Archive | November, 2011

BP Trading Game- Enterprise/STEM/Maths

26 Nov

The BP Trading Game is a great resource which following registration (here) can be freely downloaded but I have attached to the end of this blog to save our readers some time. The game allows pupils to experience the trade floor in this trading competitive game. The pupils will work as a team, taking on roles such as chair, accountant.

There are two levels, entry level and standard game. The resources include both instructions for teachers and students, sections of which can be photocopied. It isn’t necessary to photocopy the whole of the pupil packs, just the trading papers for both the practise and trading rounds. In addition instead of printing the meeting notes, these can be easily added into the Power Point to feed the group discussion.

Make sure you have an interactive whiteboard to display the latest update in trading prices and news for each round, in addition a separate laptop will be needed with the excel file to record each groups decision whether to buy or sell. You may allow pupils access to a calculator or give extra time for each trading round to allow pupils to complete the necessary calculations.

A great game suitable for year 9, 10 and 11 pupils, ideal for whole school events when enterprise, thinking skills, STEM or PLTS skills need to be evidenced.

To save you some time here are the resources for the entry level BP trading game.

introductory_presentation, entry_level_teachers_notes, entry_level_traders_pack, news_bulletins_set1, news_bulletins_set2, news_bulletins_set3, entry_level_master_results_spreadsheet

You will need to register to play the introductory video and to download the standard game.

We enjoyed the game so much and wanted to make it more accessible to younger students so my Number Loving co-author Miss Rees-Hughes adapted the trading sheets and account records.

BP Trading Form, BP Trading Form Example, BP Financial record

Please leave your comments, or recommendations of how you adapted the game to be suitable for your classes.

Mobile Phones – Friend not foe

13 Nov

Granted, the presence of mobile phones can be a problem in many classrooms, but  the fact that every student has such a powerful piece of equipment in their pocket should be overlooked at your peril!

The app store is a maths teachers dream with all sorts of fantastic little resources such as compasses for when you teach bearings, reaction time testers for ordering decimals and revision quizzes for KS4. Go on and have a look, you will be inspired.

Amongst all the apps one of the greatest has to be the QR code scanner. You see these little codes popping up all over the place. You scan the code using the app and could be sent some text, a picture, or you may be directed to a webpage.

One of the best generators can be found here . It’s free to use, so you just select what you want to happen when it is scanned and hey presto you’ve got a QR code, the colours can be changed too which is a nice touch.  So, how can these be used in the classroom? Well the presentation beneath should answer that question!

Numeracy Coordinator – Making the role count!

13 Nov

The Numeracy Across the Curriculum (NAC) role hit the big time in 2001, following Ofsted’s primary numeracy evaluation all secondary schools were expected to hold a whole school NAC launch. At the time the role was introduced and many teachers will remember having whole school training and establishment of a school calculation policy in which all staff would multiply in the same way etc. School policies were drawn up and unfortunately for some schools numeracy stopped there. Whilst other schools developed projects ensuring numeracy truly was across the curriculum.

The role has (or should have) changed and evolved in terms of its purpose and aims for the academic year. If it hasn’t changed in your school it needs to, I hope this post will give some ideas of how to make a big impact. Don’t miss section 4, which for me was the start of revolutionising the role within my school.
1) Getting the Job Itself!

Is it an enviable job? Probably not, as it’s limitless possibilities can make the role daunting at first. For myself, once settled in, the lack of rules or limits allowed me to experiment, raise the profile of numeracy and the mathematics department, and hopefully inspire all those around me to love numbers the way I do!

Job specification from Norfolk county council and Riding’s school job description both detail the need for high communication skills.

2) Getting Started; Some useful Numeracy documents

It is important to determine the numeracy needs of your school in order to begin making a whole school impact. In order to do this I would recommend departments are asked to audit/detail when and how they include numeracy within their subjects. This could be done using this Numeracy Audit for departments and to determine staff training needs this could be used E3_numeracy_checklist.

I found Leicestershire County Council’s Numeracy Across the Curriculum, Key Stage 3 and 4 booklet most useful when starting in the role of numeracy coordinator. This is guidance of how to establish the role of numeracy coordinator, including adaptable policies and in particular ideas of how to raise the profile of mathematics. For me this was most important as I felt the role needed a shake up, and its impact needed to change the opinions of colleagues whom for many did not see the need for a numeracy coordinator role. Luckily they do now! Other policies such as St Alban’s Numeracy policy can be downloaded here, The Friary School policy is also available, as is Hazelwick’s policy.

Leistershire County Council’s Calculations Policy can be downloaded and adapted to suit your school’s needs.

The Mathszone website has a wealth of resources that could help in preparing to deliver inset to your school, as a source of ideas which you can then develop to be suitable for your school and its numeracy needs, in addition a How To booklet to be downloaded.

3) Spread the word; Get other departments involved

It is important that numeracy is detailed in schemes of work, however this was needed 10 years ago. For my school it was important to update new schemes but more important than this is to ensure that numeracy was not just an add on. Departments need support and guidance to ensure they provide opportunities for numeracy learning and not just numeracy content.

Suffolk Maths Team have developed a useful wesbite which has downloadable resources and ideas of how numeracy can be delivered in other subject areas.

Maths Across the Curriculum– three easy projects to introduce ideas linking numeracy within PE and story time.

Here are two lists of how departments may link numeracy within their subject area. Maths Across The Curriculum and Numeracy in subjects.

Golden ratio in art is a one lesson project the art department and I developed to follow the completion of face portraits to see if pupils faces are following the golden ratio.

4) Raising the profile;

It is vital to use the role as numeracy coordinator to raise the profile of mathematics around the school and the community.

What better then to see both pupils and teachers using numeracy skills during break time! Getting pupils interested in numeracy is easy by setting challenges and puzzles around the school. Some puzzles were put on the flat screen TVs around school, however engagement was not huge. I wondered if the pupils had become desensitised to technology, so introduced the use of magic whiteboard as seen on Dragon’s den, this static write on material was great for use on the glass stairs. Alternatively use the glass pens as discussed in the previouspost “Who wants Clean Windows”. Here are my ideas;

a) How many steps in the school? This had a great impact as we moved into our new Building School’s for the future (BSF) building which resembles a cube, pupils were encouraged to investigate their new school environment. Watching pupils climbing up and down the stairs in atrium counting was the pleasant reminder of how mathematical inquisitive people naturally are.

b) How many rectangles in the school ceiling? As you can see the schools building is made up of many rectangles, what else could be counted in your school? You could ask what is the total of the classroom room numbers.

c) How many seconds left of 2010? This would need updating to 2011 and a start time given, this was a great one for the school newsletter.

d) How do you measure up? I placed these measuring tapes and heights of famous people around the school with a poster asking “How do you measure up?” . Pupils were measuring themselves, comparing to their favourite celebrity as well as each other.

e) Distances here to… Around school I placed distances from the school to key wonders and places of the world. the measurements were given in both metric and imperial.

f) Playground Fun Introduce hop scotch, paint a chess board and bring mathematics back to the playground. I thought this would only appeal to key stage 3 pupils, however I was proven wrong when year 10 students are regularly taking part in a good old game of hop scotch.

5) Numeracy Day’s and Events

NSPCC world number day, This year the NSPCC’s World Number Day will be on Friday the 2nd of December. On this day your school can fundraise and join in the NSPCC world’s biggest Maths lesson. Registration is free, and once you have registered all the fundraising material can be downloaded ready to use.

World Maths Day from Mathletics will be on March the 2012, registration is free and pupils compete in 60sec games against players from around the world. Register now and book those computer rooms or laptop trolleys.

Four Nations Math Challenge from Mathletics, thank you to Colleen Young’s blog for drawing my attention to this Four Nations event happening this month on the 17th to 18th of November.

NGfL National Numeracy Strategy Resources

5) Form time,

Both literacy and numeracy are delivered during our 25minute form times. Here are some of the resources used to deliver numeracy to year 11. 1 Y11 Intro 2 Handy Maths 3 Long multiplication 4 Division 5 Maths Command Words Guide

If you like these materials and would like a complete set of materials please follow and leave a comment saying so.

Numeracy Reading Books there are many books available with a mathematical theme for example Sir Cumference: And the Great Knight of Angleland and here is a list of maths_related_books. These can form a numeracy book boxes for reading time during year 7 registration or available in the school library.

I really hope I have given you some ideas for the numeracy role to make it stand out from the crowd, please follow for updates and leave comments of what worked for you.

Thank you all followers for making Number Loving a success!

Maths in the Movies- TV, Movies and beyond

9 Nov

You may have read my recent blog, “Music videos – quick lesson hooks” of videos readily available on Youtube, that can help pupils learning and add the fun factor.

To extend upon that blog, in this post I have put together the best websites I have used detailing maths in the movies. Mathbits give a good guide to using maths in movies. Pictures and clips from the pupil’s favourite and well known movies can grasp the pupil’s attention immediately and often creates dialogue around the subject and the basics of social awareness as pupils talk about their interest in movies or tv.

1) Mathematics in the movies

This site has what could be every mathematical reference made in movies and has been collated by the Mathematics Department of Harvard University. Clips are playable through flash or quicktime. Great for KS3 The Full Monty  clip were characters are confused over what 10 times 1000 is. Or the numerolgy in the film Number 23, following the clip ask the pupils if they can make the number 23 with their birth date or mobile phone number.

2) Math and the Movies Part 1

A great website from Mathbits, although the clips are not directlt available, worksheets are provided with a clear description of the clip needed with the mathematical content within the movie.

3) Math and the Movies Part 2

Make sure clips are checked for language and appropriateness for your audience.  I am a big fan of Wall-E and using the beginning of the movie you can ask pupils to think about cubes using the accompanying worksheet.

4) Movies with Morse code

This site involves details of scenes in movies which use morse code. Although the clips are not available here, you may have the movies or youtube may detail some clips. Morse code is great to link with code cracking and logic puzzles.

5) Mathematics goes to the Movies

A great collection  by Polster & Ross, in particular they have a great math clips page with clips and although some of the movies are old everyone likes Wonder Women. More recent movie detailed here is 21 were the tutor discusses the three doors problem, I use this as a lesson hook into probability and chance.

5) Maths Songs collection from Mathedup

Some more great videos to add to the previous movies post.  Say that funky number Math Guy!

6) Mathematical Curiousities

On of my favourites, with lots of mathematical pictures taken from Futurama, ask pupils “where is the maths” or can they help solve benders problems.

8) Simpson’s Mathematics

This website details episodes with mathematical content and has activity worksheets available that link to the episodes, transcripts and photo shots from the episodes.

Hope you find the links useful to create dialogue and engagement within your lessons!

Leave a comment if you have used these or if you have any to add!

Who wants clean windows

7 Nov

Recently I have developed a bit of an obsession with writing on the windows. It really attracts the pupils attention more so than a normal display and is surprisingly fun (simple things)!

You can buy washable chalk pens from most stationary shops for about £3. Underneath is a picture of my windows at the moment with some work on representing data in bar charts and pictograms. Also I have a quick plenary window for ‘one thing I have learnt’ and ‘one question I still have’ post its.

Students LOVE writing on the windows with the pens so I often use this as a prize for them winning bingo or other little activities. I will let pupils write a fact they have learnt or a little example on the window. The possibilities are endless… try it and your windows will never be clean again!

Get onto Prezi.com! Present & Collaborate

6 Nov

If you haven’t yet got onto Prezi.com “The zooming presentation tool”, you simply must. Presenting using Prezi is a great way of wooing your colleagues and impressing pupils, and the more recent developments with this free software means it is even more fabulous and your presentation really will sparkle.

Have a look at my latest Prezi, used to deliver inset to Science staff about the differences between graphs in Mathematics and Science. Feedback welcome on this, as huge discussions took place around both terminology and the use of a line of best fit v fitting a curve or joining the dots.

Prezi is free online software, it is fairly intuitive software which you and your pupils can explore as you learn. Videos and photos can be uploaded and embedded into the presentation, a path is then made to link each element into a smooth presentation. In addition to the fact that more than one person can be editing, or viewing each Prezi at anyone time, presentations can now be made online.

The possibilities are endless! Definitely worth a trial, if you find this is useful please leave your comments and share the sparkle.

A lesson off – never!

6 Nov

The requests for a ‘fun lesson’ because of Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas,  Easter, … can be like a knife through the heart (aren’t my lessons always fun?) especially if you are a bit of a stick in the mud like me and won’t reduce yourself to calculated colouring! Thanks to this pop up octahedron, problem solved! Pupils have to construct an equilateral triangle then use this as a template to draw the net, once it is cut out they will need you to attach the elastic band. Powerpoint is in my tes resources here:

http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Make-a-pop-up-octahedron-fun-themed-lesson-6130976/

you may want to jazz it up a bit and definitely have a trial run first to practice attaching the elastic band – not difficult but I would recommend you have a go first.  Then they can decorate their ‘animals’ as they wish, makes a great display if any of them will let you keep it! This is a pop up devil courtesy of one of my year 8’s (although she wants it back on Monday). Already bought brown card for pop up robins at Christmas and yellow card for pop up chicks at Easter! A lesson off – never!

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