Multi Stage Problem Solving: TES Maths Resource of the Week

To see all of the work I do for TES Maths, including Resource of the Week, Inspect the Spec, Maths Newsletters and Topic Collections, please visit the TES Maths Blog here

What is it?
Before I mark one of my Year 10 or Year 11 class’ mock exam papers, I can be 100% sure that many of the lost marks will have come at the hands of the dreaded multi-mark questions. This is so frustrating, both for me as their teacher and for the students themselves. This frustration boils over whenever we go through the paper in class and my solution is met with groans of anguish and comments such as “is that all you had to do?”, “I didn’t know this was a percentages question”, or “I didn’t know what the question was asking!”. This is why I am such a huge fan of this resource. It was designed for the legacy specification, but if anything it is even more relevant for the new maths GCSE. There are loads of multi-mark question on a whole host of topics, including angles, currency conversions, and ones about those annoying people in exams who decide to pave over their awkwardly shaped gardens!

How can it be used?
The author suggests the following very sensible format:
• Each problem can be used as 10 min starter activity
• Show the problem and give students 5 minutes to work on their own
• Reveal any prompts as appropriate
• Discuss solutions and model thinking and strategies used to obtain correct answers (5 mins)
I can’t really do any better than that. All I would add is that this needs to become a regular part of your students’ mathematical diets as soon as possible. Cramming these kind of questions in a few weeks before the exam doesn’t really do anyone any favours. One or two of these a week from now until June and your students will be flying!

Thanks so much for sharing

Craig Barton

Download GCSE Multi Stage Problems
View the author’s other resources


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