I blogged about a new approach I took to teaching quadratic functions to my IB Standard Level class, which was in parts both a bit of a disaster, and then successful after the second lesson.

I posted a link to a document I made last year which incorporates some ideas from cognitive science in how best to study maths.

I published the sixth issue of our T&L Newsletter, which now has a new design thanks to our design team. It includes how I am planning to make use of my Question Reflection Sheets (inspired by Ollie Lovell on the Mr Barton Maths Podcast) after the mocks. I also put together a three page overview of how human memory works in terms of sensory, working and long-term memory. This was checked by our Head of Department for Psychology, so I am thankful to her.

I read this very short paper by Robert A Bjork on Desirable Difficulties, and summarised it in the following image. In our Collaborative Project group we have decided to shift focus this term from Cognitive Load Theory to looking at desirable difficulties, in particular interleaving.

For the second year I taught tree diagrams in a more atomised way. I started by just focusing on drawing tree diagrams without calculating probabilities of events. We started with just simple 2 by 2 diagrams where the probabilities are the same, built up to 2 by 2 conditional trees, where the probabilities change on each branch, and then moved on to more complex diagrams with 3 outcomes and branches that end. After students were confident in drawing the tree diagrams themselves, then we looked at how we could combine the probabilities to work out probabilities for certain events.

This approach worked really well, and students seem much happier with being able to draw tree diagrams. Now I need to interleave this with some other probability questions which require other diagrams, such as Venn Diagrams or Sample Space diagrams.

The resources I used for this unit can be found here.

As spring seems to be starting in Lima, the tree behind my classroom has started to bloom, and a hummingbird has decided to visit the tree three or four times each day to feed. It really is beautiful, and I managed to capture this video.