Author Archives: Kris Boulton

About Kris Boulton

Teach First 2011 maths teacher, focussed on curriculum design.

Mixed Ability, Sets, and Streams – a teacher’s perspective – Part 1

I’ve taught sets, mixed ability, and streams. What follows isn’t any rigorous analysis, or appeal to research.  From what I’m aware of the research, the conclusions aren’t exactly conclusive: lower attainers benefit from mixed groupings, higher attainers suffer.  Mark McCourt … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

The world’s most effective learning experience

Create and provide the world’s most effective learning experience, accessible to all. This is the promise of Up Learn, a growing educational start up driven by the belief that every child can learn whatever we have to teach them, if … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Knowledge Organisation

There was all kinds of fuss and frustration expressed by individuals earlier in the year, when several teachers started extolling the virtues of Knowledge Organisers. A quick Google for this will reveal several examples of these on Google Images. Most … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

My best planning. Part 4

Craig Barton interviewed me recently, during which I discussed a series of lessons I planned and taught on solving simultaneous equations. I could be wrong, but I think this was the best planning and teaching I ever did. Several people … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

My best planning. Part 3

Craig Barton interviewed me recently, during which I discussed a series of lessons I planned and taught on solving simultaneous equations. I could be wrong, but I think this was the best planning and teaching I ever did. Several people … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

My best planning. Part 2

Craig Barton interviewed me recently, during which I discussed a series of lessons I planned and taught on solving simultaneous equations. I could be wrong, but I think this was the best planning and teaching I ever did. Several people … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

My best planning. Part 1

Craig Barton interviewed me recently, during which I discussed a series of lessons I planned and taught on solving simultaneous equations. I could be wrong, but I think this was the best planning and teaching I ever did. Several people … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Maths: Conceptual understanding first, or procedural fluency?

Should you teach conceptual understanding first, or focus on raw procedural fluency? This question drives endless debate in maths education, but its answer is very straightforward: it depends. I can demonstrate this quickly and easily with a single example, by … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Never ask pupils a question to which they have not already been told the answer.

Never ask pupils a question to which they have not already been told the answer, unless they know enough that answering the question requires them only inching forwards. Years ago I wrote on questions and questioning, a seemingly important aspect … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Why we need to get rid of lesson objectives

The problem of Juxtaposition Prompting In sum: 1) The problem of Juxtaposition Prompting is endemic in our classrooms. It prevents generalisation and transfer, and therefore what we consider ‘deep understanding’ or ‘deep thinking.’ 2) To overcome it, we must reconsider … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments