Thursday, April 30, 2009

Senior Maths

I like 11 Maths B.

Today I sat in on 2 maths classes, one a grade 10 maths class and one a grade 11 Maths B class. Both classes followed a similar format of theory followed by exercizes, but the difference between the two classes were striking. Once the individual exercizes began in Grade 10, it didn't take long for the noise level to rise. Most started out on topic but eventually the conversations swung off topic as the level increased. In grade 11, the silence was deafening in contrast.

Why is that? Why would the year 11's be able to go immediately to the set task? I asked Bernie after the session and the answer seemed a combination. Firstly it usually doesn't happen like that. Absolute silence is still something to cherish. Second, Bernie moves into work faster and there is an air of expectation that everyone is keeping up. That probably only works because of the third point: they want to be there. You don't do Maths B if you're not enjoying it (or at least know you can do it).

That's the reason I want to teach senior only. The kids are there because they want to be.