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.
It is always a good idea to do a little maths every day. It helps keeps those skills nicely honed and reminds you of the areas you still need to work on. I encourage all of my Key Stage 3 and above students to use Corbett Maths' 5-a-day for homework. There are tasks for every day of the year and there are worked answers, too. Once you feel very comfortable with a particular level, then please start to attempt the next one. Of course, we can go over 'tricky' topics in our 1-2-1 sessions. You can find 5-a-day at corbettmaths.com/5-a-day/gcse/
I have been really pleased to establish myself as an online tutor, as well as offering face-to-face tuition. The beauty of online tuition is that the tutor and the student can be anywhere in the country, or even the world, yet tuition can still take place. This term I have started working with a very special young man from Wiltshire, who has responded amazingly well to the online format, fully interacting with all aspects of his lesson.
The new term here at Diss Maths Tutor started on Monday 4th September. Those who have been having tuition during the summer holidays have done exceptionally well, and it has been good to see those who have been having a bit of a break. I hope you have all had a fabulous summer!
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