MAT pedagogy session October 2017

Hello everyone, and a special welcome to our Emmanuel colleagues.

MAT pedagogy session

This year’s bulletins will start with a summary of the MAT sessions. You will also find any presentations and documents from the sessions here.

Our first Archway MAT maths session looked at the big idea of variation through the lens of coordinate geometry.

The two AQA GCSE coordinate geometry exam questions were not answered well nationally this year. As with many of the new-style exam questions, they were not standard questions.  We looked at how we can build similar non standard questions into lessons and how we can encourage students to think of the problems in as many different ways as they can, in order to prepare them for these unfamiliar questions.

MAT pedagogy session 1

The lesson we studied  was taken from the ICCAMS pilot study. The lesson plan and related documents have now been written into the Year 9 Autumn 2 scheme of work. The lesson is Lesson 1 Points on a Line.  Lessons 1 – 4 are all taken from the ICCAMS project.

Festival of Learning

It was great to be able to spend three hours as a group of maths teachers.  Our theme was ‘Communicating mathematically’ to link in with the literacy focus of writing. The first session looked at how we can bridge the gap between students’ informal whiteboard work and their formal written work.

We investigated how we could use journals in our lessons. We wrote our own group journals displaying the methods we had used to solve the ‘Points on a line’ problem from the previous evening’s session.

If you try using journals  in the next half term, it would be great to see how it went. Please could you share some examples of how you organised it with your classes, and some photos of the results. Please email me at

Here is a link to the Powerpoint that was used.

For the next session, Nick Wilson from Beechdale talked to us about using the Formative Assessment lessons from the Maths Assessment Project website. He used the Baseball Jerseys lesson to focus on comparing student responses. This is a really useful method for modelling good examples of written work.  The writing frame was particularly useful and can be used for any lessons that compare pre-prepared student work. In the Year 9 scheme of work, there are two lessons from the Maths Assessment Project that have the opportunity to compare student work: “Baseball journeys”and  “Finding a measure of slope”.

Here is a link to Nick’s presentation and materials.

Desmos classroom

For those of you who are using the Year 9 Scheme of work, some of the lessons have now been posted.  There are some related lessons in Year 7 that our current Year 9 won’t have used yet. I have written them as ‘pre-lessons’ on the unit page. Please use them if you think they will be useful.

You will also notice that there are some computer based Desmos Classroom lessons from lesson 9 onwards.  Desmos classroom is an excellent tool where teachers can keep track of and share the work of all students from their computers.

The lessons require some preparation.  I have added the teacher guides to the lesson pages so you have enough time to prepare. If you have departmental time before the lessons, it would be useful to work through these as a group.

Have a fantastic holiday, and I’ll see you all again at the next MAT session.