Archive | March, 2012

Crazy Cocktails – Ratio and Proportion gets a facelift!

28 Mar

Ratio and proportion is such a hands on topic it deserves more than a lesson on recipes for spag bol and pancakes. So why not try out some cocktails!

This has to be one of my favourite lessons, ideally ran over two sessions. In session one you discuss recipes and strategies for working out different quantities (example of Pomegranate Paradise is below), students then complete the four modelled examples on this sheet. In the next session students use the examples for inspiration and make up their own cocktail, they have to work out the cost of making 100 and the % profit (worksheet here). Then they get to make it and sample their hard work! You will need to borrow some measuring jugs from food tech and make a trip to home-bargains for some cheap ingredients.

My students loved this lesson and even stayed at break to make another one! There really is a lot of Maths involved, they have to work out proportions, convert measures, calculate cost, profit and then interpret scales and they certainly won’t be forgetting it in a hurry!

Bingo Maths is Jack Pot Joy!

27 Mar

If you have not adapted the game of bingo to fit in with your curriculum then you are missing out!The concept is basic if pupils have the answer to the sum/problem/question they cross it out. Playing for a house, a line, or all four corners.

There are many resources available, my favourite is an adaptable excel version  like this one Negative Numbers (adapted and shared by Mr Peacock, further resources available on the TES see comment below ). Once you have inputted both questions and answers the excel file will populate the bingo cards and will generate the order of which the questions will be displayed.

The bingo cards generated are four by four and contain 16 answers so it’s not always suitable to play for a full house. Another great use is to provide pupils with a blank copy and ask them to generate the questions and answers. This is great for providing pupils with extra challenge and you have another bingo created and ready to go with another class. A number of great collections are available here and here on the TES resource site. These are all PowerPoint based and pupils select their numbers before the game, therefore no printing needed. Plenty of prepared bingo’s on Make it more interesting with bug bingo pens and visors!

An eggciting eggstravaganza of eggresources

25 Mar

In the run up to Easter it’s a good idea to have some fun activities up your sleeve, so here are some of Number Loving’s favourite Easter resources.

All children (and some adults) love a good Easter egg hunt, check out the treasure hunt activities on our resource site to inject a bit of hunting fun into your lessons next week. I have adapted this one on BIDMAS to make it a bit more ‘Eastery’ so get it stuck up around the playground and let the kids loose! (template here if you want it!)

There is also this great Easter themed trail shared by Phrankie on the TES, although it is aimed at KS2 it would be fine for low ability Year 7’s and easily adaptable for others too!

Get your students doing some origami and making these fantastic bunny boxes, they can be folded to fit an egg in the middle and have to be inflated by mouth at the end! A great fun activity for KS3.

Another nice origami activity is this bunny, the instructions are really clear in the video which makes it great to use in class!

If you want something a bit less hands-on then try some of these Easter themed worksheets from Ten Ticks. Another nice worksheet on combinations is this one from, this is easily extendible for higher ability students too.

If you are brave then you might risk making some Easter nests with the students (cooking required!) Give students this recipe for 30 cakes and get them to work out the required quantities for 5, then get them measuring and weighing and prepare for some chaos!

Any other nice Easter activities would be much appreciated so please send them our way!

Instant Graphs

22 Mar

This post is in addition to creating instant bar charts and pictograms using Post-It notes check out the previous post. Post-it notes are great for collecting information and instantly organising that data into a bar chart or pictogram to find the mode, median and range (if applicable).

Pie charts demonstrate proportions of amounts or a population, to ensure pupils understand this it is vital that they observe some basic proportions represented in pie charts. For example half choose red, a quarter blue and a quarter green.

I always introduce pie charts in this way using pie chart wheels. Pie chart wheels are easy to make and a template and accompanying Power Point can be downloaded from the data handling section of numberloving’s sister resource site here.

Print the pie chart template on four different colours, cut out and then secure the wheels  in place using a pin and piece of card at the back.

Pupils adjust the colours by spinning to represent the results in the Power Point. Then ask pupils to give their own results that could be represented, or not if only  four colours are available.

I always ensure I have red, amber and green in my pie chart wheels as they then double up as an assessment for learning indicator. Pupils display red when they require help, amber when they feeling more confident and green when they are confident and need more of a challenge.

Another of my favourite data handling activities is to use music when reminding young year 7 pupils of how to tally. Pick a top ten hit with a repetitive song, as the song plays pupils have to tally the number of times the word is said!

Try it with Cheryl Cole’s “you have to fight for this love” and you have yourself a real challenge. Discussions can then be held about the modal word.

Bearings and Angles – Outdoor Learning Day IV

8 Mar

Sun Dials are amazing little things which are relatively easy to make and use. This is a nice activity to use when studying angles and bearings to get students applying them in real-life. You can give students a template like the this one which comes as a base and a gnomon, or this one which is in one piece. Or you can get them to construct it themselves using a protractor and measuring the appropriate number of degrees between each line (see one of the templates). Then get them outside, they will a need a compass (ask the geography department maybe, or get them to download a compass app like this one). They should point their sundial to the north and hey presto read off the time! They could record the time and calculate the difference between this and the time on a digital watch so you can discuss the accuracy of their sun dials!

On the topic of bearings, a great activity is to set students a scavenger hunt around the playground using bearings (again you could get them to download an app to their phones). Place clues in specific places so students can follow one clue to the next. You may want to set several routes or set students off at different times. This really gets students thinking (and remembering) about bearings and never again will you see them written as two figures!

Symmetry and Tessellations – Outdoor learning day 3

7 Mar

Time for the third instalment of outdoor learning, today two simple ideas which allow students to explore symmetry and tessellation. 

Light Sensitive Paper

Light sensitive paper allows you to print a silhouette of anything you want, you place it on the paper in sunlight for a few minutes and then place in cold water to set the image. Can be purchased from lots of places on-line, the cheapest I have found is here. So, get students to search outside for any natural objects which have symmetry – don’t tell them but leaves work particularly well, or flowers. Then they can make a print of the object using the paper, back in the classroom they can stick their image on some poster paper and use this to annotate their image and explain the lines and rotational symmetry.

Tessellations rubs

Given a sheet of A3 paper and a wax crayon students can make a ‘tessellation rub’ they need to find something outdoors which exhibits tessellation and then place their paper over it and rub with their crayon to produce a sort of relief image. Bricks, tiles, paving slabs, door panels and tyres all work really well for this. Back in the classroom they can again annotate this to explain the shapes, angles and why the tessellation works.

These two activities can be run as a mini project in the same lesson with the focus being shape properties in real-life – get some nice display work going on! 

Outdoor Learning Day 2 – Parachutes

6 Mar

This project involves measures, shape, construction, area, surface area, speed and averages, phew!

Basically students construct the da Vinci parachute which is basically a square based pyramid. Then they test their parachutes and re-design them to increase the surface area! This is the Powerpoint I use for this project, I would run this over three lessons as follows:

Lesson 1:

Play the video on slide 2 and get students to think about where the maths is in parachuting (they should come up with lots of interesting ideas). Then show them the net for the da Vinci parachute, give them (in pairs) a piece of paper (sugar paper works best) and let them construct the parachute. They need to cut a hole in the top of it about 1cm in diameter, then attach a weight of their choice (a small blob of blue-tack works well). Then they can design a data collection sheet to use in lesson 2.

Lesson 2:

You need to find somewhere the students can drop their parachutes – if you have an upstairs room then they can drop them out the window, or even better a gym with a viewing balcony. Students drop their parachutes and the other member of the pair has to time the drop, they can do the best of three and then calculate an average and the range. Back in the classroom they can then discuss how to improve the design – hopefully they will see they need to increase the surface area. So get them to calculate the surface area and then design a new parachute with a greater surface area.

Lesson 3:

Students finish constructing their re-designed parachute and then test them again, back in the classroom they can compare their two sets of results using an average and the range and conclude which design was better.

This project was planned with the brilliant maths department at All Saints Centre for Learning in Merseyside.

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