The time is finally upon us. We are less than two weeks away from the new GCSE Maths exam. Motivating and preparing students for this finally hurdle can either be like you are dragging a horse to water or that they come skipping and jumping. It is imperative that the students are working harder than their teachers. However it is also important they find time for their own wellbeing. A good night’s sleep can help students to retain 60% more of what they revise. So yes I am prescribing sleep to my students in this very busy time.
Stress can compound on students in this busy GCSE period. I’ve found having an open door policy really helps my students, as they know they can access support whenever they need it. My year 11 class mantra is “just try”. We have come so far with that mantra. We are now doing GCSE Higher Maths instead of Foundation Maths as we originally thought we might be.
I think I was lucky with my experiences within the education system as a student, as I believe it has benefitted me in my teaching career. I was never the ‘clever’ student. I always had to work hard for any grade I achieve. If I didn’t I only had myself to blame. I had to come up with revision strategies and memory techniques that worked for me. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m not what you would maybe call a natural mathematician. I’ve really had to work hard for the knowledge I have and I try to pass that journey onto my students to help them see the bigger picture.
I often use several strategies with students to help them revise mathematics. I thought I would share these ideas and resources in one place ready for your use.
These are great in promoting a student’s independent maths revision at home. The passports give students a guiding hand at what maths topics are appropriate to their level to revise and where they can find revision materials and support. They come in 5 different booklets depending on a student’s ability.
Revision clocks took social media by storm last year and there are many out there to revise from. I often snip exam questions to quickly make a revision clock. I sometimes spend more time in making a clock from scratch and these can be found on the link above. I really have tried to focus on the AO2 and AO3 GCSE Maths skills on these revision clocks. I’m uploading the answers as I complete them.
Revision mats are a great way to cover several revision topics within an hour. These focus on typical skills which appear on the maths GCSE exams and are relevant to any exam board. These allow students to easily identify topics they may need to revise easily.
I’ve been updating the trimester challenges and significantly adding to the collection of them. All recent Timesters include answers. These are a serious of bronze, silver and gold examination questions on a maths topic. Often the Timesters cover a range of GCSE maths skills from AO1, AO2 and AO3. These are also good to use at the end of a unit of work.
Quick Wits are currently undergoing an upgrade into a more visually effective resource with topic titles on each question as well as including answers. While I am updating these I am at times changing the style of the questions to be more in line with the wording and presentation of the new GCSE AO1, AO2 and AO3 type questions. Each quick wit covers a range of topics that students need to know to sit each tier of maths exam. These topics are repeated over time within the resource to help space the learning.
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