Functional Skills and 2010 GCSE's
To thrive in an economy defined by innovative application of knowledge, we must do more than absorb and feed back information. Learners and workers must draw on their entire spectrum of learning experiences to apply what they have learned in new and creative ways. Diploma and it's Pedagogy QCA/08/3908
Teaching Functional Maths A Possible Approach
Opening Up Problems
Firstly make use of any images, tables of results, diagrams from a book or exam question and use it several times. Get the pupils to pose problems that could be answered from the information they have been presented with, collect the groups questions and then get them to answer their own problems. For example you might have some data about heights of some athletes, you could ask:
Who is the tallest, difference in height between , what is the mean, how would the mean change if the tallest athlete left, present this data as a bar chart or Pictogram, what is the total height in m, or in cms etc Try to open up the one question to make the experience richer and it also means you do not need to locate as many questions and the students have ownership of the problems.
You might like to consider the following model:
Adopt a project based approach to the delivery of the content. This would mean that you would teach the skills when they need them to solve a particular problem.
I have included a range of possible projects which you might like to adapt or use: Click here
Finance Based Materials Level 1 - www.nuffieldfoundation.org/fsmqs/level-1-foundation
Functional Skills Progression -
QWC (Quality of Written Communication)
Boxing Up - Great
article on tackling the QWC (Quality of Written
GCSE questions - Zebedee Friedman
The idea is to take the complex exam question with no scaffolding and to warm them up by turning it into a 'mystery' on cards. After getting students to solve the problem on cards you can get them to analyse what they needed to know first in order to solve the larger problem. Later giving them these types of questions with less scaffolding over time.
This came from being asked to run revision alone for 55 linear higher paper C/D students in the school hall without any means to project or use of a board. Actually I did have a flip chart.... Beware you may find a couple of mistakes!
The following PowerPoint presentations are the result of a collaboration between myself and Alex Cufflin who is an AST at Rawlins College in Loughborough. The files present a GCSE question in 5 formats with the aim of helping pupils break questions down themselves and hence eliminating the need for the support in the longer term.
1 star option is the easiest and 5 star the hardest. 1 star gives guidance and highlights key values, 2 star gives guidance, 3 star highlights, 4 star gives a few hints and 5 star gives very little help.
Skills Starter Questions
These Starter Problems can be accessed from this dropbox folder: Click here