I should be figuring out what I’m going to do in my lessons tomorrow but I’m feeling distinctly lacking in inspiration. I love the kids, I’m just trying to work out how best to help them. I have Jack, the youngest. He’s 8, loves Spiderman and lives in the shadow of his brother, for whom everything is easy. Georgia is 9 and very bright. She hates making mistakes and gets quite stressed when she does. Sam is 12 and is painfully shy. He’s tricky to read and taking a long time to get to know. He loves building Lego models. Niamh is 14 and about to start the IGSCE. She’s not really happy to have tutoring in the summer but knows it’s necessary. She lacks a bit of self-confidence but she’s willing and clever, she just doesn’t think so.
Sam is up first tomorrow. I have set him some science homework, so we will go through that. He knows the work, he’s just not great at getting it out on paper so we need to practice answering analytical questions, those that start with explain, analyse, consider… I’ve identified the topics he likes so it should be pretty easy. I try to do some simple experiments with him then get him to explain what’s happening, but it’s tricky sometimes to identify what he understand. All my students seem to have trouble with fractions, Sam is no exception, so I am particularly challenged to find ways of teaching this topic. My feeling is that it’s best to do it in a practical context, but I’m not terribly imaginative so I find I have to spend ages trawling the internet for ideas, hence my lack of inspiration at the moment. I’m kind of killing two birds with one stone by blogging about it, hope you don’t mind, reader! Anyway, Sam and I will do some multiplication and addition of fractions then see where we go from there.
Jack is next. Definitely going to play times tables snap with him, then some work on 2D shapes sliding into fractions. It will be slow, because I’m still working out what he knows and he’s getting to know me. His mum is a great help though.
Georgia is next. We will do some fraction work. She’s interesting because she can do division, sometimes really tricky questions in her head that I would expect she would need to work out on paper, so she’s very talented. However, she can’t distinguish between a diagram of a quarter and a diagram of a third. It’s a challenge to work out how best to help her, but I’m loving it.
Well, thanks for helping me with my lesson planning, I promise tomorrow will be something more interesting, like the barbeque I went to yesterday and what happened afterwards…