Mr Reddy Maths Blog

Category Archives: Teaching/learning Ideas

Teaching Your Class to Roll Numbers

I made this video for Rising Academy Network teachers to show them how I teach my classes to roll numbers.

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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Modelling in maths

I’ve come to the conclusion that ace teachers are experts in classroom culture and that the most effective maths teachers are also excellent at modelling and questioning. With the hope of getting some feedback in the comments, here’s what I try to do consistently with modelling. I start with “empty …

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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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Peer Tutoring: King Solomon Academy, tips and resources

Long before the Education Endowment Foundation’s Toolkit found that peer tutoring can add 6 more months of learning progress, I faced a problem that only peer tutoring could solve. All keystage 3 classes at King Solomon Academy are taught in mixed-ability form groups. Anyone teaching year 7 maths knows that …

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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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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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How we teach addition & subtraction of negative numbers

Notoriously difficult for pupils to understand, I think addition and subtraction of negatives is one of the things that one comes to understand after doing lots of practice. HOWEVER, that practice needs to be yielding correct answers from the off. It’s no good sending pupils off to do lots of …

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Good luck GCSE students – with a little help from my friends

Good luck Just wanting to wish pupils sitting their GCSE maths exams in the next couple of weeks, the best of luck. I remember what it feels like to be revising hard at this stage and the exam nerves on the day. It wasn’t that long since I last did …

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Plan 50 – where my maths GCSE class are going to get their next 50 marks

Plan 50 is the name I’m giving to a drive for each of my year 11 pupils to gain an additional 50 marks in their final mock exam in March compared to one they’ve just done in November. The list below is all the things I’m going to cover over …

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Analysis of the first 50 marks on GCSE higher maths papers

Towards the end of last school year (2012-13), the great members of the KSA maths department did an analysis of the topics coming up in the first 50 marks in GCSE maths higher papers. We looked through a stack of Edexcel and AQA papers from the last few years. Here …

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Mail merge after a maths mock

I handed out a mail-merged letter to my year 11 class today, based on their performance in a maths mock exam we held a week ago. This is how it read: Monday 2nd December, Dear R………., In the maths mock exam that you took a week ago, you achieved B3, …

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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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Sports Day Infographic

Background The Head of PE (Nic Christo) asked me if we could do some cross-curricular work in maths lessons that linked to the upcoming sports day. To keep the buzz of sports day going, Nic wanted English, Maths and Science to do some sort of project. So year 8 scientists …

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Times Tables Rock God Wrangle – Event Teaser [Video]

Related links Times Tables Rock Stars Strategies for learning, understanding and remembering the times tables

Pupils checking each other’s work

In my class I run a simple pupil-checking-pupil-work system. Pupil A completes work and puts hand up in shape of letter V (for ‘validate’). Specific training beforehand as to which fingers to use! Teacher, wearing Validator sign on the end of a lanyard goes over to check for 100% accuracy. …

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20 things in my maths cupboard

Some are poundlandtastic others are simply worth paying the extra for.

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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Guest blog: Circle Theorems and Hula Hoops

I am a teacher in the KSA Maths Department and I have just finished 2 weeks on Circle Theorems with my year 10 class.  One of the philosophies of the KSA Maths department is ‘Singapore Maths’ where students are initially introduced to concepts via physical or visual representation, then with …

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A Lego Love Story – Priming Pupils

Once upon a time there was a king who lived in a castle on an island in the middle of a spectacular blue lake. So starts a ‘true story’ I invented to mask the introduction of a new maths topic. See if you can guess the topic as I read …

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Geometry flashcards for download

You can display them on the screen or print them back to back. Every second page is the ‘answer’ or flipside to the odd numbered pages. Hope that makes sense! e.g. on one side it might show a shape and ask you to name it and on the next page …

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Rocketship Sí Se Puede

Today I had the pleasure of visiting one of the reknowned Rocketship schools. They were incredibly hospitable, the pupils were working hard, and the instructors answered all my hundreds of questions. Thanks to all, especially the principal, Mr Elliot-Chandler. School Type: primary school (K-5) Model: Lab rotation model where students …

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What we learned in New Orleans from FirstLine Schools

A couple of colleagues* and I have been fortunate enough to spend the last few days in New Orleans at the Virtual Schools Symposium – yes, we have very supportive line managers! While we were there, FirstLine Schools showed us round their Arthur Ashe Charter School and gave us the …

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Rounding, Comparing, Ordering Decimals – Singapore Style

I enjoyed my year 7 lessons today and thought I’d share some photos and the resources. You can see blocks, an abacus, a card arrangement task, a ‘washing line’ and pupils making a number up at the front. Resources are available to download below. Snapshot of the classwork, which is …

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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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Making ‘Tri-axes’ in the Woodwork Room

Trying to picture 3D shapes in your head and ‘spin’ them round for a different view is hard enough for many people. Which is why asking pupils to visualise 3D coordinates from a 2D representation, let alone perform any calculations from them, is even less straightforward. Realising this, my colleague …

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Classic mistakes brought to you by the Simpsons

Here’s how I see it, it’s easier to learn from the maths mistakes of others than from your own. Probably because there’s an emotional association with making a mistake, I find pupils jump at the chance to dissect and discuss the root of misconceptions of others, and by others I …

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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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Pleased with this animation…division-using-place-value-blocks

We know that physical and visual cues can help learners – objects such as tokens, cards, Dienes blocks, Cuisinaire rods, tiles, straws, beakers, multi-link cubes, string, Lego men (!) or loads of other props are great for the pupils to play with. That said, you have to show them first …

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My First-Week-Back Goal: Hook, Line and Sinker

I’m writing this article in response to a Blog Initiation Drive organised by all the good guys in the maths edublogging jungle. It’s not just my first week back, it’s also my pupils’ first week at secondary school. For the fourth consecutive year, I find myself preparing to teach the …

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