Mathematics - Secondary Term 1
Posted by Joumana Issa
on 23 April 2018
The mathematics department has been heavily involved in building on the skills needed to further enhance students' learning outcomes through various questioning strategies, numeracy activities, weekly quizzes, and online resources.
Numeracy is not simply the arithmetical parts of the mathematics curriculum and is certainly not the drilling of procedural methods, as the term is sometimes interpreted. In order to completely understand numeracy a greater emphasis needs to be placed on estimation, problem solving and reasoning elements that go toward helping learners be adaptive with their mathematics. Alongside this, an important aspect to consider in using mathematics is the social perspective on numeracy: introducing students to problems where the authenticity of the context must take into consideration the relationships between people in order to shape solutions. For example, having students recognise that interpersonal aspects, such as 'fairness', can impact on acceptable solutions.
In addition, weekly quizzes take place to reinforce students' learning and to help them become more familiar with exam conditions and to encourage them to study on a regular basis.
Furthermore, HotMaths is introduced for the first time this year and this is an online resource for students to use outside school hours to give them further insight and consolidation into the concepts studied in class. This resource includes videos for students to watch at their own pace and specific tasks the teacher assigns.
Next term we want to introduce "Math Question of the Week' to encourage students to "think outside the box" where they will be rewarded for their efforts and acknowledged in assembly. The questions are designed to raise student awareness of the importance of mathematical skills required in the real world.
Next term we would like to introduce students to the Australian Maths Competition (AMC). The AMC is one of the world's largest school-based mathematics competitions with 15 million entries since 1978. The competition will take place on Thursday 9 August 2018.
The AMC is for students of all standards. Students are asked to solve 30 problems in 60 minutes (Years 36) or 75 minutes (Years 712). The problems are designed to test mathematical thinking and questions are designed so that they can be answered just as quickly without a calculator. The problems get more difficult through the competition, so that at the end they are challenging to the most gifted students. Students of all standards will make progress through the problems, and also be challenged along the way.
Finally, we would like to introduce The Start Smart Secondary program. This offers a suite of workshops developed for students in Years 7 -9. Each workshop focuses on a different topic in depth and explores financial concepts such as understanding the impact of financial choices, getting your first job and managing your mobile phone as well as basic investment principles, savings goals and budgeting. The Secondary program is an interactive learning experience that is designed to engage students and empower them to make confident financial choices.