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Teachmeet Maths – INSET

February 7, 2016

This post is all about something that I organised and am proud of.

Last Friday, six local schools got together for a joint inset day. The maths faculties from each school all met up (as did the other faculties) and spent the day looking at a variety of things relevant to them as decided by the Heads of Faculty. Early in the planning, I got to see what was being planned and put forward the suggestion of having one of the sessions as a TeachMeet style event. I’ve been to a lot of these at Clevedon and Priory plus some others too and always found them engaging and inspiring so I thought I’d see if I could bring those same elements to this inset day too. Teachmeets do seem to be slightly out of fashion now and I’m not really sure why that is. Anyway, it’s no big secret that inset days can be a little dull or, even, not very useful and I don’t think that’s acceptable really. So, I thought I’d see what I could do and the organising began.

I won’t go into massive detail, but essentially I asked for two presenters from each school to share their ideas. I requested that it wasn’t the Head of Faculty as I wanted to give the people the most teaching the chance to share what they do and the HoFs would be leading other sessions anyway. After lots of communicating by email, I had 11 presenters ready to give 10 presentations. There were 65 teachers there altogether so it’s a pretty sizeable event for anyone presenting at this sort of thing for the first time!

What have I learnt from this?

  1. Inset training does not have to be dull and sluggish
  2. Teachers can be really great at presenting and these ones had clearly put a lot of thought into what they were going to say/do
  3. After an inset session, you can and should walk away with things to use straight away and things that will take longer to mull over (I already knew this but it was reinforced by this)
  4. Planning for technical difficulties is important. I’m reasonably confident with projecting and computers but used a dropbox folder to put the presentations in after I’d collated as many as possible. This turned out useful as if I wanted to use my laptop, there would have been issues with internet access and that would then have messed up one of the other presentations
  5. Maths teachers like games
  6. The timer is very important. I used a simple countdown timer on a tablet and had a helper (cheers Rob) sit in the middle near the front with it held up
  7. Asking the presenters to all sit at the front helped things go smoothly and minimised transition time
  8. A mixture of active presentations and informational ones is good
  9. Apparently, I’m quite ‘theatrical’. I’m not entirely sure what is meant by that but I’m going to take it as a positive

I have plans for collecting further feedback and also for sharing the presentations once I’ve got the presenters’ permission. I’ll let you see the presentations and some of the feedback once it’s sorted but in the meantime, here’s a couple of bits that I slipped in via my role as compere.

Highlander game: Write down the lowest, positive integer that you think no-one else will write down.

Highlander 2: Write down the name of a 2D shape with the fewest number of sides that you think no-one else will write down.

Parallel lines: Which word would get you the mark for describing angles a and b? Allied, Co-interior, Complementary and/or Supplementary.

allied angle

Allied, Co-interior and Supplementary are allowed (even though supplementary isn’t specific to this situation). Complementary angles are a pair that add to 90 degrees.

Next job is to start thinking about whether I can organise a bigger event at my own school.



From → Maths, Teaching

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