After just finishing a unit on different types of curves (quadratics, cubics, hyperbolas, circles and exponentials), I was trying to think of a way that would help year 10 to revise what they’ve learnt and also extend their knowledge.

With a bit of thought, I decided to start by giving one person in each pair a curve with its equation (see above). The other person in the pair could ask up to 10 questions to try to figure out (not guess) the equation of the curve.

I decided to give no guidance on this and just thought I’d observe and listen to the pair discussions. As expected, the language used to describe curves was interesting to say the least. As an example, when trying to describe the hyperbola above, a student said: “The curve is really flat at both sides of the grid and then goes up and down at the same time.”

Having said this, most of the students managed to figure out the equations of the curves their partners had and it was great to revise a topic in a fun way. I think next lesson we’ll start by discussing mathematical language and effective questions as a class. Then I’ll give each student an equation (easy to differentiate with more difficult curves), get them to celetape them on their back and then move around the room asking questions to find out what curve they have.

If anyone has any ideas on how to improve this then I’d love to hear them.

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That is the real way of teaching. Education with fun