It's been a busy two weeks of tuition around here. This year has seen my busiest Easter 'holiday' ever. While my KS2 and KS3 students have been taking a break,the GCSE students have been making the most of tuition sessions, and using them for 'supported' revision. I have been most impressed with how much revision they have all been doing at home - and then coming with questions about areas they have found difficult. All of them are reporting that they are able to gauge their own progress and are feeling much more confident as their GCSE exams get closer.
This year has been full on, so far, in terms of enquiries for my tuition services. As the Easter holidays approach, I am seeing unprecedented demand for tuition during the school holidays. Some of my GCSE students have requested 5 tuition sessions during that time and I have also received 'late enquiries' for students requiring some pre-exam tuition. This means that I am now fully booked for 5 days (7-8 hours each day) of Easter tuition, with a couple of students having some lessons on days I hadn't originally planned to teach on. Unfortunately, I have had to turn away some students wanting regular weekly tuition until exams - purely because I can't currently fit any more time into my schedule. I just wish I could help each and every one of them.
It is great that these students are well motivated to make the most of the opportunity for some 'guided' revision, or to just cover some subjects that they feel that they need some help with. For the students are able to have tuition, and those who may not, there are some fantastic websites around which offer video tutorials and a selection of exam style questions to practise. I am including links to a few of them here. All of them are free to use, and provide worthwhile focussed revision. I hope you find them useful.
In the meantime, if you have a son or daughter who will be taking his or her GCSE maths next May/June, and you are thinking of employing a tutor, then please do get in touch as soon as possible, in order to reserve a place for September 2018.
Lots of great news has been coming in to Diss Maths Tutor over the past few weeks.
My 11+ and 13+ entrance exam students have gained places - some with scholarships - to Ipswich School, The Leys School, Thetford Grammar to name just three. In addition, I have had news of students who have been moved up to higher maths sets and some great news from Y11 mocks. One student, who was worried about achieving a Grade 5 in her GCSE in the summer, had raised her score to an 'almost 6' and another student achieved a Grade 8 in his mocks; with continued hard work he could possibly achieve Grade 9 in the summer. Other students are improving all the time, and are pleased with their progress - ,many of the Key Stage 2 students have made amazing progress with their arithmetic and we are working hard on honing those reasoning skills.
Sometimes, students practicing exam questions, get a little confused by the wording of the questions. It is really helpful, if they can get to grips with the terminology used and what clues it gives to the marking criteria.
Please feel free do download and/or print the document below, which identifies common phrases used and what they actually mean.
This is an interesting article published by the Guardian this week. Many of my students come to me as a direct result of their parents identifying these problems.
One of my students recommended a film he thought I would enjoy and was kind enough to loan me the DVD. Yesterday afternoon, I settled down to watch it. It tells the story of three American female mathematicians who worked for NASA in the 1960s. The film is truly inspirational - and is based on a true story - it is well worth setting aside a chilly Sunday afternoon to watch!
So far I have always used the whiteboard which is part of Zoom for online tuition. This week I have been experimenting with using Bitpaper. I shall be slowly introducing this to my online students over the next few weeks as it does have some advantages over the Zoom whiteboard. Don't worry, though - I will still be using Zoom for the video and audio.
The image above has been posted with permission. It shows a screenshot taken at the end of an online lesson. This Y6 student normally attends a weekly face-to-face lesson, but due to other family commitments was unable to attend in person, so an online lesson was arranged. My student thoroughly enjoyed the lesson and was able to write on the online whiteboard, as was I. Her final message to me was that she was happy! Don't you just love that drawing!
If you have ever read GCSE paper and come across the probability questions, you may have seen wording such as, "an unbiased coin" or a "fair die". Students understand that coins aren't usually biased and dice are usually 'fair'. Sometimes a question such as 'Well, how can a coin be biased or a die, unfair?' is asked.
That is when the conversations about loaded dice come in to play. Having researched 'biased coins', it appears that these are the unicorn of the mathematical world; unless you have a double-sided coin, of course.
After thinking about the question above, I set myself the challenge of sourcing the above items. I am now the proud owner of a double-headed coin and a loaded die. Armed with these pieces of equipment I am just itching to tutor my next lesson on probability!
Before I go though - "Heads I win, tails you lose!"
Some people find algebra really difficult - An influx of letters, where there once were numbers, can be tricky to negotiate. Algebra tiles help to make it seem far less abstract, so I have invested in a set of them to assist my KS3 and above students. I am really looking forward to using these to enhance their understanding of algebra.
This is the place to keep up with the latest news from Diss Maths Tutor.