Evaluate a Range of Ways to Embed Elements of Functional Skills in Your Specialist Area.

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Functional skills include Mathematics/Numeracy; English/Literacy and Communication Technology (ICT) (Petty G, 2009:470).Elements of these core subjects are incorporated to improve existing skills / knowledge of the students and enables them to gain greater confidence when faced with issues which may need basic knowledge of numeracy, literacy or ICT skills outside of the teaching environment. These skills could also be taught separately and it works quite well, however it rarely provides sufficient practice. The best way to teach skills is to habitually embed them into ordinary teaching practice. (Petty G, 2009:470). As per Geoff Petty (Teaching today, 2009:471) the following steps should be taken to incorporate functional skills into teaching:- •Assessment requirements for the skills to be embed should be conducted as per set standards of the examining body. •Skills to be embed should be identified in alignment to the nature of the subject taught •The amount of practice required for each skill should be decided roughly to ensure practical implementation •Opportunities within the content should be utilised to ensure the students learn both the subject and the skills. In light of the above I would like to discuss how these functional skills can be embed while teaching Mathematics. I believe functional skills in Maths lessons can be achieved by presenting the students with problem solving questions rather than just simple calculation questions. A simple maths question may look like - “Calculate the area of a rectangle with sides of 2m and 4m”. To embed more functional skills we could change this to a real life situation which may look like – “Our College has some funds available to replace the carpet in the classroom with wooden laminate flooring. Create a report to show how much laminate will be required and use www.screwfix.co.uk to calculate the cost of this flooring”. This example promotes all three functional skills. Literacy skills are required to...
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