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.

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Yr11 struggle with this
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Public and simple assessment
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A second draft proof