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Crackers About Maths Teacher Hack- Part 2
December 18, 2020

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)!

Christmas Flash Freebie: Describing_Transformations_Foldable

Merry Christmas from all @NumberLoving

 

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Sharon Derbyshire

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