Now that Autumn term is done or nearly for most in the UK, I just wanted to mention Christmas crackers, read all the way to the end!
I wouldn’t have thought, all those years ago as a child, when first pulling crackers with my family at the Christmas table that I would be putting some of their contents to excellent use as a Maths teacher. Often their contents is as quickly discarded as the ‘left over crackers’ and yet many of them have use in the classroom. So encourage your friends and family to save those crackers contents for you and here’s how I put some of the most common contents to good use…
The Screwdriver and pencils
Yes these are both keepers, absolutely perfect for construction lessons. The screwdriver is perfect for fixing and tightening the legs on a pair of compasses (put one in each classroom set of compasses)! Constant issue when completing constructions with pupils, they need to ensure not only that they have a sharp pencil that is kissing the point of the compass but also that the legs of the compass are tight.
The Tape Measure Lots of uses for the tape measure such as estimating and measuring objects within or outside the classroom. One of my favourite uses is for pupil loci, as described in our post Teaching Loci.
The Plastic Jumping Frog– Data collection activities with the following question to investigate; “How far will the frog jump?”.
The Magic Calculator Sometimes called the mystery calculation. I’ve collected over 16 of these over the years and can now use in algebra lessons! At first I just put them in my end of term puzzle box.Check out our post here for more on a class puzzle box. Your best ever investment; A puzzle box
Check out Maths Ed Idea’s blog here explaining the binary process behind some of these calculators.
The Bad Jokes
I am always looking for a good bad joke tell to my students or to include in my worksheet resources such as my collect a joke resource like this Christmas themed Collect a Joke worksheet which pupils need to be able to find the nth term of linear sequences and as a result collect the punchline to the joke; “Why isn’t every man in a red suit with a beard Father Christmas”? Check this resource out here Christmas Maths Sequences Collect a Joke Worksheet Activity.
The jokes within the Christmas crackers, although not often with a mathematical edge (these are my favourite kind of jokes), they are most often family friendly jokes that can be used in the classroom. Check out my previous post Joking around in Maths? Collect a Joke! in which I describe these resources and their uses in more detail.
The Playing Cards So many uses from tricks such as these described in our post Magic Maths or the classic probability “higher of lower”, too many to list but grab those cards and keep them.
Thank you for reading this far! Here is a little Christmas Cracker for you, follow this link below for a free download of our most popular revision foldable usually £3…this link will be free just today, that is until midnight tonight Friday the 18th so download and save (checkout of free resources doesn’t require bank details)!
How will you celebrate Pi day in your classroom? Pi day lands on a Saturday this year 2020 but we plan to celebrate a day early on Friday March 13th. Here are some ideas including a free download from NumberLoving.
Beauty of Pi Use this video below to demonstrate the beauty of Pi or download the app by Fraser McKay and Chris Smith from their PiWire site here to explore Pi and other numbers visually.
One Million Digits of Pi Display as a list here or a rap video by AsapScience for just the first 100 digits in the video below.
Pi Day Dingbats These are great for form time; say what you see! Download this PowerPoint presentation shared by Lloyd here.
Pi Day Puzzle Free Download Two different puzzle styles, one is a straight forward pi-doku based on Sudoku but only using the digits 314 and the second is a reasoning puzzle similar to GCSE area/percentage question with no dimensions.
A quick blog to share free set of pie chart resources, require no-prep printable downloads, that we produced when NumberLoving joined up with LittleStreams in collaboration.
The worksheets produced by Littlestreams help introduce how to calculate angles in order to construct Pie Charts. Once pupils are able to construct, you can move them into completing the NumberLoving Treasure Hunt. This requires pupils to interpret pie charts; finding amounts from pie chart sectors and includes questions like those included in Higher EdExcel and AQA GCSE 9-1 Maths papers.
The two resources can be downloaded for free using the links below;
Just a quick post to share a Maths Teacher hack for protractors!
Lots of pupils don’t own protractors and so very often I found setting homework that included angles particularly GCSE Maths exam papers that most often include bearings/pie chart to be completed at home difficult. So our hack is to print or photocopy protractors on to tracing paper or if you have it hidden in the depth of the stock cupboard, print onto OHP (Overhead projector transparencies)!
Download this page of A4 protractors ready to print.
You will need A4 tracing paper and patience with your photocopier, even better ask your reprographics department to do it. Warning when photocopying onto tracing paper the photocopier might not like it too much and chew up some of the pages, it’s best to feed one page at a time. Even better if you have any OHP (Overhead projector) transparencies, print onto these.
Once printed you can then give each pupil a tracing paper protractor to use at home without breaking the budget.
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.
Ask Mathematical Questions
Is there a pattern?
Can you predict what is next?
What is your hypothesis?
What’s the same? What’s different?
Scrabble your Key words
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.
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’ Naming Parts of a circle foldable in action, available here. As you can see it has been printed on bright paper (use same colour for formula, same colour for rules etc), they can be glued into class or notebooks or revision posters.
Pupils could be encouraged to glue their revision foldables on to a poster, alongside the simple revision idea of attaching an envelope to the poster to hold any flash cards created by pupils, providing another on the spot testing or interactive element to the revision.
I’m always adding to my foldable bundle, check it out here or click the image below.
This is a premium bundle of 14 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.