At Trafalgar College, we have a centralised planning system put in place where all Maths teachers within the department are teaching from the same textbook. This textbook has been designed and agreed by myself and Ian Burchett, Executive Principal.
The rationale behind our decision to use a textbook as our main teaching resource was to ensure that all pupils in the year group, across all ability spectrums, are being taught the same content. The only difference between each class is the amount of time the teacher spends on teaching a particular concept.
This week I taught all my year 8 classes how to write a fraction as an integer (given the numerator is divisible by the denominator) and in the planning process I was thinking of the different problem types that fall under the concept of writing a fraction as an integer, here they are:
- Simplifying a fraction where the numerator is divisible by the denominator
- Using the first 12 multiples of the first 12 times tables
- Large numerator that requires short division
3. Filling in the missing blanks where the integer is equal to a string of fractions
4. Writing a fraction from a sentence and simplifying it to an integer
5. Deciding if the following equations are true or false
6. Deciding whether the equation will be a mixed number or integer, where the answer would be ‘integer’ or ‘mixed number’
7. Deciding which fraction is the odd one out given a list of fractions which simplify to an integer. Including fractions that do not simplify to an integer
8. Given a number line, state the equivalent fraction for each integer given the denominator of that fraction
What I found was that pupils were genuinely thinking about the concept that was being taught simply because they were trying a variety of different problem types. Essentially, they were doing the same thinking again and again but applying their knowledge in different instances. What I enjoyed was watching the kids ponder, stop and think whilst they were attempting each question on their mini-whiteboards. I saw the pupils correcting their mistakes before I even needed to highlight their mistakes whilst circulating the room. This is simply because I thought about the different ways of assessing a pupil’s ability to write a fraction as an integer.