To help pupils see the bigger picture in topics I have decided to experiment with some conceptual card sorts. I worry sometimes that pupils just learn methods and can’t see the links between them. Teachers I know encourage their pupils to ‘build a map’ in their minds of topics and ideas so that when they are faced with a maths problem they can ‘navigate’ to the correct section of their mind map and start using the skills they know. I love this idea but do think it is a perhaps a bit too challenging to ask pupils to do this with no support. My aim in producing the conceptual card sorts it to help pupils in their categorisation and organisation of maths concepts in their minds.
I plan to create a series of conceptual card sorts that cover challenging topics in GCSE maths. How far I’ll go with this depends on the success it has with my and your pupils. The first conceptual card sort is ready and about quadratic equations:
The idea is that there are 20 statements to do with quadratic equations that pupils have to organise into 5 groups. The group themes are given. Once pupils have completed the card sort they could stick it in their books, or even stick it onto paper and add to it with worked examples. This could be an end-of-unit plenary activity or a great revision resource. If you do use it I’d love to hear how you get on. Feel free to get in touch (williamgeorgeemeny at gmail.com)