What The Trig? is a collection of maths teaching ideas, technology enhanced learning ideas and stories from the classroom. The site was created as a collection of interesting things found online and things have been tried in the classroom everything mentioned on here has been tried... and a true account of the level of its success will be mentioned! Bravery and reflection are the main themes of our classroom practise and we will share experiences and invite discussion. There is nothing on here that hasn't been tried and tested and we wouldn't share something we didn't feel was worthwhile.

So where does the name come from?

After attending a maths conference or a training day, or a team meeting, at some point, somewhere along the line I was shown the Home Alone film specifically the zipline section. Apologies that I cannot credit it directly, time and children have happened since! After watching the zipline section I was asked to identify the maths. It turned out that the zipline made a triangle and then could be turned into a trigonometry problem. I left the session with some questions that I shared with my colleagues who also had some questions. The general feeling was that we were enthused and inspired but would our learners be able to access it? Would it inspire and enthuse our learners? Would it develop a deeper understanding of trig by showing this clip? Obviously we would need follow-up lessons and they would then return to a more traditional format and then we asked are they more or less likely to stick in the students minds than the Home Alone element?

Our discussion moved on to how we plan for conceptual understanding. However, some suggested that in all honesty there comes a point where you just have to be able to answer the exam question. As you can imagine the discussion got quite heated between us over teaching to an exam or teaching for an exam or teaching conceptual understanding with an emphasis on the exam and varying levels in between. It was from this discussion that the site was formed. This site doesn’t have any answers but will offer ideas that have been tried and the level of understanding students took from the experience. I wish I could answer the question of the best way to teach conceptual understanding, maybe one day I will be able to!

I've been teaching maths to KS3/4/5 specifically at GCSE level for 10+ years. I have a passion for technology and integrating it into my maths lessons. A former head of maths once told me that GCSE maths is like double glazing, everybody needs it, but nobody is willing to pay for it. As maths teachers we are essentially selling a product that nobody wants to buy but everybody needs to purchase. Holding this dear I try to make my lessons as fun and exciting as possible. I love exploring the web and hope to curate a nice collection of ideas for you when I blog on here. Having taught in high schools I now work in the further education sector teaching purely GCSE maths resit which presents its own challenges as you can imagine. However, I love developing that resilience and that desire and passion in our students to help them succeed and achieve their GCSE maths.

All opinions are my own and do not represent any of the companies that I work for or am affiliated too.

As well as teaching maths, I am a Google certified Coach (1st female in Europe!), Trainer and Innovator (VIA20)