This year I find myself giving pupils less notes than ever before. I like to get them straight into the maths as soon as possible. We’ll discuss the first example and then kids will be off. I’ve ran many tasks like this with my Higher class this year. This task scaffolds the process of finding the equation of a tangent to a curve. However, it serves several other purposes:

-> Uses variation to consider the case of positive, zero and negative gradients

-> Directs pupils attention towards the graphical representation. We aren’t just manipulating meaningless symbols.

-> Prepares the groundwork for later learning on stationary points

-> Gives pupils opportunity to problem solve. How do we work backwards given the gradient?

-> Makes links to find the point of contact of a tangent and a parabola. It is very related, but requires no calculus.