Archive by Author

## Numeracy Hit

26 Jun

I was recently asked for numeracy ideas which could be delivered to all departments across the curriculum as a hit of numeracy. Below I’ve listed the ideas that came to mind.

Participation Pie Charts

When completing group work, as the pupils to draw or use an instant pie chart, where each colour represents each member of the group. They then represent their participation through proportions.

Check out our post Instant Graphs for instructions on how to make instant pie charts.

Where is the Maths

Display subject related photos such as sprinters crossing the finish line in PE, Mondrian photos in Art, or a freeze frame from a Simpson’s episode (any they have a lot of maths) and pose the questions “where is the maths”?

Is …… a Mathematician?

Again use a subject related picture such as a picture of Heston for Food Technology is displayed along with the question “is Heston a Mathematician”?

Organising & Sorting

Ask pupils to organise or sort items, products, topics, keywords into groups. Use hula hoops to create venn diagrams. Ask pupils to justify their categories.

Is there a pattern?
Can you predict what is next?
What’s the same? What’s different?

I love this idea from Mr Collin’s check it out here. Ask pupils to create a list of topic keywords and using the scrabble value for each letter they find the total sum of each word. The student who find a topic related word with the highest score wins.

You might also be interested in reading our posts Numeracy Coordinator – Making the role count! and Instant Graphs.

We would love to hear your ideas! Get in touch via @numberloving or NumberLoving’s Facebook page!

You might also be interested in visiting our TES store and our TPT Store for both free and premium resources.

NumberLoving Sharon

8 May

This is a quick blog about Foldables, an alternative to revision notes. Foldables are fairly new to me, since last summer anyway and I love them! The fact that pupils can revise not only when completing them with notes they can then revise from then by being ‘tested’ by a friend or testing themselves; makes them a win in my book. I also print each foldable on colour paper and get pupils to stick to a large piece of A3 piece of paper. Pupils then take these home and complete the poster for interactive revision at home!

First time I used foldables with a class, we made shutter foldables and we made them from scratch. I just gave pupils the blank pieces of colour paper, I then thought it would take just 30 seconds to describe the process of folding and cutting as shown in the picture on the left. It wasn’t that straight forward, but we got there.

This pdf Foldables by Dinah Zike is full of ideas of different foldable styles and instructions on how to build. Check out the layered book on page 17 for advanced foldables!

For my classes I’ve found that lesson time is used most efficiently and productively when I print both guidance on the folding of the foldable (where to fold, cut and glue) but also by giving them diagrams or prompts for each window which they then have to complete for the given topic!

Here is a picture of NumberLoving’ Functions foldable in action, available here. As you can see it has been glued to an A3 piece of paper, ready for the pupil to complete at home, alternatively they can be glued into class or notebooks. Also demonstrated on the poster is a simple idea of attaching an envelope to hold any flash cards created by pupils, another on the spot testing or interactive element to the revision.

I’m always adding to my foldable bundle on the TES, check it out here. This is a premium bundle of 12 foldables, as I create new foldables I add these to the bundle, which means once purchased any additions will be yours for no additional cost; just make sure you follow me via the TES to get updates via your homepage when they’ve been updated. I have reduced the price for this bundle from £8 to £4 from now until Friday the 12th of May to coordinate with this blog post!

Which revision activities have you found most effective? Get in touch via @numberloving or NumberLoving’s Facebook page!

You might also be interested in visiting our TES store and our TPT Store for both free and premium resources.

NumberLoving Sharon

## New GCSE – what’s the problem?

1 May

The new GCSE continues to cause a lot of teachers I know some sleepless nights! The thing which worries me is not so much the new content but the style of the exam papers. It is clear via the specimen and four set of practice papers published so far that they are much less routine and less accessible than the current specification. Again, this isn’t really an issue in itself,  I welcome the challenge and problem solving, I just hope I have been able to provide my students with the skills they need.

The main challenge I’m facing with my students is developing their resilience as well as the tools in their problem solving arsenal. I’m a great believer in the simplest solution being the best one and so to tackle my concerns I’m simply trying to expose my pupils to as many different problems as frequently as possible. Above is a picture of how students can “Plan for QWC”  using this window overlay. The aim of the overlay is to help pupils breakdown the complexity of the problems; not always useful but has been for most students in the beginning.

Here are just some of the resources I’m using;

AQA have released a set of 90 maths problem solving resources, download from here.

These short problems from nrich make great starters across ages and abilities. They can also be used by tutors during form time if you don’t already have a numeracy programme. There’s a good deal of variety in terms of style of problem and difficulty.

This free problem solving booklet from La Salle comes with teacher notes, I’m using problems from it as homework tasks for years 7 and 8 but it could easily be linked into your SOW for use in lessons.

The premium bundles from NumberLoving are developed specifically with the new GCSE in mind. The mysteries in particular help to develop resilience and thinking skills.

Don Steward’s Median blog has an unbelievable and great range of activities, including this problem solving section. Also check out this post Favourite Problems from Joanne Morgan writer of award winning Resourceaholic.com.

Check out these 16 Round 9-1 GCSE Maths Problem Solving questions from m4ths.com by Steve Blades.

When students are working on problem solving tasks I have a rule that they can’t ask questions for 5 minutes (you can get some good timers here). I’ve found this really helps them to start thinking for themselves and exploring different options. I also have a list of strategies on the wall in my room which can sometimes help them get started (see below).

Problem solving strategies

• Draw a diagram or picture
• Make a model
• Try to spot any patterns
• Can you solve an easier problem (make the numbers easier)
• Write what you know on the diagram
• Can you form a right angled triangle?
• Try a number and see if it works (trial and improvement)
• Make a list or a table
• Don’t obsess over what you’ve been asked for, focus on what you know and what you can work out
• Can you express anything using algebra?
• What topic is this assessing, think about what you know on this topic

Hopefully if I keep at it my students will become more confident and independent mathematicians and therefore as a matter of course they are able to succeed at the new GCSE. I’d really like to hear other ideas and resources people are using,  get in touch @numberloving and check out our free and premium resources in our TES NumberLoving Store.

This blog post has been sat in drafts for over 12 months! Thankfully in that time there has been a wealth of resources created and shared, too many to include in this post. I have tweaked this draft a little and published, thanks for the encouragement from Twitter Colleagues @ColleenYoung and @mhorley

## Refreshing Revision

24 Apr

It’s that time of year again, revision is truly under way in preparation for the summer 2017 exam series. We have blogged before about revision techniques such as; revision relays, treasure hunts, and thoughts & crosses activities (Anything but more past papers…Exam Warm UpsExam TechniqueMaths Party and Intervention Evening). In this blog we look at other revision games;

Revision Pong
Those that are regular party goers have probably played this game in a social yet competitive environment and adapting it for the classroom is quite easy and flexible in the way it’s played. You just need a set of plastic cups (numbered), a ping pong ball and a set of questions (also numbered).

It can be played as a team game (I recommend no more than 3 per team to avoid down time). If team gets the ball in a cup say number 4, they then answer question 4 to gain points, I give 10 points for correctly answered questions. In order to keep the other team, team B, involved they can also be calculating the answer to “steal the points” if team A get it wrong or alternatively gain bonus points (I award 5). Team B would have to prove to Team A they got it correct by showing their calculations (I provide each team with mini whiteboards).

Revision Hexagons

These great resources from @JR-Maths-Resources are not only beautifully presented and  cover a range of topics, they are differentiated from fluency in the centre to reasoning and finally problem solving as the outside layer. I use these either daily as quick starters (they take around 10 minutes) or as short homework task.

It is definitely worth checking out JR-Maths-Resources here and this set of revision skills starter checks give you a taste of the quality of his resources.

Jenga Game

Again some experimentation has led me to believe the best option here is to number the jenga pieces and use with a corresponding set of questions.You can see in the picture on the left that I do have a set of jenga pieces now dedicated to solving equations, but since numbering the pieces I’ve got a lot more use out of them! The game is played in the same way as the Jenna game, the only addition is that pupils must answer that question before they can remove that piece (if numbered, version on the left pupils would answer after removing it, if they get it wrong they go again). This can be differentiated, identifying the level of difficulty on the question card.

I use quiz, quiz, trade cards such as these on rounding, estimating and bounds as the question cards are numbered or relay cards such as these 9-1 Revision Relay Question cards shared by Simply Effective Resources.

Revision Carousel

I create a revision carousel using a variety of tasks at each of the stations for the topics in the carousel. The timer is set for 7 minutes at each station and pupils rotate through the stations in groups of 3-4. At each station they either answer the questions or taking part in the activity for example Fan & Pick. Therefore a verbal but brief explanation of each station is needed, and reminder notes on how it is played at each station also helps the carousel run smoothly.

Here is an example of a carousel I ran with 6 minutes at each station.

1. Sequences Fan & Pick
2. Sequencees Spot the Mistake (Pupils completed this for homework)
3. Sequences Fortune Teller
4. Sequences Exam questions (collated from ExamPro)
5. Jenga game (shorter stack) I use any task cards or relay questions such as this free set from Simply Effective Resources.
6. Bill and Statement Task Cards (One of each laminated, pupils are allowed calculators)
7. Properties of Numbers Learning Grid (roll the dice)
8. Number Exam questions (collated from ExamPro)
9. Revision Pong (Mixed exam questions from ExamPro)

Which revision activities have you found most effective? Get in touch via @numberloving or NumberLoving’s Facebook page!

You might also be interested in visiting our TES store and our TPT Store for both free and premium resources.

NumberLoving Sharon

## Instant Graphs

22 Apr

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. The Instant Pie Chart Template  can be downloaded  with intructions.

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.

Tallies and Pictograms

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.

Check out our post on using post-its for instant pictograms on the classroom windows!

Get in touch @numberloving and check out our free and premium resources in our TES NumberLoving Store.

## New Store

17 Apr

Sorry we have been away, we have been busy getting married and setting up our new store NumberLoving TES and NumberLoving TpT! This is a quick post to let all our readers and followers know there will be a 20% sale from tomorrow 17th April until midnight Friday the 21st April.

Check out our free and premium resources in our TES NumberLoving Store.

17 Apr

## Efficient Calculator Use

The need for pupils to be comfortable and confident with their calculator by the end of their KS4/GCSE studies is not new, but the new 9-1 specification has brought to my attention some new methods (not necessarily functions) that would benefit pupils in being able to perform using and navigating their calculators efficiently.  As we follow the AQA 8300 specification many of this appear repeatedly in the practice papers. You might also be interested in our blog Can you Pay my Bills? 9-1 GCSE blog post, which looks at the bank statements, invoices and pay calculations as seen in the AQA practice papers. Any of the calculator methods described are not to replace understanding or written methods, in fact they are based on a mastery of techniques, particularly when considering remainders.

### Fractions

The new 9-1 specification AQA calculator papers include questions such as this calculation below. When performed correctly this would result in an improper fraction and pupils would be required to change to a mixed number.

I couldn’t understand why so many of my students were getting this wrong.  So I asked a pupil to show me how they were entering this in the calculator and it turned out the problem was entering mixed numbers! The pupils were using the primary fraction button (red arrow) and using the ‘back’ button to insert the whole part before the fraction! The calculator would then interpret this as whole multiplied by the fraction part!!! When in fact they need to use the secondary function (green arrow) in order to insert the mixed number correctly.

These questions will give answers as an improper fraction and pupils may need to convert to mixed numbers (depending on the question requirements). Using the S>D function would give the whole part; instead use the shift button to activate the mixed to improper (orange arrow to left).

### FACT Function

Although I have shown pupils this function in the past I have been reluctant to push it’s use because pupils need to complete prime factor decomposition for the non-calculator paper.  However, increasingly expressing a product as its prime factors or finding the HCF/LCM is present on the new 9-1 calculator papers.  To use this function, input the number for example 225, enter, then shift “FACT” and the calculator will express as a product of it’s primes.  This was Q 24 from paper 2 of the foundation AQA practice set 3 which required pupils to express 225 as a product of it’s prime factors, this is awarded two marks. Pupils will save time if they use this function and that time can be used to complete the HCF/LCM part of the question.

This function can also help with questions requiring pupils to identify larger prime numbers as seen in Q3 of the Foundation AQA practice set 4, paper 3. If it is a prime number for e.g 97, after using the FACT function 97 would be displayed; therefore it is prime.

### Table of Values

Select mode (green arrow) which will give the four options seen on the display. Select option 3 : TABLE. You are then prompted by f(x) to enter the function, enter the function using the ALPHA key  and the bracket key with the X (red arrows). Ensure pupils check carefully that they have entered this correctly.  You are then prompted with “START?” followed by “END?”, both referring to the range of values of X in the table, e.g. from -2 to 5 (remember to us (-) for minus two), press enter after each. The final prompt is “STEPS?”, i.e. what is X going up in (most often one). Then a table of values is given in a vertical format. @Mathematical_A has mentioned that the new FX991EX has dual tables!!

Here is a video tutorial from @GuideCalculator on this function and you might also be interested in using the table function to complete trial and improvement (although not explicitly on the new specification, it could fall under iteration).

### Remainders

Here is one of the treasure hunt cards requiring remainder to be found, again this was originally poorly answered by my pupils despite it being on one of the calculator papers. This style of question is seen in the AQA foundation practice papers, for example Q12 from paper 3 of set 3.

Below is the method we show pupils to tackle this efficiently; this slide is taken from our Walking Talking Mock.

### Rounding

Scientific calculators can be used to set a number of decimal places (using shift>set up>6. Fix), however this is not something that I choose to show pupils; they should be able to round correctly and there’s too much of chance they don’t change it back! So instead it is good ‘exam technique’ to insist pupils write down the whole answer and then round as required. Again a slide from our walking talking mock on the left demonstrates these calculator paper tips.

To help refine pupils calculator paper skills we have produced some resources for use with a scientific calculator and knowledge of skills such as Pythagoras’ Theorem, Trigonometry etc. Therefore this resource is best used once you’re confident pupils have the range of skills on the topics listed below.

### 9-1 Calculator Use Resources

The first new resource is our 9-1 Efficient Calculator Use Treasure Hunt activity differentiated to two levels; amber and green. The amber level covers the following topics; finding remainders, calculating with fractions, improper to mixed, area of fraction of circle, product of primes, Pythagoras, Rounding. The green level covers Trigonometry, remainders, compound interest, density, rounding, area of sector, scales, conversions, using formula. Each of these require pupils to round correctly i.e. decimal places or significant figures.

Check out our Treasure Hunt blog post for different ways to use treasure hunt activities in the classroom and beyond.

The second resource is our 9-1 Efficient Calculator Use Worksheets which includes two worksheets to complement the first resource to make a full lesson or use as homework. Worksheet 1 covers six topics (powers/roots, place value, remainders, primes, fractions and percentages). Worksheet 2 covers three overall topics but each progresses in challenge (use of formula, right angled triangles i.e. Pythagoras’ theorem and trigonometry, circles (arcs/sectors).

What calculator tips do you give your pupils? Get in touch @numberloving or NumberLoving’s Facebook page.