Life is still very busy but please see about a great online event!

Life is still very busy, with marking and teaching, but one thing I must mention is:

Educating the 21st Century Student, an online teacher training conference for Zambia, and beyond – Thursday 26th to Saturday 28th August 2021.

This event is an amazing opportunity for teachers based in Zambia, and beyond, to have three excellent days of training from some high quality trainers. Find out more about this event via supportforteachers.com.

David
nilsbird training

Life is still busy but great news today!

Life never gives up on what it throws at us and, in my case, that’s the marking season, which is now upon me! So, things like my maths questions have taken a back seat for the moment. Do keep an eye out for number 17. I’ll let you know when it will be available.

This short blog post is really about the great news I have: Educating the 21st Century Student, an online teacher training conference for Zambia, and beyond – Thursday 26th to Saturday 28th August 2021. This is a conference I am putting on in partnership with Chingola Private School Association – based in Chingola, Zambia (in the Copperbelt Region!).

© OpenStreetMap contributors, https://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright

All the details about the conference can be found via supportforteachers.com. You can sign up there to be kept in the loop about all the arrangements for the conference. There are some amazing speakers lined up (including me!) and it’s a great price too – $30 for all three days!

I still need to write about how I’m teaching the time and fractions at the same time, but that will have to wait. Back to the marking!

See you next time.
David
nilsbird training

Motivation – how to engage students? Part 4 (and life is rather busy at the moment!)

I am writing this post, after having provided my next bit of support, as a tutor, on a course. Before that I was doing some marking (where I fell asleep!) So, life is proving rather busy at the moment. (Have I taken too much on? – maybe!)

With my reference to Part 4 of motivation, I had a pleasant surprise from one of the 9/10 year old’s today. They said that they were now beginning to enjoy maths, when it comes to telling the time. (They have even been practising at home, it seems!) Another student, however, said they hate maths!

There seems to be such a disparity between different students’ perceptions about maths when they are young. Some like it and some hate it! I wonder if other subjects are the same?

Just so that you are aware, my Mathematics Question – Number 17 might be a little delayed due to how busy I am. Please keep an eye out here and on my website.

Bye for now.
David
nilsbird training

Motivation – how to engage students? Part 3

Today, I’d like to add some more thoughts to this engagement question.

Thinking about some 9/10 year olds I worked with this afternoon, I began to think about what level of our UK GCSE (16 year old examination) they might sit in 6/7 years time. (Assuming this examination still exists!) It is clear to me that the students are already pretty good at mathematics and therefore I would predict they would sit the highest level.

So, assuming my prediction is correct, how do we keep the engagement going/keep them interested for another 6/7 years? (I think this is especially important to think about, when work the students can do/cover now will be revisited during the first few years of high school, and then within the actual GCSE examination.)

What would you do with such ‘bright’ students, as they progress through school?

Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks,
David
nilsbird training

Mathematics Question – Number 16

For those of you following the Mathematics Questions, Number 16 is now available to download from https://nilsbirdtraining.com/mathematics-resources.

As I said in a previous post, from Mathematics Question – Number 17 onwards, the questions and any additional information that would ordinarily appear in the Mathematics Questions – Newsletters, will become a feature of the blog. The newsletters will then become a summary of the blog posts. You can sign up to receive the Mathematics Questions – Newsletters here.

A new feature, coming soon, will be a dedicated domain name for the Mathematics Questions.

David
nilsbird training

Motivation – how to engage students? Part 2

This week ended, after having spent my first time in a Junior School (7 to 11 yrs of age in the UK) since a few days of supply teaching I did 2/3 years ago. I am in the school for around 10 weeks; again as part of the UK Government’s National Tutoring Programme. I am working with groups of 3. (Students having been selected for extra support because of the education they have missed over the last year.)

One thing that struck me, from my first few days, was a comment that one of the 9 year olds said to me. They confidently declared that they don’t like maths. They like literacy instead. So, it makes you wonder what it is that has given the student this opinion? They are only 9 and they have already made the choice! What does this mean for the student, when they have another 7 years to study this subject? They have already decided they don’t like! (It makes you wonder how long a 14 year old, who is disinterested in maths, has held their opinion?)

Can we blame a teacher for the choice the student has made? Was maths taught in an uninteresting way and this caused the student to make their decision? We will never know. How are we now to bring the student to see the importance of the subject? The annoying thing is, I think the student shows promise of being good at the subject (with support).

I have just googled a phrase I remember. Something along the lines of, give me a child of 7 and I’ll make a man of him. One website says it’s Aristotle who said it: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/709859-give-me-a-child-until-he-is-7-and-i. Another talks about it being the motto of the Jesuit Order: https://breakingspells.wordpress.com/2008/01/01/give-me-a-child-until-he-is-seven-and-i-will-give-you-the-man/

Does this phrase also mean, what I learn in the first few years of schooling can make or break my interest in a subject? We will ponder.

Your views, as always, are welcome. Connect with me using the contact details shown in the side bar.

Thanks,
David
nilsbird training

PISA – What happened in 2018?

A report in the Guardian newspaper – https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/apr/22/maths-scores-in-world-education-rankings-inflated-for-england-and-wales-study – says a report (soon to be published in the Review of Education) will claim that PISA maths results, from 2018, might show inflated scores for 15 year olds in England and Wales.

The report says the study, carried out by UCL Institute of Education, suggests scores were inflated because the sample was unrepresentative: low levels of participation in the test and not enough representation of lower achieving students.

This year will be the next round of PISA tests. I wonder where the UK will sit?

What do you think about the PISA tests? Does your country consider international comparisons important?

Let me know your thoughts.

David
nilsbird training

Mathematics Question – Number 15 and beyond!

Mathematics Question – Number 15 can now be found at https://nilsbirdtraining.com/mathematics-resources. This time the combination of topics is – geometric sequences, ratio and surds.

From Mathematics Question – Number 17, onwards, I plan to post each question on the blog, as well, with extra comments that will then appear in the Mathematics Questions – Newsletters. So, basically, each question, plus comments, will become part of the blog and then the newsletter will appear periodically, bringing together, each time, three questions plus comments (as it does now). Hope that makes sense!

See you soon,
David
nilsbird training