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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.

Take a bet…

10 May

Clearly gambling is not something which we should be promoting in Maths, but allowing students the opportunity to gamble opens up the chance to discuss the moral, social and financial implications in a real way. When teaching probability as an end of unit project (in pairs) I ask students to create a game, this is an idea which I adapted from this resource on the TES.  I usually start the lesson by giving an example of a game for them to think about – powerpoint here. Then they have to design their own and make sure the odds are in their favour, they have to work out the probability of winning and losing, think about pricing and prizes and from this work out their expected profit if 10 or 100 people play. This can be easily differentiated through outcome and I have done it with low ability year 7 up to top set year 9 by just adapting the success criteria.

 

Once they have had a lesson to design their game, make any resources and do all the maths you need to get your hands on some plastic money. Each team gets £10 (their games should cost between 0-£2 to play) and the students set up their games like a fair, they have the opportunity to go around playing one another’s games. Once ten people have played their game they should ‘shut down’ their stall. After this, get students to count their money and see whether they made the expected profit they calculated the previous lesson. You can then have a great discussion about why they didn’t make their expected profit (experiments differ from theory) and whether they still have their original £10 and how this relates to gambling in real life – e.g. the house always wins!

This is a fun project but also a great opportunity to assess and explore lots of elements of probability. If you like this idea you may also like this resource on the TES which is brilliant and includes several games for students to investigate before making their own.

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

Puppets go the distance with speed & time

2 Mar

When teaching speed, distance, time graphs your pupils understanding of the graph can be demonstrated by asking them to create a story with the puppets to match a given distance time graph. Easily differentiated by giving pupils different graphs and different conditions e.g. one group must comment on the speed at some point in their story and another include the time spent in each location.

A pack of ten animal finger puppets, and ten people finger puppets are available from ikea (here and here) for £3.99 a pack. There are many hand puppets on line and depending on your budget and your favourite characters the sky is the limit.

Alternatively you may wish to give pupils the story and ask them to draw out the distance time graph. In this video below ask pupils to draw the distance time graph for George’s outing on his bike. This video is particularly good for challenging the misconception that the steepness of the graph represents travelling up hill.

Off course there are many clips on you tube that you can choose to suit your audience.

This football distance time graph online activity uses football video clips and joins this activity with multiple choice questions. This is great for any age but in particular older students. Some of the clips are dated, alternatively start a real debate and use clips from recent matches. As the clips play you can ask the pupils to draw the distance time graph on mini white boards or present them with a choice of three graphs. It is handy to choose a clip in which the player turns around and travels back the way they came.

Also take a look at this standards unit, available through the Stem Centre website here. I really like the idea of matching the graphs to the different descriptions. For a complete lesson plan and resources check out this resource from sbinning available on the TES. This has been adapted from another resource, giving questions about the graphs.

Hope you enjoy the ideas here! Thank you to all our readers, we welcome all feedback. Get in touch @numberloving and check out our free and premium resources in our TES NumberLoving Store.

Do or Die with dice!

31 Jan

Essential classroom equipment; a set of dice, and ideally large sponge die. They’re in the store cupboard they just need digging out.

Donkey Derby

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.

This horse race notebook was contributed to TES resources by Moog, it includes interactive dice.

Nasty

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.

I use this Nasty template simple grid to keep track of each team.

Roll your question

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).

Pupil selector

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.

Make 24

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.

Probability Experiment

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.

Die-Multiply

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 Sparkle

Add a bit of fun with these giant foam dice available from most suppliers and from Bright Ideas website.

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

Rock, Paper, Scissors and Tree Diagrams

26 Jan

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”.

Resources; Probability Tree Diagrams Here is the power point kindly shared by my colleague Lee Gould, (authored by CBillet) to collect the results and put them into a simple independent tree diagram.

Just for fun; Check out this online game where you play against the computer.

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 TES NumberLoving store for free and premium resources!!

 

Post-it addict?

20 Jan

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 elses 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.

Peer assessment

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.

Afl strategies

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.

Secret questions

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 TES NumberLoving store for free and premium resources!!

Speed Dating with Data Collection

19 Jan

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.

Set Up

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.

Resources

Here are some tally tables ready for printing;

For general data collection; tallychart collection

For conducting pupil voice survey; Student voice speed date

Mood Setting

It wouldn’t be speed data collection without the right atmosphere, here are some of my favourites;

Get in touch @numberloving and visit our TES NumberLoving store for free and premium resources!!

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