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Exam Technique

28 Feb

A quick blog about different strategies and resources to get your class and classroom exam ready!

Displays

exam command words Command Word Display

Print this NumberLoving display for your classroom and use it to reinforce the meaning of command words. They can displayed along side the meaning and it also a good activity to remove the command word and ask the pupils to state the command word given the meaning.

Exam Countdown Display

Print and laminate this exam countdown display, displaying the most appropriate length of time, whether it be months, weeks or days. Using a whiteboard pen this can easily be updated so the countdown to exams is clear for all.

Exam Practice

Training to Triple read

Encourage pupils not only to read the questions but to triple read the question, each time with a different purpose;

  1. Highlight the figures in yellow (numbers or words e.g half)
  2. Highlight command words in green
  3. Read again “aloud in your head” with emphasise on those words

Do this as part of your teaching, highlighting in two colours, modelling by reading aloud with emphasis on command words. It will soon become part and parcel of pupils’ approach to questions.

Start from the back

Little change with the potential of a big impact on pupils’ resilience and mindset. Starting from the back when pupils are more focused and moving towards the front of the paper and the easier questions. Very relevant if working on papers in class, start from the back so pupils can get support from peers, the teacher etc.

However we are not fans of death by past paper, check out our post “Anything but more past papers” for alternative revision techniques.

Walking Talking Mock

This is large scale modelling; modelling as a teaching strategy is simply put as ‘thinking out loud’. Therefore modelling for pupils the thought processes when approaching problems. Pupils will increasingly take this role of modelling, guided and refined by the teacher. The walking-talking mock is described by the Guardian here as the “new initiative intended to boost students’ exam technique”. In brief it is a large scale version of modelling, highlighting exam technique and key exam words, the lead teacher hints, modelling thought processes related to the mock paper in front of the pupil, question by question in the exam hall. Dragonfly Training give a good description of how they ran a walking-talking mock here or check out Kristian Still’s blog here, this is another good example of how to approach the walking talking mock.

Key Skills Builder

As mentioned in our post some topics keep on coming up so it is important that these skills are embedded in pupils’ practice. We discuss exam warm ups as a way of reinforcing and revising vital topics. Check out the blog here.

Has anyone used these strategies or other strategies? We would love to hear you views! Get in touch @numberloving and follow our Facebook NumberLoving Page

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Lessons in Love- Number Love

7 Feb

‘<3’ Is a HEART, composed of two parts.

In Mathematics,  this means “less than three”.

Because in real life, LOVE has no space for a third,

Love is only you and me!

It is that time of year and both NumberLoving authors are feeling the love with two weddings to plan, so here are some more math Valentine’s Day activities!

geometry valentine poems-001Mathematical Valentine Rhyme Challenge

Challenge your pupils to write a mathematical rhyme including a set number of mathematical terms. This is a great idea I found on Craft Moms share blog here and the example on the left is taken from their blog and includes 7 maths terms. I will be challenging my pupils to come up with their rhymes for homework! Check this one out, not by a pupil but still a great poem!

We have a number of Valentine and love themed mysteries, in which pupils use the clues to solve the question. Mysteries are a thinking skills activity;

 

 

parallel linesAlso not to be missed;

Check out these blogs for great valentines maths ideas;

Googol power bring a wide variety of activities, I like this activity finding the area and perimeter of hearts. Pupils estimate and for extra challenge ask them to calculate. Even better get pupils to use Desmos as described in Colleen Young’s blog here to create their own heart, math-o-gram. Then ask pupils to find the area and perimeter.

One of my favourite activities making heart shaped mobius strips and other great ideas in our blog “Valentine’s Day, send Mobius Hearts Our Way” for other valentine maths activities. valentines

Make Sierpiński sieve pop heart with instructions from 360 (don’t be put off by the dinosaur).

Speed dating with data collection in this blog we describe how to set up a speed dating activity allowing for data collection.

So who will be your math-en-tine?
image

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3-D Shapes in more than 3-ways

3 Nov

In this post I have pulled together lots of different ways of studying 3D shapes, with my new favourite ‘Pull-Up’ shapes. For each activity I have linked it to my favourite nRich tasks, check out their collection here.

Fold-Up for the Notebook

imageimage

This great idea from Pinterest, means pupils can have this 3D shape in their class books but it still folds flat!  I believe this idea originally came from Hooty’s Homeroom blog, check out their website here for full instructions.

n-Rich Pyramid N-gon

The base of a pyramid has n edges. In terms of n, what is the difference between the number of edges of the pyramid and the number of faces? Check out this nRich task here.

Construct and Hang-Up

mobileUsing toothpicks or wooden skewers as edges and midget gems or marshmallows as vertices most 3D shapes can be built.  These make great 3D shapes for display but also useful for when exploring trigonometry and Pythagoras’ Theorem in 3D.  CIMG0057Midget gems will go hard and therefore will withstand the test of time on the classroom windowsill. Check out our blog post ‘Sweets, cocktails sticks and 3D shapes’ here.

imageNRich Cube Paths Puzzle

Use tooth picks and midget gems to construct a skeletal view of a 2 by 2 by 2 cube with one route ‘down’ the cube.

How many routes are there on the surface of the cube from A to B?
(No `backtracking’ allowed, i.e. each move must be away from A towards B.)

Pull-Up

image imageOften the building of 3D solids leads to some not so pretty and poorly constructed shapes, partly due to ‘accidentally’ cutting tabs off and mostly due to poor fine motor skills. I recently read Liz Meenan’s article for the Association of Teachers of Mathematics, who had experienced the same and in her article she talks about pull-up nets.

The nets are constructed pretty much as usual, however there are no tabs but instead small holes in strategically
placed corners. A thread is then looped through these holes in order, pull on the thread to pull-up your 3D shape.

Check out the full ATM article by Liz Meenan here.

imageNet Profit- add some challenge to the pull-up cube activity with this nRich task.

The diagram shows the net of a cube. Which edge meets the edge X when the net is folded to form the cube? More questions and solutions here.

Pop-Up

20121024-224955.jpg

I absolutely love making the pop-up Spider for a Halloween activity. The pop-up spider is a dodecahedron painted black. Check out our blog post here for this and other Halloween maths ideas.IMG00133-20111104-1331

Alternatively, get pupils to construct equilateral triangles using a compass, therefore create the net for this pop-up octahedron. Check out our post ‘A lesson off-never’ here for further details.

n-Rich Dodecamagic

dodecamagic

Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron which is a solid made up of pentagonal faces.  Using twenty of the numbers from 1 to 25, each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. The number F is the number of faces of the solid. Can you find all the missing numbers?

You might like to make a dodecahedron (pop up or not) and write the numbers at the vertices.

Check out the n-Rich task here.

n-Rich Magic Octahedron

imageIn a Magic Octahedron, the four numbers on the faces that meet at a vertex add up to make the same total for every vertex. If the letters F,G,H,J and K are replaced with the numbers 2,4,6,7 and 8, in some order, to make a Magic octahedron, what is the value of G+J? Click here for the website and access to solutions.

Build-Up (Virtually) with Building Houses

This can be used on the interactive whiteboard to build with ‘virtual’ cubic cubes by pupils or teacher. The shape can be rotated to consider different views (side/front elevation etc). Check out the website here. Colleen Young has a great blog on the use of this app, check it out here.

Thank you for reading NumberLoving! Get in touch @numberloving and follow our Facebook NumberLoving Page

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Spooktacular Colour by Numbers

30 Oct

Colour by number is a well known childhood activity and in most cases requires no maths other than number recognition.

paint by number completepaint by number blank

 

 

 

 

 

Take for example this Halloween Scarecrow picture, which I have completed online using the Color It by Numbers website here. As you can see each number represents a particular colour and once finished the image is more defined.

To add difficulty to this activity each number can be replaced by a question with that numerical answer. For example this pumpkin colour by number requires students to solve the equations to find the value of x. Each answer is then one of the five colours. This worksheet can be downloaded from Education.com, which is a free account based website.

I am still not satisfied that there is enough challenge for all pupils, in which case I use a blank template such as this bat picture below taken from Coloritbynumber.com here, and ask pupils to create their own question with the correct numerical values for which ever topic is most relevant. blank bat

You could ask pupils to create a set of questions limited by topic area for example; BIDMAS, solving equations, area, perimeter, evaluating formulae, alternatively pupils could create it based on a number of topics recently studied. Their work (when checked) could then be given an a starter of homework activity for another class.

Other Halloween Activities we Love

Relay Races

halloween relayWe love relay races as a great team and review activity, check out our blog post here about how to run a relay race. A collection of relay races for all occasions, not just Halloween, can be downloaded from here made by Chris Smith @AAP03102.

Skeleton Rotational Symmetry

ghouls

Check out our post on making some Halloween decorations using rotational symmetry here.

Witches Brew

witches brew

Check out our blog here.

Thank you for reading NumberLoving!

Sharon and Laura

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

 

Volume with Mario and Luigi

30 Oct

angry2One of our most popular blog posts to date has been “Nets to catch Angry Birds” (view here) in which these computer game characters are constructed into 3D shapes using nets. Leading to investigations about area, volume, surface area and scale factors and some great display work.

In our pursuit to continue to “Pimp Our Displays” as described in an earlier post here, I wanted to do something different to Angry Birds. I’ll admit I am not an avid game player at all but even I know Minecraft is big and very ‘blocky’ in its nature, so I went searching and it really didn’t take long, here is what I found. First I came across this TES resource, which includes the net of a Minecraft zombie and creeper, this was uploaded by Daniohara.

minecraft_steveSome further research and I found FPS-X-Games.com blog by Steven Bear and his printable resources on his post “Minecraft Mob” here. His post includes nets to build Steve the Minecraft character, shown on the left. Nets to make the Creeper, the Pig, the Zombie and the Spider.

Barking Dog also provides printable nets for the Minecraft materials such as sand, dirt, stone and grass, check it out here. And check out a Minecraft Fan Club page here with more printable nets.

I was still not satisfied, I continued to think about how I could bring the classwork into a great display and bingo I thought Mario! Mario is timeless, everyone knows Mario, Luigi, those blocks and that tune!

Wow check out this site Deviant Art and Taringa.net from here I downloaded the resources ready for the Mario class and display work. So the plan is to print these in full colour, pupils can then construct, consolidating their learning about surface area. I will then make a Mario 3D display, by having at least two separate rows of 3D mystery blocks and 3D versions of Mario, Luigi and the other characters. I will then get the pupils to do the calculations of volume or surface area alongside the display!

Check these out nets;

mario_bros___cubeecraft___papercraft_by_marcokobashigawa-d6z2mps cube mariomushroom
yoshi_cubeecraft_by_riffshepete-d7kw0vb
peach_by_hollowkingking-d7xroaw
luigi_mario_bros___cubeecraft___papercraft_by_marcokobashigawa-d6z2luxSo what if Mario is not your thing, just image search “Cubecraft Cartoons” and if there is a cartoon character you can think of I bet it is there!

Thanks for reading NumberLoving, we hope you find the ideas useful! Get in touch @numberloving and check out our free and premium resources in our TES NumberLoving Store.

Christmas Christmaths Collection 2014

14 Dec

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!

Christmas Mysteries

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 elvesHow 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!

White Christmas
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.

Graphing

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

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Buzzing about my new buzzers!

23 Nov

buzzer3
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.

81zxyVnDnwL._SL1500_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! Get in touch @numberloving and check out our free and premium resources in our TES NumberLoving Store.

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