Homework. A thought from the Maths Department

With thanks to Marco for his strategy for differentiated, personalised and ‘flipped’ Maths homework.

Students need to write down three (or more) starter questions appropriate to the ability of the class. The questions may be old ones already done in class, chosen from their textbooks or from any other resource. They need to provide clear wording, full workings and hopefully correct solutions. The teacher then has a vast number of questions to choose from throughout the year. Students can vote the most creative, interesting, challenging etc. And once a question is ‘used’ they need to replenish their bank of questions (I ask them to write them at the back of their exercise books) so that we never run out of them.

It may be an old chestnut but students’ feedback is always very positive as it mixes consolidation, open-ended research, a specific focus on the needs of that particular group.

I usually give them 5-10 mins at the start of the lesson (they’re starters after all!), depending on the difficulty of the question, and ask them to work on their own. This gives the teacher some useful time to informally assess students’ recall and ability to apply their knowledge.

A mini-plenary can follow to highlight and tackle most common mistakes/misconceptions.

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