Remain Confident?

In addition to being another plug for Nrich, this  remainders game is very diverting. Give it a go: I got down to two guesses on one turn, and Ben worked out a rule to always solve it in two guesses (with one exception; let me know if you can (i) find the rule, and (ii) find the pair of numbers that can’t be solved with those two guesses). I’m not yet sure how I’d bring it into a lesson, but it’s certainly enhanced my understanding of remainders and the nth term.

Sometimes, with games like these, I feel sad that my behaviour management isn’t sophisticated enough to be able to support pupils if everyone was set up on it (i.e. each with their own laptop) or doing it in small groups or as whole class. That is, confidence and resilience are so low that many wouldn’t know how to start and so would give up, becoming bored and disruptive. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with my teaching strategies, their ability, or a broader culture from the school or catchment area. I find it impossible to believe that my pupils are somehow less able than their counterparts across Britain, and I don’t have much control over the broader culture of low confidence/fear of failure/not knowing how to approach a (maths) problem creatively, so I’m going to have to address my strategies. It feels pretty insurmountable at the moment!

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Filed under Education, Interesting or Fun, Perceptions of Maths

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