The three Cs of Maths success with Adrian Kruse

The three Cs of Maths success with Adrian Kruse

Georgina Mogiannis - Digital Content Manager

As an experienced HSC marker, author and lecturer, Adrian Kruse knows a thing or two about achieving success in Maths Standard. He believes in consistent practice, making connections and exploring different contexts from various sources. We recently sat down with Adrian and got the low down on who he really is and what he gets up to when he's not at school, writing books, or in front of the Edrolo camera.

Take Adrian's advice to heart and practice now - in your Edrolo account there are hundreds of practice tests and exam-style questions (with solutions). Year 11 Maths Standard is here, Year 12 Maths Standard is here.

Practice practice practice! The more questions you work through, the more contexts you will see and the more connections you will make. Remember that the Mathematics Standard HSC presents concepts in many different contexts. The more you practice questions from different sources and difficulty levels, the better prepared you will be.

Fun facts about Adrian

🏀 He is a fervent supporter of mighty Sydney Kings in the NBL. He describes himself as a Kings tragic and is known to be a very ‘enthusiastic’ fan during games!

🖖 He loves both Star Wars and Star Trek (Deep Space 9 or TNG).

🎤 His favourite musician is Michael Bolton.

🍲 He loves his wife's cooking.

💰 He worked at a bank for 10 months before deciding it wasn't for him, and he went back to uni to get his teaching qualification.

Tell us a bit about your teaching background.

I have been teaching for 23 years with the majority of my teaching done at Macarthur Anglican School in Cobbitty NSW, where I was the Head of Mathematics for 8.5 years. I’ve also been involved in HSC marking for Mathematics Standard. Outside of the classroom, I lectured for TSFX for 5 years on the old General Mathematics course as well as the following Mathematics Standard course. These were holiday lectures for students who wanted to get some extra work and preparation in for their upcoming HSC examination. In addition to my work with Edrolo, I have also written a book of practice exams spanning the Mathematics Standard syllabus.

Maths provides the ‘why’ for life in many ways. It enriches our lives in many contexts and helps students make greater sense of the world around them. I love seeing students experience the ‘aha’ moment when they make a connection that has eluded them and they see why something is important not only inside the classroom but outside of it as well.

Why Maths? What makes you excited about this subject?

I remember struggling to make connections in Maths as a young student and things never came naturally to me. However, I found fulfilment in the process of working through a solution, and felt satisfaction in both the journey towards a solution as well as the final solution itself. I am drawn to helping students who may struggle and for whom Maths does not come naturally, to help them experience what I have experienced, the joy within the process (and even the struggle) and the reward of hard work and perseverance. Maths provides this for all who engage with it.

Where do students use the skills they gain from studying Maths in life beyond school?

Skills such as reasoning, choosing and applying techniques to solve problems, and connecting pieces of knowledge together are all transferable skills no matter what vocation a student chooses. Maths provides students with the opportunity to develop these skills not only for the present but for the future as well.

In your experience, what do students find most challenging about Maths, and how do you support them?

The amount of content a student must cover in the course can be overwhelming. This is particularly true if content is learned individually and with no relation to other content. As a teacher, it is important for me to help students make the connections between concepts and real world contexts and give students plenty of opportunities to both develop and test those connections.

Success isn’t always found in cramming and short periods of intense study, it is also found in the consistent application to the mundane, to the grind, and to practising the craft of Maths.

What do you see as a key benefit for students and/or teachers in using Edrolo?

Edrolo allows students to learn at their own pace, maybe see things taught from different perspectives, and provides reinforcement of the teaching that takes place in the classroom. Teachers can never have enough resources to use in their classes and Edrolo provides that extra opportunity for students to make those important connections.

What's the funniest thing that's ever happened in your classroom?

I was in the middle of writing something on the board when I dropped my whiteboard marker and bent down to pick it up. I felt a silent rip and to my shock I had split my pants. Luckily, it was silent and students were busy working, but needless to say I spent the rest of the lesson with one hand writing on the board and the other hand using a piece of paper to cover the rip in my pants. I don’t think I have ever sweated that much while teaching a Maths lesson. Luckily recess was just around the corner, allowing me to duck home and change before anyone noticed!

How would your students describe you?

I think my students would see me as firm but fair, thorough, and having a genuine care for each and every student in the class.

What are the best and worst things about teaching?

The best thing is working with students who try hard and the opportunity to share in their joy when they experience success, no matter how big or small.

The worst thing? Playground duty in the rain!

See Adrian in action, and get exam-ready for Maths Standard. Log in to your Edrolo account now.

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