Translation Today!

24 Mar

move it move itA quick post about one of the four transformations- Translation!


Play Girls Aloud’s song “I can’t speak french” or “I like to move it” from Madagascar as pupils enter the classroom. Or turn it into a quick game of name the lesson topic instead of name that song.

Translation Mystery

Pupils use the clue cards to plot two shapes and translate them both twice, labeling each vertex and disciphering the code. This mystery consists of two different difficulty levels (easy and hard). The easy cue cards describes each translation using words and pupils can plot the shapes on a 1-1 coordinate grid. The hard version requires pupils understand translations given as vectors.  Download the resource for free; easy level here or more challenging here.

Tweet us @numberloving we’d love to hear how you hook your pupils in!

Easter Mathematical Treasure Trove

22 Mar

easter-collect-a-joke-previewAnother Easter resource we would like to share!

This collect a joke resource requires pupils to perform increasingly difficult addition and subtraction of fractions. Watch out for the red herrings! Download it from here!

Check out our other blogs for Easter ideas!

An Eggciting Eggstravanganza of Resources

From practicing proportion with an Easter cake recipe to making origami rabbits, lots of ideas here to try.

A Lesson Off Never

In this blog we show you how to make pop shapes, use yellow card to make pop up chicks.

How did the resource work for you? Tweet us @numberloving

New GCSE – what’s the problem?

12 Mar

The new GCSE is causing a lot of teachers I know some sleepless nights! The thing which worries me is not so much the new content but the style of the exam papers. The specimen and practice papers published so far are much less routine and less accessible than the current specification. Again, this isn’t really an issue in itself, it’s that we haven’t been given adequate time, information or resources to prepare ourselves and our students for this change.

The main challenge I’m facing with my students is developing their resilience as well as the tools in their problem solving arsenal. I’m a great believer in the simplest solution being the best one and so to tackle my concerns I’m simply trying to expose my pupils to as many different problems as frequently as possible.

Here are some of the things I’m using;

These short problems from nrich make great starters across ages and abilities. They can also be used by tutors during form time if you don’t already have a numeracy programme. There’s a good deal of variety in terms of style of problem and difficulty.

This free problem solving booklet from La Salle comes with teacher notes, I’m using problems from it as homework tasks for years 7 and 8 but it could easily be linked into your SOW for use in lessons.

The premium bundles from NumberLoving are developed specifically with the new GCSE in mind. I frequently use the always, sometimes, never resources and the mysteries, these are both great ways to develop resilience and independent thinking.

When students are working on problem solving tasks I have a rule that they can’t ask questions for 5 minutes (you can get some good timers here). I’ve found this really helps them to start thinking for themselves and exploring different options. I also have a list of strategies on the wall in my room which can sometimes help them get started (see below).

Problem solving strategies

  • Draw a diagram or picture
  • Make a model
  • Try to spot any patterns
  • Can you solve an easier problem (make the numbers easier)
  • Write what you know on the diagram
  • Can you form a right angled triangle
  • Try a number and see if it works (trial and improvement)
  • Make a list or a table
  • Don’t obsess over what you’ve been asked for, focus on what you know and what you can work out
  • Can you express anything using algebra
  • What topic is this assessing, think about what you know on this topic

Hopefully if I keep at it my students will become more confident and independent mathematicians with a good chance of succeeding at the new GCSE. I’d really like to hear other ideas and resources people are using, tweet me @numberloving

Pimp Your Displays

25 Oct

Hello Readers!

Its been a while since we’ve blogged, we promise it’s for a good reason as we work behind the scenes on the next phase for NumberLoving which we can’t wait to share!! Watch this space!

In the meantime, I want to talk about ‘pimping’ those display! This year one of our focuses is displays, in and out of the classroom. We want to not only update them but reinvigorate them, move away from the dull, unnegiotable displays that have existed for years, to exciting and moveable, easily updated and useful displays!! This year we are rotating department time around the maths classrooms, each teacher hosts; setting up tables, providing a puzzle and putting the kettle! The department then decide on 2 stars and a wish for the room! I got this idea from Mr Jon Colebrook @ColebrookJon at the SSAT London Achievement Show 2015, so simple but effective as everyone takes pride in their classroom and the learning environment they provide!

Celebrating Pupil Work

Great Work Hangs Out Here












Check out my newest display, eagerly awaiting great work! The pegs make this one of the most versatile displays for celebrating pupils work. I’ve used it to peg Y12 A Level maths work up after marking a homework assessment. Also great during the lesson to peg examples of excellent answers!

I also love ‘This work is Incredible’ with Hulk presiding over the work shared by @HeadofEnglish here! Another example using pegs for interchangeable displays!

Variations on this could be an ‘In the Spotlight” display using paper that looks like stage spotlight and a “Wall of Fame”.

How do you measure up?measure2

This display is perfect for the classroom or communal areas to encourage numeracy conversations as well as give pupils more experience of estimating heights. Using a printed ruler (or Ikea paper rulers), pinned at the correct height. Update regularly with the heights and pictures of the latest A-Z list celebrities.

BIDMAS/Countdown Corner

Simple idea, give pupils a target and they have to use the operations to make the target number just like the game show.

Alternatively create a countdown corner. Great for starters, or on-going challenges.

How to Learn Mathsimage

I found this great resource on the TES website here, by Complex_Number. I agree completely that we have to encourage pupils to recognise mistakes as learning opportunities! I printed two copies on two different colours to create two displays for different classrooms by mixing up the colours! Here is one of the displays

Area Perimeter Door


Simply use the classroom  door to remind pupils of the difference between area and perimeter.


Using pre-cut lettering alongside a door or a window to provide this visual of the key terminology.


Suduko Challenge

imageInteractive display, I let pupils complete the suduko. By using PVC electrical tape I have created a damage free display on a painted wall. The tape peels away leaving no marks. You can see the black velcro tabs, these are placed on top of the yellow tape, i.e. damage free walls and a great activity.

The pouch at the bottom holds the remaining cards and a book of suduko’s of varying challenge.

This display is total versatile because it is essential a 9 by 9 grid. Therefore it can also be used when teaching place value, multiplying and dividing by powers of ten, translations, enlargements, coordinates and so much more!

Mathematics Around the World

Create a display by asking pupils to create a Facebook profile for famous mathematicians from around the world and use string to show their country. Thank you to Mrs Walters for this awesome display!

Instant Display Work

barchartPost-it notes and window crayons, rolls of back paper, magic whiteboard and any surface can become a display area.

We have blogged about window crayons before, check out our blog here.

Magic whiteboard, wallpaper rolls also great to create instant display of pupils’ work.


So many great bunting ideas to choose from JustMaths have blogged here about A-Z keyword bunting here. Or Miss Radders discusses how to make bunting from old maths text books here. Also MissBResource’s has an awesome collection of display resources including shape and formulae (by Mr Collins) bunting here.

imageAlternatively make your own like Mr Saunder’s specially requested ‘Maths is Boss’ bunting.

Literacy in Maths Displays

Mrs Rojas shares how she has created her boggle display here and includes free printables. This is my next project which is ideal for the maths classroom too!

Pupils have to make words using the letters on display, award double points for mathematical words. Increase the difficulty by adding the rule that the letters must ‘connect’, vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Using sticky back Velcro again allows the alphabet cards to be changed on a daily basis!image

Key Action Words

In every maths classroom, all the key action words. These are referred to on a daily basis.

Corridor Displays

Elements of Maths: From the awesome Just Maths team find their elements of maths display and resources here. Great for classroom or department display.

Room Numbers: Pimp your room numbers, instead of 5 use operations that give an answer of 5.

Celebration Wall: Celebrate success in using Wall of Fame, in the spotlight!

NumberLoving’s Display Shopping List

Pegs– essential to make your displays interchangeable.

Pre-cut lettering– Widely available on the internet, or if your DT has a laser cutter get them to cut some out! How have I not known about this until now?!

Velcro tabs– these provide another way of keeping your displays adaptable (Suduko or Boggle). Remember stick these on top of PVC electrical tape to avoid damage to walls.

Velcro Wall- Use felt to create a velcro wall, a great idea shared at the recent school Learning Fair by Miss Austin.

Laminator– Essential, means you can keep display for re-use in a year or two or in another classroom.

String or Ribbon– for bunting or clothes line (see great work hangs out here)

Sticky Back Plastic– reinvigorate old filing cabinets or book shelves!

Window Crayons- instant display as pupils complete questions on glass

Thank you for reading NumberLoving!

Tweet us @numberloving

Four Pictures One Maths Word

17 Mar

Inspired by Reflective Maths blog here and Mr Collins post here I got my thinking cap on and came up with the following maths versions of the latest craze!


All of these can be downloaded for free, get it here; 4pictures1word

It would be great to hear your thoughts or suggestions on improving the four pictures and/or sharing your ideas!

Tweet us @numberloving

Numeracy Coordinator – Making the role count!

13 Nov

The Numeracy Across the Curriculum (NAC) role hit the big time in 2001, following Ofsted’s primary numeracy evaluation all secondary schools were expected to hold a whole school NAC launch. At the time the role was introduced and many teachers will remember having whole school training and establishment of a school calculation policy in which all staff would multiply in the same way etc. School policies were drawn up and unfortunately for some schools numeracy stopped there. Whilst other schools developed projects ensuring numeracy truly was across the curriculum.

The role has (or should have) changed and evolved in terms of its purpose and aims for the academic year. If it hasn’t changed in your school it needs to, I hope this post will give some ideas of how to make a big impact. Don’t miss section 4, which for me was the start of revolutionising the role within my school.
1) Getting the Job Itself!

Is it an enviable job? Probably not, as it’s limitless possibilities can make the role daunting at first. For myself, once settled in, the lack of rules or limits allowed me to experiment, raise the profile of numeracy and the mathematics department, and hopefully inspire all those around me to love numbers the way I do!

Job specification from Norfolk county council and Riding’s school job description both detail the need for high communication skills.

2) Getting Started; Some useful Numeracy documents

It is important to determine the numeracy needs of your school in order to begin making a whole school impact. In order to do this I would recommend departments are asked to audit/detail when and how they include numeracy within their subjects. This could be done using this Numeracy Audit for departments and to determine staff training needs this could be used E3_numeracy_checklist.

I found Leicestershire County Council’s Numeracy Across the Curriculum, Key Stage 3 and 4 booklet most useful when starting in the role of numeracy coordinator. This is guidance of how to establish the role of numeracy coordinator, including adaptable policies and in particular ideas of how to raise the profile of mathematics. For me this was most important as I felt the role needed a shake up, and its impact needed to change the opinions of colleagues whom for many did not see the need for a numeracy coordinator role. Luckily they do now! Other policies such as St Alban’s Numeracy policy can be downloaded here, The Friary School policy is also available, as is Hazelwick’s policy.

Leistershire County Council’s Calculations Policy can be downloaded and adapted to suit your school’s needs.

The Mathszone website has a wealth of resources that could help in preparing to deliver inset to your school, as a source of ideas which you can then develop to be suitable for your school and its numeracy needs, in addition a How To booklet to be downloaded.

3) Spread the word; Get other departments involved

It is important that numeracy is detailed in schemes of work, however this was needed 10 years ago. For my school it was important to update new schemes but more important than this is to ensure that numeracy was not just an add on. Departments need support and guidance to ensure they provide opportunities for numeracy learning and not just numeracy content.

Suffolk Maths Team have developed a useful wesbite which has downloadable resources and ideas of how numeracy can be delivered in other subject areas.

Maths Across the Curriculum– three easy projects to introduce ideas linking numeracy within PE and story time.

Here are two lists of how departments may link numeracy within their subject area. Maths Across The Curriculum and Numeracy in subjects.

Golden ratio in art is a one lesson project the art department and I developed to follow the completion of face portraits to see if pupils faces are following the golden ratio.

4) Raising the profile;

It is vital to use the role as numeracy coordinator to raise the profile of mathematics around the school and the community.

What better then to see both pupils and teachers using numeracy skills during break time! Getting pupils interested in numeracy is easy by setting challenges and puzzles around the school. Some puzzles were put on the flat screen TVs around school, however engagement was not huge. I wondered if the pupils had become desensitised to technology, so introduced the use of magic whiteboard as seen on Dragon’s den, this static write on material was great for use on the glass stairs. Alternatively use the glass pens as discussed in the previouspost “Who wants Clean Windows”. Here are my ideas;

a) How many steps in the school? This had a great impact as we moved into our new Building School’s for the future (BSF) building which resembles a cube, pupils were encouraged to investigate their new school environment. Watching pupils climbing up and down the stairs in atrium counting was the pleasant reminder of how mathematical inquisitive people naturally are.

b) How many rectangles in the school ceiling? As you can see the schools building is made up of many rectangles, what else could be counted in your school? You could ask what is the total of the classroom room numbers.

c) How many seconds left of 2010? This would need updating to 2011 and a start time given, this was a great one for the school newsletter.

d) How do you measure up? I placed these measuring tapes and heights of famous people around the school with a poster asking “How do you measure up?” . Pupils were measuring themselves, comparing to their favourite celebrity as well as each other.

e) Distances here to… Around school I placed distances from the school to key wonders and places of the world. the measurements were given in both metric and imperial.

f) Playground Fun Introduce hop scotch, paint a chess board and bring mathematics back to the playground. I thought this would only appeal to key stage 3 pupils, however I was proven wrong when year 10 students are regularly taking part in a good old game of hop scotch.

5) Numeracy Day’s and Events

NSPCC world number day, This year the NSPCC’s World Number Day will be on Friday the 2nd of December. On this day your school can fundraise and join in the NSPCC world’s biggest Maths lesson. Registration is free, and once you have registered all the fundraising material can be downloaded ready to use.

World Maths Day from Mathletics will be on March the 2012, registration is free and pupils compete in 60sec games against players from around the world. Register now and book those computer rooms or laptop trolleys.

Four Nations Math Challenge from Mathletics, thank you to Colleen Young’s blog for drawing my attention to this Four Nations event happening this month on the 17th to 18th of November.

NGfL National Numeracy Strategy Resources

5) Form time,

Both literacy and numeracy are delivered during our 25minute form times. Here are some of the resources used to deliver numeracy to year 11. 1 Y11 Intro 2 Handy Maths 3 Long multiplication 4 Division 5 Maths Command Words Guide

If you like these materials and would like a complete set of materials please follow and leave a comment saying so.

Numeracy Reading Books there are many books available with a mathematical theme for example Sir Cumference: And the Great Knight of Angleland and here is a list of maths_related_books. These can form a numeracy book boxes for reading time during year 7 registration or available in the school library.

I really hope I have given you some ideas for the numeracy role to make it stand out from the crowd, please follow for updates and leave comments of what worked for you.

Thank you all followers for making Number Loving a success!

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