“Please, Miss, I can’t do it!”

Thursday 12th March 2020

I can’t do it, Sir!

Can’t do what, Jenny?

Any of it!

Have you noticed how some pupils give up on maths before they’ve even started?

How it’s almost okay to say the sweeping statement, “I’m no good at maths”, sometimes with a strange sense of pride?

What can you, as a classroom teacher or maths teaching assistant, do to tackle this?

Following requests from local teachers in Blackpool, I designed and delivered an afternoon professional development session to explore different pedagogical approaches to try and address this.

We looked at maths-specific task designs and ideas, such as goal-free tasks, as well as generic questioning strategies to take the pressure off, such as pass the parcel and answer storm.

In the second half of the session, we looked at using positive language and basic neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques to foster a resilient culture in our classrooms and, linked to this, we explored how we can promote a Growth Mindset model in our pupils.

The feedback from participants was very positive, and I’ve already got plans to re-deliver the session in another school.

I am also very happy to come and deliver the session in your local area: either to an individual school’s maths department, as part of twilight training or an inset day, or to a group of schools who each send one or two representatives.

If this sounds like it might be of interest to you, please get in touch and we will discuss your requirements.

By Adrian Hall

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