Teach for Understanding Bigger Picture: 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, Pedagogy Place, Maths Newsletters and Topic Collections, please visit the TES Maths Blog here

What is it?
I dread to think how many department meetings I have say through over the course of the last 13 years, and likewise what proportion of that time has been spent doing painful admin – filling out forms, checking dates, writing predictions, etc. Bringing meaningful, effective CPD into such meetings can be a tricky business, but this lovely resource offers one possibility. It is called “Teaching for Understanding”, and its stated aim is to encourage discussion amongst maths teachers about how to teach for understanding instead of tricks. A variety of topics are presented, including fractions, indices and negative numbers, and teachers are challenged to write down:
1. The method – the basic approach
2. The understanding – why does the method work?
3. The bigger picture – how and where does this topic fit in the real world application?

How can it be used?
I am a great believer in the power of habit. Too many times I have seen a good teaching idea, hammered it to death for a couple of weeks, and then never returned to it. Students only really see the benefit once something become habitual. I believe the same is also true for something like this resource. Use it once in a departmental meeting, and you are unlikely to see much long-term benefit.; However, make this a regular part of meetings – it should only take around 10 minutes to fill-in and discuss once colleagues are used to how it works – and the benefits could be significant. It is an opportunity for colleagues of all experiences and backgrounds to share their knowledge, expertise and opinions in a positive, structured way,. And it is fascinating to see the different approaches.I highly recommend giving it a try.

Thanks so much for sharing
Craig Barton

Download: Teach for Understanding Bigger Picture (Maths CPD)
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