I must admit that this is a typical ‘I have just been on a course and excited about this resource’ post.

So today I got the opportunity to go on a course for teaching A level maths. This has been my first year teaching the pure content of the AS and so it was suggested that I go on a course to help with my knowledge. I was definitely up for any CPD that would genuinely help and so I started hunting. I found a course that not only went into the content but also how to teach the content. It was by creative education: Effective teaching of A Level Maths.

One of the fantastic resources that got shown to use today was an unjumble.

We were given several cards that all contained different pieces of working out on them. The main task was to ‘find the equation of the normal to the curve y = (2x + 3)(x – 1) at the point where x = -1. In pairs we then had to work though the problem and place the cards in the correct order. We were told from the beginning of the task that we would not need every card and that some cards contained some wrong working out. What was really nice about this task is that it provides prompts for what you could do e.g. one of the cards showed the brackets being expanded and then suggesting that you needed to differentiate to find the gradient; this helps you complete the actual question. What it also does is helps you know that you are going on the right lines as you can match up your working out to the cards. The final card was very good as it highlighted that the equation of a line can be written in many different ways. It took us a few minutes to discover that our answer was correct as we had written it in the form of 3y and the answer was in the form of y being the subject.

The end result is below:

I am genuinely excited to try out a task that is different and not the same routine that I have been doing with my students up to now.

From a teacher perspective, it will really help me consider what mistakes my students would make on certain topics as I am going to have to write convincing ‘red herring’ cards. I know that it will be time consuming creating the resources however I only have 11 students in my class therefore I would only need to make 5 sets of cards. I am also a big advocate of ‘when a resource is worth using, it is worth putting the time and effort into making it’. I have also started thinking about other things I could do with this such as giving the students a question and then asking them to create their own unjumble.

This resource defintiely does not have to only be confined to A level teaching; it definitely could be used in KS3 and KS4. Looking forward to using this with my students!

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