NRICH CPD Webinar: Things Ems Lord Wished She Knew When She Was a Teacher

Amber FosterThe first webinar was upon us, over 200 scholars tuned in to listen to Dr Ems Lord (Director of NRICH) explain things she wished she had known when she had been teaching in the classroom. I must admit, before this session I had never heard of NRICH, but I will be using the site every day from now on! The site hosts many different resources for all ages and promotes learning through problem-solving questions and tasks.

So, diving into the first point, LTHC; Low threshold, High ceiling. This is something which is very important within the classroom. It allows for all students to get involved with the lesson, whether that be the lower achievers or the higher achievers. It is crucial that many students in the class feel they can start the task in some way, shape or form. Dr Lord gave us an example worksheet to look through and discuss:


The Olympic games worksheet made many of us draw upon what can be seen, correlations of the graphs and potential track and field events they each represented. Our suggestions demonstrated what children in a classroom may propose and how this task can be used on a mixed-ability class. This worksheet led to Dr Lord’s second point… student solutions.
Student solutions are available with the worksheets NRICH have, this gives a teacher an insight into what they can expect from their students but also draws on the three levels of convincing. The first level involves the children convincing themselves, next progress to convincing their peers and lastly convincing someone they don’t know. The last convincing step is where NRICH can be used. Students can submit a solution to NRICH to see if they have thought about the question in such depth they get published. The problem-solving resources help to build confidence and develops reasoning, thinking and initiative. 

Another resource she wished she had known when she was teaching in classrooms was the teacher resources section to each worksheet. It can be scary for a teacher when your class aren’t grasping the concept how you hoped, and they have so many questions that you’re unsure how to proceed. The teacher resource section gives an insight into suggestions, support and extensions that can be given to the children. Having this available can set your mind at ease and give you the helping hand you may need when you first start teaching.

After an hour session with Dr Ems Lord, we had explored the website and facilities it offers, and she had really opened my eyes into the world of resources. NRICH is clearly the place to go when it comes to worksheets and topic questions!

By Amber Foster


You can find NRICH on Twitter as @Nrichmaths and Dr Ems Lord as @DrEmsLord.