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From a Maths Trumps User...Boy B in year 11 is predicted to get a grade A at maths Edexcel Higher GCSE next summer. He is having 1to1 tuition in maths and English at the tuition centre. He needs help with the use of literacy in maths as he finds it difficult to answer written questions which ask him to “give reasons for your answer”. Boy B is quick thinking and highly motivated. He enjoys playing games against me and usually wins. In the two sessions where we played Maths Trumps I wanted to extend his knowledge and skills because I believe he is Gifted and Talented.
Session 1 Cards 1 – 6 and 8 – 17 were dealt. Cards 19, 23 – 26 were placed in a pile face down to one side. This was my differentiation for him in this first session. We played a few rounds so that he could gain confidence. I found out that he needed me to teach him about rotational symmetry and so we took a break from the game while I taught him that. He hadn’t been taught how to find the external angles of a polygon and so I took 5 minutes to do that. I didn’t want to overface him with formulae and so I said I’d teach him how to use the formula to find the internal angles of a polygon next time. I said to him, “Would you like to try the harder set?” He wanted to so cards 19 and 23 – 26 were dealt with one card left over. I said, “Whoever wins the next round can have that”. He made one mistake with card 8, the equilateral triangle, when he attempted to find the sum of the interior angles by himself. He said 60º. I drew him a quick sketch on the whiteboard of an equilateral triangle with the ‘i’ angle marked in each vertex and he immediately said, “Oh, 180º.” He made no more mistakes and when I told him that the winner was the first player to get to 10, he carried on trying hard and beat me 10 – 5. Session 2 To make it more difficult today, cards 8 – 17 and 21, 22 and 27 were dealt. I made up a rule that the first player to win 5 rounds is the champion as we had limited time. In the session, he’d learned how to find the sum of the interior angles in irregular polygons and he practised using that learning objective in Maths Trumps today. He won the game and answered the bonus question on card 16. I was very pleased about this because as I mentioned above, he finds use of literacy in maths difficult. Boy B really enjoyed playing your Maths Trumps. I think he’d like it even more if he could play in a group with other children at the centre, with me facilitating learning. We are running revision sessions at the tuition centre in the Easter holidays and in the Whitsun half term and I will be sure to play your game with the students then. Girl A is in year 10 and on the grade C/D borderline for the OCR maths Higher GCSE course. She attends a private school however has just dropped down from set 2 to set 3 and wants to improve her performance in maths at school. She needs help with the use of literacy in maths and she lacks confidence. Girl A is hard working and well organised. She has been attending the tuition centre for a month. Before we played Maths Trumps, girl A had answered some written questions on finding the interior and exterior angles of regular polygons from the CGP new curriculum textbook. Cards 1 – 4, 8 and 12 – 17 were dealt. We decided that the winner of the first round would get the bonus question from card 17 to answer. In subsequent rounds, the winner was given a card by the other player and then answered the bonus question. This was my differentiation to improve her use of literacy in maths. Girl A’s cards 1 2 8 12 15 My cards 3 4 13 14 16 Bonus card: 17 She made one mistake with card 12, the regular pentagon, when she calculated the sum of the interior angles. She put 118º into the calculator and got 118º x 5 = 590º. She was able to correct her own mistake by doing 108º x 5 = 540º She made no more mistakes and when she won a round and got the Bonus card, she always got the answer right. After playing Maths Trumps girl A had learned how to find the sum of the interior angles in regular polygons by using the (n – 2) x 180º formula. She practised finding the size of an exterior angle of a regular polygon using the 360º ÷ n formula and by doing mental maths calculations. She met both learning objectives by playing Maths Trumps with the tutor. She didn’t win however she definitely improved her skills and she really enjoyed playing the game. 