The week ahead is the last week for many schools before the Christmas holidays and so we have collected some of our favourite Christmaths activities. We would also like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year which brings new and exciting developments for NumberLoving, watch this space!
Laura has created two mysteries called “how many elves” and “white Christmas. Mysteries is a thinking skills activities in which pupils use the clue cards, organising the information, making calculations where necessary in order to answer the questions posed. These can be downloaded here .
How many elves?
In this task students must use knowledge of number, percentages and time to work out how many elves Santa needs to hire to make all the Christmas gifts on time!
In this task students have to use the clues to work out where in the UK is most likely to have a white Christmas this year. All data is accurate. Students could then plot the places on a map to see if they notice any patterns in the probabilities they have calculated.
The Christmas Pirate Game
This game has been adapted from Mr Paul Collins original Pirate Game to give it a Christmas edge. The Christmas version of the game can be downloaded from TES here. Mr Collins blog of Christmas & maths activities is definitely worth checking out here.
Christmas Maths Relay Race
Chris Smith’s relay races include a Christmas themed relay race and can be downloaded from the TES here. For more details on how to run a relay race check out our post on using relays for revision here.
Challenge your pupils to use graphing software to create a Christmas tree like this one on Desmos here.
Looking for more ideas?
Also check out our previous posts “Christmaths Collection” and “Christmaths Collection Part 2” for more ideas of Christmas themed maths activities.
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM SHARON AND LAURA
I love my new buzzers and so do the pupils! They add a bit of fun to a wide variety of classroom activities. These farmyard buzzers are called learning resource buzzers and are available here (as well as other places). They are sold in sets of 4, so I have invested in the farmyard set to the left and the answer buzzers below so that I have 8 available.
Simply add to a game a of bingo to add an element of fun, pupils who get a line or a full house press the buzzer instead of shouting bingo. The desks are in groups in my classroom so I place one buzzer on each desk so that it is in arms reach of 5-6 pupils. Check out our blog “Bingo is Jackpot Joy” for other ideas and resources for mathematical bingo.
Again simply put the buzzers in arm reach of groups of pupils when playing countdown. I found this really helps especially when pupils need longer than the standard 30 seconds. Pupils can buzz when they get the answer or depending on ability when they are within 5 of the target number. I use SubTangent countdown here when playing with a class.
Numbered heads together is a Kagan approach, see previous post here on the cooperative learning techniques including Numbered Heads together. In my buzzer adaptation of the game pupils are put into groups, each group is given a buzzer. All pupils complete a question in silence on mini whiteboards. When they have completed the question they stand up, when the whole team has stood up they can then discuss. If they all agree they press the buzzer, if not they must sit back down again until they can convince each other of the correct answer. I would also use a scoring system similar to the one used for relay races (another fun classroom activity described here in our blog “anything but more past papers” which looks at different ways of revising with exam classes).
So many different ways to use the buzzers, they were more than a worthwhile investment!
NumberLoving is entering its next stage of development and we look forward to bringing you even more in the New Year, make sure you check back soon!
Hi there! We haven’t blogged in a while as we are busy behind the scenes bringing you some changes to the website and a lot of great new resources, please watch this space!
The class is split into eight groups and each group is given a bell. Each bell is numbered, if the answer to the question is the same as their group’s bell they should ring the bell. At first the pupils are likely to be too slow to recognise the tune and therefore you may need to go back the beginning and repeat to here the tune. It is an ideal activity for a short plenary.
In this version of the game the order of the questions is important and should follow the same numbers as the tunes provided on the tun sheet. You set some of the pupils a challenge to come up with questions relevant to the topic studying which give the answers to follow one of the tunes provided with the bells.
This BIDMAS bells PowerPoint contains questions which if played in the correct order will play the tune “twinkle twinkle little star”.
Another adaption would be to group pupils and give each group a bell. All pupils will be given an answer card, and for each answer card there is a question. The order of the questions is again important. Use the interactive display board to pose a question to the class, if pupils have the answer to the question the ring the bell. The trick here is to first make the questions and answers, one for each note of the tune. Then assign each question card to the corresponding bell by numbering the question card. Then group all the cards for each bell, mixing them up so the order isn’t clear.For example if the tune was 1, 2, 2 (the numbers on the bell) a pupil from the group with bell one would need the answer to question 1 and pupils from the group with bell 2 would need the answers to question 2 and 3! This is slightly more complicated to prepare but worth it. My top tip is to label the back of the answer cards with which bell number it belongs to!
They can also add fun to quizzes or team games, not as tuneful but great fun!
About the Bells
The bells are called handbells and are sold in sets.You can buy them from here and many other places, always check that they come with a handy tune sheet.
We hope you find the ideas useful and we would love to hear your feedback on how the ideas work for you. You should also check out our resource site www.numberloving.co.uk
Thanks for reading!
One of my absolute favourite websites for practical lesson ideas is teach maths. It is full of free lesson plans across the whole curriculum, more importantly all of the lessons are hands on and practical. So far I have tried two lessons from this site, both of which have been brilliant!
The first of these is on body-surface area, the plan is available here. Basically students have to calculate the surface area of their body. In order to do this they have to split their body into different shapes (I show them the slide above for inspiration) then they take the necessary measurements to calculate the surface area of each shape. This has a lot of real-life applications, the most interesting being calculating doses for things like chemotherapy. Once they have an answer there is a formula which the medical profession use, they can apply this formula to see how close their estimates are. The flipchart which I use for this lesson is here, it includes some activote questions for students to practice as a starter.
The second lesson is on discovering the formulae for the volume of a pyramid, the lesson plan is available here. In this lesson students construct six pyramids which they fit together to make a cube. They can then see that the volume of one pyramid is one sixth of the volume of the cube, a bit of algebra later and hey presto the formula for the volume of a pyramid is discovered!
Both of these lessons have worked really well for me, students have been really engaged and more importantly have been forced to think for themselves. Along with these lessons are many other brilliant ideas which I can’t rate highly enough, well worth a look.
Inspired by Reflective Maths blog here and Mr Collins post here I got my thinking cap on and came up with the following maths versions of the latest craze!
All of these can be downloaded in one Power Point file from our free resource site here.
It would be great to hear your thoughts or suggestions on improving the four pictures and/or sharing your ideas!
Only a matter of time till the next exam series and I decided to build in mini-revision to each lesson between now and then. Hence the birth of Number Loving’s differentiated exam warm up resources for both Higher and Foundation students.
Set 1 of the higher exam warm up exercises can be downloaded from here and set 1 of the foundation exam warm up exercises can be downloaded from here. The rest can be found under the bits and bobs filter of the numberloving resource site here.
Each set has five warm ups designed to be used in each lesson for that week. As always these are differentiated by colour indicated by the post-it notes; red (easiest), amber (medium), and green (more difficult). The topics remain the same, for example on the foundation set 1, day 1 shown above you will see the green question about missing angles in isosceles triangles. This bottom left hand question is always about isosceles triangles in set 1.
Display one on the board at the beginning of each lesson, giving pupils a small copy to complete as soon as they arrive to class.
I hope you find these resources useful in the lead up to exams!
Last year we blogged about some of our favourite resources to use at Easter time (read the blog post here) a lot of these resources, and others on the web, are aimed at KS2 or lower ability KS3 students. So this time round I have designed a couple of mysteries aimed specifically at secondary students (download the mysteries here)
In the first mystery students have to use the 12 clues to determine which chocolatier the Easter bunny should buy his Easter eggs from. They have to work systematically to find all the possible combinations of eggs, then calculate the price of each option.
In the second mystery students have to use coordinates, straight line graphs and number types to find the six eggs which have been hidden in the coordinate grid.
Solutions are given at the end for each mystery. These could be used with KS3 and KS4 students and could each span a whole lesson depending on how you get students to approach them. I will get students to work in threes, each student will get four of the clues which they can not show their team mates, this way they have to communicate with one another in order to solve the problem. You could get them to present their work as a poster to give you some nice display work. Extensions are suggested within the resource.
For more resources like this visit our resource site www.numberloving.co.uk