Sticky Maths

I am a relatively new convert to the The-5-Minute-Lesson-Plan developed by @TeacherToolkit. Since meeting this innocuous looking lesson plan template, I have been inspired to make several changes to my approach as a Head of Department, two of which I will describe here: the Plan as an aid to joint planning and as a focus for departmental sessions.

As a means of structuring pre-observation joint planning, I have found the #5MinLessonPlan to appeal to diverse types of teacher: it has been re-assuring for senior staff, they are amazed how much AfL, Differentiation and Student-Led activities are going on in what are normally described as ‘bog standard’ lessons; and for NQTs, it is a useful way of highlighting areas for development.


One area that an NQT will need to develop, no matter how talented they are, is the idea of ‘stickability’. While it is no doubt true that the cultivation of what Skemp has called Relational Understanding goes a long way to making Maths stick (i.e. why the formula works, rather than ‘here it is, use it’), I also read stickability as the tricks of the trade: those successful techniques that more experienced teachers have developed over time. These tricks have often been developed to pre-empt common misconceptions.

In a recent department training session, all staff were asked to come with their best ‘sticky’ ideas. The result was a very productive and useful session. Once a few ideas had been shared, it seemed to jog the memory of others and an open sharing of ideas followed.

sticky2_004 sticky2_003

For topics as fundamental as re-arranging formulae, it was interesting to discover the sheer range of what were described as ‘daft’ methods:

sticky2_001 sticky2_002

There were many more that can’t be transcribed. In particular, Mr R’s ‘finger dance’ for The Intersecting Chords Theorem and Mr W’s Differentiation rap will live long in the memory. Well, I guess that is the idea.

I would love to hear of more sticky maths ideas via twitter @HoDTeacher #stickymaths


4 responses to “Sticky Maths

  1. Pingback: And here are the ones we missed (week ending 7th June 2013) | The Echo Chamber·

  2. Pingback: So what is #Stickability? by @TeacherToolkit & @Head_StMarys | @ TeacherToolkit·

  3. Pingback: 1. Beyond Subject Knowledge (1/3) | The View From the Maths Bunker·

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