Mr Reddy Maths Blog

Category Archives: Opinion

A hasty post on problem solving in maths: more English is the answer

Email just in from a teacher: “How you are tackling problem solving? Our learners and staff are finding it a challenge and I feel the key is to ensure it is right lower down in the school so that pupils have more skills to tackle problems when they are at …

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First lesson back: Sense of possibility

In my first lesson with a new class I have two things I want to achieve: visioneering and routineering. This post is about visioneering, the act of sharing the Big Vision with your students and imbuing them with a Sense of Possibility. For clarity, the reason I think visioneering is …

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We can learn about maths teaching from Shanghai

My interest in Shanghai maths teaching is an intellectual matter not a political one. We should definitely be wanting to know more about their pedagogy given we are rarely in a position in our busy, chaotic, highly emotional school lives to engage with it. They’re the ones who have the …

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Featured comment: What is better for the child’s mathematical development in the long run?

This comment was left on the Design your own mastery curriculum article and deserves its own post. Centering on the what of early mathematical schooling, Helen talks about the emergency, reactive shortcuts that end up being used as a result of pupils not learning the basics by age 8. **************************************** …

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How best to work with additional adults in maths lessons

This post is dedicated to the wonderful City Year volunteers who tirelessly dedicated themselves to the pupils of King Solomon Academy, four days a week for a whole year. In response to tonight’s #mathscpdchat, I’ve written down my thoughts on establishing a positive working relationship that has benefits for you, …

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#MathsCPDChat on times tables strategies

Pre-reading: Strategies for learning, remembering and understanding the times tables. Some additional thoughts for starting out teaching the times tables with year 2s onwards, prompted by a #MathsCPDChat These are the things I think are important for mastery of the tables (most of which, I suspect our primary colleagues are …

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#NoGoodAtMaths – please vote for your favourite hashtag

Thanks to all those who responded to my call for a hashtag for the “I was never good at maths” campaign. More than 50 responses came in and the best are shared below. Now I need you to rate each one! If any of them have inspired you to come …

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“I was never any good at maths” – please help my desk study

Spoiler alert: assistance required. For as long as I’ve been a maths teacher, and probably before, it’s seemed to me a travesty that people would leave school saying they weren’t good at maths. Well I’ve decided to do something about it on a bigger scale. At the moment it’s early …

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How we achieved dramatically good GCSE results in the poorest ward in London

Update: the 2014 GCSE results have put us in the top 10 in the country for 5 A*-C inc EM. Excerpt of an article written by Max Haimendorf, the headteacher with whom I and a small group of teachers founded KSA Secondary in 2009. Five years ago, parents in our …

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Design your own mastery curriculum in maths

There seems to be a current surge from Heads of Maths and KS3 Maths Coordinators looking to adopt more of a mastery approach to teaching maths. This post is a quick run through of the journey the curriculum at King Solomon Academy has gone through and concludes with some advice …

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Lizz Truss on TESMaths chat

11:33 TES Team: Hello and welcome to TES Maths Week. We’ll be joined from 7pm by DfE minister Liz Truss, who’ll be answering your questions on maths in the new primary and secondary curriculum. You can ask questions live later on, or you can leave your questions or comments ahead …

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Chromebooks for Blended Learning – BETT 2014

Here are my slides from BETT 2014. The general ideas are that: There is a brick wall of technology that gets in the way of learning.Many laptops or desktop computers used in schools are unreliable, the workflow for sharing and collaboration on them is tedious and, in many other ways, …

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Maths is Everywhere

“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music.” – Bertrand Russell Spoiler alert: This video was made by two amazing artists, Yann Pineill and Nicolas Lefaucheux, not by me.

The multiple personalities of fractions

The following is an extract of the text I wrote for an ebook aimed as a guide for first year TeachFirst maths teachers. The excerpt covers what I see as the major difficulty of grasping fractions – their multiple personalities. You know where you are with integers. The number one …

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10 things to check before starting flipped learning

Asked by @MsFindlater for some advice on getting going with flipped learning, I spontaneously came up with 10 things to check before taking the plunge. Check that… All or nearly all pupils have internet at home (or you’ve thought of workarounds for those who don’t). You can create or curate …

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Programming – the next modern language

The short version of this short film has more than 10m views on YouTube Forget English, French and Spanish. Forget Arabic and Chinese. The language our pupils really need to know is computer programming! As a boy, I grew up having to control a computer using the MS-DOS command line …

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Strategies for learning, understanding and remembering the times tables

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in the class could recall a multiplication fact up to 12 × 12 in less than 3 seconds? That’s my goal and I’ve nearly accomplished it for the third year in a row. It has taken admirable dedication and hard work on the part …

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Chromebooks or iPads for my students?

Let’s get this out of the way up front. I’m brand agnostic. I use Microsoft, Apple and Google products every day. I enjoy using their hardware and their software for professional and for personal purposes. This is not an Apple vs Google debate. This is about technology in the classroom …

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Why do other countries do better at maths?

This was filmed for AQA’s Better Maths website. If you’re wondering whether I could have spoken more slowly, the answer is yes.

What has Jo Boaler got to do with it? [Maths at KSA, that is.]

At KSA, we teach maths in mixed ability groups all the way through Keystage 3 (ages 11-14) and I now think it’s one of the smartest decisions we ever made. When I was appointed Head of Maths, before the school even opened, the Headteacher asked me How do you feel …

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Effective independent in-class extension

My name is Sam and I am part of the King Solomon Academy Maths department. Bruno has asked us to write on his blog about an area of personal development in maths teaching. As part of the team I get the opportunity to work in a mixed ability setting. This …

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“Hi Bruno, BBC are in reception for you.”

Well, there’s an email I didn’t think I’d ever receive. Who could it be and why were they here to see me and not the headteacher? It can be strange what goes through my head. “I’m too young to meet Michael Aspel just yet. Pretty sure I’m not going to …

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Language Revelation

I was in a training session today that gave me such a revelation. One of those I-see-the-world-in-a-different-way-now moments – that’s how much it rocked my world. The trainer, Carly Biggam from ARK, set us up in groups of three: one speaker, one listener and one observer. The activity was very …

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LOGO meets Scratch (thanks Blockly and David Wees)

A while back I wrote about using LOGO as entry route for pupils into programming. I guess many of you have been thinking of ways of doing the same. One very clever teacher based in Canada, has taken some Google Code called Blockly and created a very cool LOGO/Scratch mash-up. …

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