When I set out to plan my lessons, I want to make sure that in every lesson, before the students start the core Maths concept that they are to be learning / consolidating, that they have something to make them think or practice in a unique way.
The principle of bringing the parts of the world that fascinate me into my lessons is one that I have been doing since I first started my training, but there was a particular incident that cemented my view of the importance of doing this.
I was speaking to a year 10 girl at the end of an after-school revision session and she asked me this: “Mr Russell, do you believe in aliens? It’s just that the universe is so big, and we are so very small. There is a video on YouTube you might have seen, they zoom from an eye, out to the galaxies, then zooms in super small to show the full size of the universe, surely it can’t all be empty”
I did know the video, I had shown it to her the previous year when I taught her standard form! It made me realise how much I’d prioritised that back then, and clearly it had stuck with her and changed how she saw the world.