I have been conducting a bit of an experiment with one of my classes over the past few weeks. To give a bit of background information, this is a very small year 10 class who firmly believe that maths is too hard. I have been teaching this class for about a year now and have slowly been gaining their ‘trust’. They know that I won’t ask them to do anything I don’t think they can do, but they still regularly say it’s all too hard.
So, I started to think about how I could get them to try new things. I began to put all work onto coloured paper – a variety of different colours, but stayed away from RAG as I didn’t want them predicting the difficulty of the questions by the colour they were printed on. And guess what? It seems that maths is easier when presented on coloured paper!
A class that ‘couldn’t do’ maths have been doing all sorts of more complex work recently. I know that I need to ‘ween’ them off the colours but at the moment it seems that there is nothing that they won’t have a go at! That is a good result as far as I am concerned.