Some rules are meant to be broken. Some are not. But what if ALL rules were meant to be broken. What could be achieved?

I find breaking rules that shouldn’t be broken fascinating and a pedagogically difficult but often rewarding thing to do.

I like to perform thought experiments with my more able sets. You know the ones. They have a good solid grounding in the basics yet struggle in some of the independence needed for the higher grades.

This is how it goes…

Take the key fact that there are 180 degrees in a triangle. What if there wasn’t?  What if all triangles contained 200 degrees? How would this affect geometry as a whole?

– what about internal angles of shapes?
– what about external angles?
– what would the 200degree-triangleagons look like?
– what is a a degree?

Let the discussion go where they go. Pick up on key points and write them down.

It’s a lovely revision exercise as it expects your pupils to really think about the stuff they already know. Bring it to the forefront and try and use it in new ways as well as exposing misconceptions along the way.

Just make sure that everyone knows it was an experiment!!!!

Outside of maths it could be nice to consider things like:
– What would happen if all gender related words disappeared?
– What if water was thicker?
– What are the implications of all cultures speaking the same language?

Summer is coming, let’s make it HOT (higher order thinking… yeah I know it doesn’t make sense when you don’t use the abreviation but just roll with it. You can feel sort of clever when you use that phrase in your department before someone points out the point I just pointed out!)

Andy x

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