Know your students

Differentiation and assessment for learning, a personal view

Last year Paul Jackson was approached by a neighbour whose Grade 7 (UK year 8) daughter, was struggling in Maths and wanted him to tutor her. This is not something he usually does, but as a neighbour, he reluctantly agreed. Some serious thinking followed.

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From Finland to Tanzania

Tanzanian Diary, Part 1

In September 2016, Matias Hynynen from Helsinki was working with teachers in Arusha, Tanzania, as a volunteer. An IT specialist, his life was about to get a bit more complicated and his mission take a new direction with the unexpected arrival of another visitor from Finland, Maarit Rossi. This is the first of three extracts from the blog he kept at the time.

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Izak9 at SISD

Innovation and risk taking in PYP Math

Finding resources that fit

Being innovative is a form of risk taking – you can’t be sure just how something might work until you try it in practice. The Swiss International Scientific School, Dubai (SISD), is a PYP candidate school which has recently been experimenting with Izak9, a new mathematics resource from the UK, to see if it was appropriate for use in an inquiry-based approach.

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Math and the ELL Student – Structures to Make Learning More Accessible

Teachers constantly seek to achieve greater understanding for students while designing effective means to check that understanding. This is particularly true of those teaching students studying in a second language. Krista and Allen McInnis offer focus areas to help teachers of math develop their lessons for English Language Learners. While this is not an exhaustive list, it does provide specific structures and checkpoints to use in math classes.

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Maths and mindset

Engaging with number

West Lothian


Teachers at two schools in West Lothian, Scotland have started to use Izak9, a new Maths resource for 9 – 13 years olds, while also applying Carol Dweck’s ideas about “Mindset” in their teaching. The initiative is part of an imaginative campaign to help children engage with number, and to change the way they approach a new challenge.

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Edward James Olmos

Escalante & The Learning Wedge

It’s not that they’re stupid; it’s just that they don’t know anything!

Stand & DeliverThis is just one of the memorable lines from the 1988 movie Stand & Deliver during an Oscar – nominated performance by Edward James Olmos, playing the role of LA Math teacher Jaime Escalante. In a remarkable career, Escalante took issue with one of the most popular misconceptions about learning, and in doing so developed an approach to teaching that Andy Homden has come to describe as “The Learning Wedge”

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