Maths Murder Investigation
A fun and exciting maths task where students have to find who is the murderer by completing a series of algebra and numerical problems to eliminate the 10 suspects. Throughout the activity students have to justify why they are eliminating suspects bringing a strong element of literacy into the task.
Great for revision and extension purposes. Ask the students to make connections with pervious topics and create their own maps or allow a student to select a connecting topic from the map and design their own question showing the link. There are many methods you could use in designing tube maps. I would like to thank Mr Taggart an English teacher from Northfield for showing me this resource he had with it's endless uses. Click the image for a pdf template and poster or follow this link to the software designer.
Ski Slope Learning
What is Ski Slope Learning and why use it? Every student learns at different rates and has different strengths. Ski slope learning allows for students to get to the same end result from different starting points.
If you think about ski slopes there are several different degrees of difficulty, with green being the easiest and black being the hardest, however no matter which route you take you always get to the bottom of the slope. Applying this method to a structured lesson environment allows pupils to work at their own individual paces and has differentiated routes to ensure all pupils achieve the learning objective. The ski slope method also provides opportunity for pupils to work independently and allows for rapid progressions.
When it comes to the black slope, it’s a place where you can challenge pupils to think outside of the box and apply the knowledge in new ways. This will help stretch and test the most able (G+T) students understanding and comprehension of a topic.
How to introduce Ski Slope Learning
There are two different ways in which I use Ski Slope Learning.
1. PowerPoint Method
The first is through power point. As you can see on the page before there is a list of columns where I break my questions up into the stepping stones to achieve the learning objective.
I allowed the pupils to decide their own route and starting point. However they needed to be in the red column at least by the end of the lesson. It is a good way to clearly show progress in lessons by levelling individual columns.
This took a while to train my classes not to do every question in each column and to also make sure pupils didn’t deliberately try to avoid the harder questions. Once the pupils are trained, they are able to take responsibility for their own learning and progress at a pace personalised to their own learning.
2. Worksheet Method
For this second method I created a series of levelled worksheets for a given lesson, some I provide more structure and guidance than others. For example fill in the gap questions to begin with. This can easily be replicated in other subjects when looking at the amount of support you can give a pupil in writing structures.
For this method I don’t always have four worksheets, for some classes only two is necessary while other more mixed ability classes’ four sheets are necessary.
It is important to note that the difference in this method is that the routes are is pre planned out for the pupils. It allows the teacher to make sure all pupils are challenged appropriately. I try to pre plan who will receive which starting point work sheet before the start of the lesson, however this can often change depending on the success a student has made at the beginning of a lesson.
(If I am getting observed I will often print the different worksheet out on coloured paper to allow the differentiation and challenge to be clearly visible to an inspector.)