Blog: Ian Davies, Director of Secondary
Our Monday morning maths
Posted: 15/09/14What better way is there to start a week than a little mathematics? Mathematics Mastery is a professional development community and we certainly practice what we preach.
Every Monday at 9 o’clock sharp, pens are put down, emails are temporarily suspended, and lesson creation is put on hold as the whole team – primary, secondary, operations, curriculum, school development leads and all – march off to a classroom (oops, I mean “meeting room”) to do some mathematics together.
We of course, like any team or any “class”, have a wide range of previous experience and qualifications but, armed with our growth mindsets and our commitment to talk tasks/shared learning opportunities we all get stuck in and enjoy learning again…especially whoever’s in teacher role for the day as they can get some pretty tricky questions!
The mathematics we do isn’t of a “hard” standard – it’s always something from the school curriculum – but, true to the spirit of the programme what we’re really looking for is depth of understanding and making connections between areas of the mathematics curriculum. Recent topics we’ve looked at include:
- Comparing different ways of doing long multiplication, including learning new (to us) techniques like the Vedic system and seeing how they all connect…even using algebra to prove why some “tricks” work
- Exploring what happens when you change the properties of two diagonal lines – their length, the angles they make etc. What quadrilaterals do you get and why?
- What does “random” actually mean? Can you tell a “human” random sequence from a real one? What are the clues?
As well as (of course) being tremendous fun and deepening our own understanding, the Monday Morning Maths sessions do serve a great purpose in setting us up for the week. It’s always refreshing to place ourselves in the position of being learners again – and sometimes a good reminder of how scary it can be. Much of what we do either informs our planning or the work we do with teachers in our partner schools.
Most impressively, everybody spends their whole weekend looking forward to Monday morning now…well, almost…