Essential classroom equipment; a set of dice, and ideally large sponge die. They’re in the store cupboard they just need digging out.
Or better known as a horse race, in my classroom it is called Derby’s Donkey Derby! Pupils bet a donkey numbered from 1-12. A donkey moves when it’s number is rolled from two dice added together. The first donkey to cross the line wins.
Simple concept of place value. Teams play against each other to get the highest number, or the highest even number etc. When the die is rolled the team decides whether to keep it or give it away. By keeping it they can place the digit into either units, tens, or hundreds unit. By giving it away to another team they decide which column the other team has to place it.
A quick starter, engages pupils immediately. Display six questions on the board as pupils enter they roll the die and answer the corresponding question. Of course even better if you can have two differentiated sets of questions amber (entry) and green (more challenging).
When working in groups it is important that all pupils know what they’re doing and understand the work. To keep pupils on their toes avoid the hands up situation and introduce a no hands up rule. This ensures the conversation is flowing as pupils coach each other, roll the die to select the person from each group to feedback, explain or answer a question.
Roll the die to get 3 or 4 numbers, pupils must then use these numbers and any operations to make the number 24. If you have enough die, pupils can set their own personal challenge.
Conduct a simple experiment, roll a die and record the result in a tally chart. Spice it up by introducing a ten or 12 sided die.
A game for two players, each with a die. They roll simultaneously, the first player to call out the multiplication result of the two numbers wins. Can be powers for calculator use, or addition for low KS3 classes. Pupils keep a track by tally chart of how many games they win, the person that wins the most in a 5minute slot is deemed champion.
Add a bit of fun with these giant foam dice available from most suppliers and from Bright Ideas website.
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This classic game is a great idea from my colleague Lee Gould, to use when introducing tree diagrams.
Pupils play the game in pairs 30 times. Each game is recorded in a simple tally chart, noting if player A wins, player B wins or a draw. Pupils can then look at the relative frequency from their results as well as the whole class results. You can then have discussion about theoretical probability, expectancy and relative frequency.
The tree diagram includes two events; player a’s three options and player b’s three options as independent events. The resultant outcomes are either A wins, B wins or draw. Here you can re-iterate the Or & And rules, as well as recap how to deal with fractions.
Rules of the game; I use this picture to remind pupils of which beats which! Yes unfortunately not all my pupils on one class knew the rules!
Where as avid watchers of Friends sitcom asked “Miss, is Fire allowed? It beats everything but water baloon”.
If you use this in class, take a picture and post on twitter @numberloving we’d love to see our ideas in action. Get in touch @numberloving and visit our NumberLoving store for free and premium resources!!
A pupil informed me recently that she’d counted 132 post it notes on the walls of my classroom. It was not until this moment that I realised I may have a problem. They say the first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one so here goes, my top uses of post-it notes in the maths classroom.
Thoughts and Crosses
Anyone who reads Mr Taylor’s Blog will have read about this great idea, a grid of questions which increase in grade or level as you move up the grid. Whilst there are a variety of ways you could use these they are a great way to bring competition as well as differentiation into your lesson. I made this one on solving equations and got students to work in pairs, they each got a different colour of post-it note and had twenty minutes to cover as much of the grid as they could. To claim a square they had to have a fully worked solution to that question on their post-it. They really enjoyed this and it was interesting to see which questions they chose. Next lesson I am going to give them the grid back with someone else’s solutions (which I will have removed) and they will have to re-match the solutions to the correct squares.
What am I?
This popular party game can easily be used in the maths classroom. Students work in pairs and each write something on their partners post-it, this is then swiftly attached to their partners forehead, they take it in turns to ask each other yes/no questions to reveal what is on the post-it. This can work for loads of topics but here are a couple I have tried:
Number Types – pupils have to write a number between one and 100, you will find students questioning about factors, multiples, primes, odds and evens without even realising it!
Shapes and their properties – pupils have to draw a shape (works for 2D and 3D), students quickly realise they need a range of questions beyond ‘have I got four sides?’ and will be asking about parallel lines, lines of symmetry and equal angles before you know it!
Fill in the blanks
An idea for a starter is to have some questions on the windows (or board) with numbers or words missing, as students come in they get a few post-its and have to fill in as many blanks as they can. Using the windows is a really good way to engage students, often they become a bit desensitized to the IWB.
Bar Charts or pictograms
Post it’s are great for doing bar charts, all you need is a blank axes and a question. Each student records their response on a post it and then sticks it in the correct position on the graph, this works just as well for pictograms if you get some post-its which are fun shapes. You can then have a discussion about labelling the axes and scales etc.
Plotting lines and curves
A fun way to teach plotting lines and curves is to allocate each pair of students an ‘x’ value, they must work out the corresponding ‘y’ value and write it on their post-it. They can then all plot them on a set of axes the board and you can discuss the pattern etc.
In my experience students really like assessing each others work if you give them some pupils speak level descriptors. It’s hardly groundbreaking but I often ask them to write their assessments on post-its, they have two each, one for the level with a reason which references the criteria and one for how they could have reached the next level.
Feedback on books
I sometimes have the problem of students not reading feedback in their books so I mix it up a bit and occasionally give them feedback on a post-it on the front of their book, they will read it straight away as it is different.
Post-its are great for lots of AFL strategies. You can ask students to write ‘one thing you have learnt’ and ‘one question you still have’ on post-its and then stick them on a wall or window. These can be reviewed by you to inform your planning and they can be reviewed at the end of the next lesson to see if students questions are now answered.
Another nice AFL activity is to ask students to write their name on a post-it and place themselves on a scale of confidence which refers to the objectives of the lesson (this can be on a wall or on the board). You can review this as often as you like to see if students are making progress, especially good if you are being observed and need to evidence progress in a short space of time.
I love the secret question! Before the lesson you stick a post-it under a chair with a question on, this can be about anything for example ‘give me three key things you learnt last lesson’. At some point in the lesson you shriek ‘secret question’ and the students have to all check under their chair, the chosen one has to read out the question and an answer (remember to give them some thinking time!).
Happy post-it-ing! Get in touch @numberloving and visit our NumberLoving store for free and premium resources!!
Another great idea I got from Leanne Robson, a speaker at the SSAT Achievement show in London. Don’t forget NumberLoving authors (myself and Laura) will be presenting at the North West Innovation Show, sister show to the Achievement show.
Data collection has never been so fun! Taking the element of speed dating, but with the purpose of collecting data not finding a match! You can collect data on a theme, about your pupils, a nice ice breaker or even conduct your pupil voice survey this way.
Ideally the room will be set up as a circle of desks, with a chair either side, or circles of pairs of facing chairs in the middle of the room. Depending on the group (and your photocopying situation) you may wish to print tally tables ready for each pupil. In addition you may wish to set the questions, or give more freedom for pupils to collect a question of their choice.