Teaching Guidance for 11-14
Thinking about the learning
Expressing a relationship in a form such as:
s = dt
(where: s represents speed; d represents distance covered during trip; t represents trip time or duration of trip) is a familiar skill for those of us steeped in an education in science. However, for many learners such a formula is as remote as a piece of ancient Egyptian tomb writing. Using symbols rather than words presents a hurdle for many. This along with a lack of confidence in mathematical skills, which is evident in so many pupils, often results in an
I can't do this cry of resignation.
Thinking about the teaching
The key approach here is to demystify the science by keeping the examples simple and by offering lots of positive encouragement through a celebration of success. It is a good idea to use words rather than symbols in the first instance. Give plenty of examples and keep the numbers simple. This will give learners a sense of achievement.
So, more like:
speed = distancetime
Or, perhaps, more helpfully:
speed = distanceduration