The Mathsquad Skill Development Resources are a collection of resources that aim to build students’ knowledge and understanding of the skills covered within the homework books.
While the plan is to build the collection of resources over time, currently the skill development resources consist of textbook-type documents, called Skill Development Books, that directly link to the skills within the homework book. See below for suggestions for how to use this resource to drive whole class and student-lead lessons.
Why teachers will love the Mathsquad Skill Development Books…
- Resources are pre-made and freely available
- Skill sheets directly correspond to skills assessed within the homework for easy reference
- Since the skill sheets are based on homework skills all prerequisite knowledge is included which allows students needing a modified program to be catered for in an inclusive way
- Skills are broken down into sub-skills where appropriate to allow students to gradually build from previously covered skills to the new skill
- Each skill is accompanied by one or more carefully chosen example and descriptive solution to communicate key concepts and strategies
- Each skill has a corresponding extension question to ensure students who are confident with the skill have the opportunity to further progress their knowledge
Why students will love the Mathsquad Skill Development Books…
- Enables them to self-teach skills they are having difficulty with
- Written in student friendly language
- All answers are provided so students can self-check their work
- There are generally 20 questions per sub-skill allowing multiple opportunities to practice and perfect routines and procedures
Accessing the Skill Development Booklets
All student resources, including skill development resources, are available free of charge to mathsquad members. Membership is also free and sign up is simple. Sign up by clicking here and access the skill development files by clicking on the download icon on the homepage and selecting the skill development bundle.
Q. What do the sheets within the skill development booklet look like?
A. Click here Skill Development Sample to view a sample skill development page.
Q. What order would you suggest teaching the skill in?
A. A suggested skill sequence, with rationale, can be found here.
Q. How could I use the skill development books in a teacher lead skill lesson?
A. The skill development book can be used like a standard textbook (ie. as a source of teacher/student examples and accompanying practice questions). One feature of the skill development booklets that is often not present in standard textbooks is the quantity of questions for each skill/sub-skill. It is not intended that every student do every question, rather that they do enough questions for each skill (suggest a minimum of 3) until they feel confident that they will correctly carry out the skill in future. Once confident they have the should move to the next sub-skill, possibly driving their learning independently using the information boxes. Once all sub-skills are completed they can then move onto the extension question. A detailed explanation of how you could run whole class skill lessons is found here.
Q. How could students use the skill development books in a student lead skill lesson?
A. This is a pretty challenging task for Year 7 students, particularly at the start of the year when they aren’t so familiar with the skill development resource. That said, incorporating a “skill of choice” lesson is incredibly empowering for students. The basic plan for this lesson is for students to look through their homework book (or Awesomeness Tracker if they are using it – see FAQ at mathsquad.org/homework) and identify a skill they would like to learn/improve. They then find the corresponding skill development sheet and read through the information to help them complete the sets of questions. Before embarking on this type of lesson it might be worth getting students to submit a form letting you know which skills they do know and would be confident helping others learn. By setting up a document listing student helpers for each skill turns the classroom into a room full of junior teachers. When students are working together to help each other learn new skills then you have officially created your very own maths-squad :). More details on the Skill of Choice lesson can be found here.
Q. Are there solutions available for the Extension Questions within the Skill Development Books?
A. Yes, however they are password protected to stop students accessing them. Click here for information on accessing the mathsquad password.
Q. Once a student has mastered Core level, what should they do for skill development work?
A. Please refer to the Core Plus page for information on extending beyond Core level, including skill development beyond Core level.