Motivating students

Thursday 30th June 2022

What do psychic ability, guttering, free fall from space, and mazes have in common?

I think that we’d all like to make our teaching more relevant and motivate our students to want to learn more. In the North West region, we try to bring together the best resources and teaching ideas that we can to promote students’ understanding. A lot of these will involve practical and modelling ideas often using live or real-life data and experiments; none of these have to be labour or resource intensive.

We've used these ideas with students of all abilities from Year 9 to Year 13 at recent events, including:

  • Introduction to Year 12 Statistics – Psychic testing and should the court find the prisoner guilty? You decide…
  • Year 13 Mechanics Booster – from Jumping from space to calculating the weight of wood without scales.
  • Modelling day for Year 12’s – X-ray imaging, simulating queues with dice and matrices, toppling bridges, sharing cards, and shuffling cards.
  • Practical Mechanics Professional Development – We’ve run face-to-face and online events with activities such as modelling speed bumps, throwing rocks down holes (was it really a mile deep?), pulling sledges, and predicting if the basketball made it into the goal.
  • Practical Statistics Professional Development – We’ve run face-to-face and online events. Lots of dice, mazes, and real and fake art – oh, and very tall children!
  • KS5 Network Meeting with a focus on modelling – Modelling the London Eye, guttering, drug clearance, and tea getting cold – is it better to put the milk in first or not?
  • KS5 Network Meeting with a focus on ‘Bringing Statistics to Life’ – intransitive dice, mazes, and winning games with coins.
  • ‘Maths in the Real World’ for Year 9 students – From wrapping presents to the Lego Factory.
  • ‘Mathemagic’, Year 10 enrichment – The maths of paper, Roller Coasters, and Sweet Statistics.

We hope that you and your students can join us at some of our events next year. You can keep an eye on what's coming up on the North West regional events page. We’re also always happy to take requests for other events that you think it would be useful for us to run – your local Area Coordinator would love to hear from you!

By Abigail Bown

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