An Experimental Lesson

Since visiting The De Ferrers Academy a few years ago I have thought about trying to create a video using ExplainEverything. This half term was my school’s “Take a Risk” observation window. We have one of these every year and I think it’s quite a good idea as the outcome of the observation doesn’t count formally so it does encourage taking a bit more of a risk with the lesson.

For mine this time I was being observed with my Year 13 further mathematicians and we were going to be starting to look at the FP3 conic sections stuff.

My plan was to produce a video introducing the Ellipse using ExplainEverything and then provide some questions for the students to work through without any help from me.

Here is the video:

As you can see the video bears a few hallmarks from it being created at 2am and there are some things that I don’t think I explained terribly well in a mathematical sense. However, it seemed to serve its purpose well and my students were able to tackle the questions that I had given them, such as this one

Screenshot 2016-02-13 16.31.40

I had two versions of the questions; one with more intermediate steps to guide students through the question. Thanks to Stuart (@sxpmaths) for the picture of the ellipse I used in the questions, it saved me from drawing my own.

Before the lesson my students also had access to the two Geogebra applets featured in the video, that I created and hosted on my website. The first allowed students to explore the parametrisation of the ellipse and investigate the foci property of an ellipse.Screenshot 2016-02-13 16.43.32

The second demonstrated one method of constructing an ellipse (without equations) known as the Trammel Construction.Screenshot 2016-02-13 16.45.09

I’ve put all the worksheets on my website and they are available as follows:

Feel free to use them if you wish.

PS:- In case you are interested, I got very good feedback for this lesson 🙂

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