Algebra is Swearing

I have been grunting lots this week, with top set Yr11 students and nurture group Yr9 students. The aim? To use sounds to represent unknown blobs, aural equivalent of letters.

Yr11 struggle with this
Yr9 struggle with this

Using a ridiculous app, I made this:

Students find it fun, and hopefully useful:

A great example of a solution for opposite ends of the student spectrum.

Proving with Triangle Numbers

My Yr11 class have had a really excellent week understanding algebraic proof through Triangle Numbers. Many thanks to the excellent Don Steward whose ideas formed the basis for the learning. I am particularly pleased with the collaborative yet focussed atmosphere in the class when the students are hooked on the maths:

We started by sorting various statements (pictures, words, calculations and algebra). The four things below all say the same thing, in different ways. Lesson here.


At the end of each lesson students would hand to me a write-up of a proof they had thought about in the lesson. I marked the proofs on the following criteria, and made the marks public to the class (projected onto whiteboard) so that students knew who to turn to for support.

Public and simple assessment
A second draft proof