things that worked

It really works to have all the next week’s worksheets copied up the Friday before. What a difference this makes to the ease of planning, especially homework. And what a difference it makes to my sanity. I pushed on Friday to get it all done and it really paid off today.

Better planned lessons are easier to manage. Behaviour was easier when I was calm and not flustered.

Organisation is everything. Mum said this summer, “Money spent on organising is never wasted.” To this I now add, “Time spent on organising is never wasted either.”

Reading something different (or different-ish) at lunch and directly after school relaxes my day. Funny how I have learned so many strategies for keeping my emotions and energy constant during the day and week. Sometimes (often?) a successful day is judged by whether I have survived. I wonder when/if I will move on to evaluate success by how much students learn.

marking: things i have learned

Get the students to do as much as you can.
Do some of it in class when moving about the room. Record all the homework marks.
Do it as quickly as possible. Write only the bare minimum. Do it as frequently as you can stand (every two weeks at the least). Take the books in every day there is not homework being assigned so that five or six books can be marked in an odd moment.
Keep track of homework religiously so that students know they can’t get away without doing it.
The key to this, as everything in teaching, is organisation. A well organised mark book makes marking easier. Classroom routines make marking easier.

proud and aspirational

I am so pleased with having everything sorted in my classroom and I have effectively kept it that way for one day! Woohoo. So to ensure this continues I need to spend some time every day tidying up.

I have so many ideas for what I want to do this term. (These are only a few.)
Pay a bit more attention to my tutor group.
Keep on top of my marking.
Create some G&T resources.
Read articles from maths journals.
Read Lessons in Play.
Read and read some more.

God, help me to use my time wisely. I feel full of aspirations and I’m looking forward to accomplishing a lot. But I know myself and that I get sidetracked by other things (and often good things) and my own laziness. Please help me to learn balance and also to motivate myself.

almost autumn

This is the season that fills me with dread, and also anticipation. New classes, students, and busyness. Prepping frightens me. I have some good classes this year, and also some challenging ones. Father, please assist me in getting to know these students and having ideas to help them successfully. May I be more on top of things so that I can keep my head clear for teaching them well. Help me especially with marking–my downfall every year. (That sounded a bit defeatist already!) Can I make a breakthrough with marking??

And the gifted and talented job. What does it really mean? I have not really devoted much time to finding out. But here are the ideas I have: enrichment club (two: one for each KS?), competition entries, competition training, a trip out. I shall now try to find out if there is any government guidance to help me.

Places to look again next time
Centre for Innovation in Maths Teaching
Crux online journal pages
the renewed Secondary Framework for maths
Maths Challenge and the Team Maths Challenge
Teaching G&T Students from the Standards Site
What Works Well in maths

I ordered a book: Meeting the Needs of Your Most Able Pupils: Mathematics. I hope it is good!