How to use our resources

There is no “how to use our resources”. Use them however suits you.
But we are happy to tell you how we use our resources.

If you want to understand fully how we use our resources, the best way to learn is to join us for our Summer Course 2017

How we usually use our Harkness resources

Each book is covered by one teacher, who sees the class for five hours a fortnight. Our classes have 10-16 students in them. In each two-week period the students will complete four problem sets from the book (e.g. worksheets I-IV) and sit a test lasting 40 minutes and worth 30 marks.

Each problem set is tackled independently by the students prior to the lesson. They might work alone or collaboratively, or seek help from a teacher, book, or the internet.

When they arrive at lessons, students write the solutions to their questions on the white boards. Students usually only write up one solution each, and usually only one solution is written up for each problem, unless somebody wishes to propose an alternative method or solution. We have whiteboards on all the walls so there is plenty of space. Then there is a short period of time in which they can compare solutions, or suggest small amendments if an error is spotted. This all takes about 10 minutes.

The students nominate the questions they wish to discuss – and the teacher might add some to the list. Then discussion begins: students present their solutions and other students ask questions. Sometimes the teacher will ask questions – they might be designed to expose a misconception, or to find greater clarity, or to slow down the discussion a little if it seems that some students can’t keep up. This should usually take around 35 minutes.

If there is time, and usually there is, the last 15 minutes of the lesson is spent tackling questions from the review exercises which appear after every fourth problem sets. Questions are selected that help the students reinforce their knowledge. There is also time to discuss any lingering issues 1-on-1.

In every fifth lesson there is a test. The next lesson, students are given their tests back and the cycle begins again. They are expected to complete and submit corrections.

How do you use our resources?

Maybe you tackle problem sets in lessons, and set follow-up work for homework. Maybe you use the index of problem streams to find all the trigonometry questions and tackle them all at once. Maybe you really like question 1 from sheet XXXI, and used it to stretch one of your classes. We don’t mind how you use the sheets, but hope you find them useful. And if you do, please let us know!