What with the meeting I’ve just been to about the new GCSE curriculum, and the lesson study project I’m now involved in, problem solving is currently very much on my mind.
In light of that, and having seen a fab lesson done by Rachael Horsman (http://rachaelhorsmanmaths.wordpress.com), I had a lightbulb moment earlier.
My plan is to collect a bunch of ‘Big Fat Questions’. The kind of questions that will keep an enquiring mind engaged for a lesson or two. Things like ‘182,000 acts auditioned for the X-Factor last year. How long did the auditions take?’ (totally stolen from Rachael….), or ‘how many times a year do we blink?’.
The aim is then to use these for Y7, 8 & 9 next year, on a regular basis, so that they are INDEPENDENT, RESILIENT, mathematical thinkers, not just mindless robots trained to follow algorithms. I’d like them to think about assumptions, and variables, and how to formulate a mathematical representation of a problem. I’d like them to learn to really think through how to work stuff out, without prompting. I’d like them to learn to answer their own questions. I’d like them to start asking me WHY the algorithms work…..
I may even try it occasionally with Y10 and 11…!!
It would be really very awesome if you would like to donate any Big Fat Questions you may have here on my google doc.
(The direct link for those of you that would like to not have to go via my blog each time is tiny.cc/BigFatQuestions.)