Tricky Topic Ticklist

Thursday 27th May 2021

Have your students sometimes struggled with simplifying surds?

Why not try relating surds to algebraic expressions, and looking at the similarities there?

For instance, students know that \(3a+4a=7a\).

This might help them understand that \(3\sqrt5+4\sqrt5=7\sqrt5\).


In our latest Tricky Topic Ticklist session, which was held towards the end of March, we explored effective ways of teaching Surds, as well as Trigonometry, Indices, and Iteration.

As another example, we shared a nice mnemonic when looking at fractional indices:


As you know, the denominator of the fraction (in the power) is the 'root' – we can tell students that, just like a tree, the root is at the bottom.

Our Tricky Topic Ticklist sessions are ideal for NQTs, RQTs, non-specialists, and anyone looking to brush up or refresh their teaching of some of the trickier GCSE topics. Keep an eye on the North West events page for the next one!

By Adrian Hall and Jenny Thwaites

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