Why does coloured paper make everything easier?

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.

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Author: The Engaging Classroom

Lead Practitioner in maths who is trying to improve engagement in my classroom. Trying out new ideas and sharing them.

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