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Sunday, 27 January 2013

One Slide, Lots of Questions: Sequences

Following in the footsteps of the lazy teacher again, this lesson took no planning time whatsoever. I found the slide on the TES (thank you, wonderful contributors to the TES!) but rather than using the whole powerpoint, I just took this slide, and asked the students to come up with the questions.

The students drew out diagrams of 1 table, 2 tables, 3 tables etc, then worked out the nth term, then used the nth term to calculate how many people could sit at different numbers of tables.
I then asked the class to suggest questions. They wanted to know how many tables you would need for 100 people - so we formed and solved equations. Then they wanted to know if you could arrange the tables in a different way, so we did that and discussed which method was the most efficient.
Then they wanted to design their own tables, so we did that too and I got them to invent questions about their sequences and swap them between pairs.

I'm sure thousands of teachers have taught thousands of lessons like this before, but for me the unusual thing about this lesson was that it only required 1 resource and the students came up with the questions. I think a lot of us teachers feel under pressure to have the whole lesson mapped out to the millisecond, but if you have a rich enough resource and you're able to point students in the right direction when it comes to questions, you can have a open ended lesson that really deepens their understanding. AND it is much quicker to plan!!

I'm going to keep challenging myself to get as much out of 1 slide as possible.....

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