘Perfect ICT Every Lesson’ and international speaker.
www.EducationEvangelist.Com

 
 

“Maths teachers looking for inspiration and quality resources? Look no further than @MissBsResources.” 

Jon Tait
Jon Tait
 @Teamtait
Olympic torch bearer, deputy head teacher and international speaker.
www.edutait.co.uk

 
 
 

Danielle Bartram

Maths Lead Practitioner

Acklam Grange School
Middlesbrough
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