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.
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 instructions.
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 Store.
**UPDATED with Table of Values section below and mixed to improper conversion
Efficient Calculator Use
The need for pupils to be comfortable and confident with their calculator by the end of their KS4/GCSE studies is not new, but the new 9-1 specification has brought to my attention some new methods (not necessarily functions) that would benefit pupils in being able to perform using and navigating their calculators efficiently. As we follow the AQA 8300 specification many of this appear repeatedly in the practice papers. You might also be interested in our blog Can you Pay my Bills? 9-1 GCSE blog post, which looks at the bank statements, invoices and pay calculations as seen in the AQA practice papers. Any of the calculator methods described are not to replace understanding or written methods, in fact they are based on a mastery of techniques, particularly when considering remainders.
The new 9-1 specification AQA calculator papers include questions such as this calculation below. When performed correctly this would result in an improper fraction and pupils would be required to change to a mixed number.
I couldn’t understand why so many of my students were getting this wrong. So I asked a pupil to show me how they were entering this in the calculator and it turned out the problem was entering mixed numbers! The pupils were using the primary fraction button (red arrow) and using the ‘back’ button to insert the whole part before the fraction! The calculator would then interpret this as whole multiplied by the fraction part!!! When in fact they need to use the secondary function (green arrow) in order to insert the mixed number correctly.
These questions will give answers as an improper fraction and pupils may need to convert to mixed numbers (depending on the question requirements). Using the S>D function would give the whole part; instead use the shift button to activate the mixed to improper (orange arrow to left).
Although I have shown pupils this function in the past I have been reluctant to push it’s use because pupils need to complete prime factor decomposition for the non-calculator paper. However, increasingly expressing a product as its prime factors or finding the HCF/LCM is present on the new 9-1 calculator papers. To use this function, input the number for example 225, enter, then shift “FACT” and the calculator will express as a product of it’s primes. This was Q 24 from paper 2 of the foundation AQA practice set 3 which required pupils to express 225 as a product of it’s prime factors, this is awarded two marks. Pupils will save time if they use this function and that time can be used to complete the HCF/LCM part of the question.
This function can also help with questions requiring pupils to identify larger prime numbers as seen in Q3 of the Foundation AQA practice set 4, paper 3. If it is a prime number for e.g 97, after using the FACT function 97 would be displayed; therefore it is prime.
Table of Values
I had totally forgotten about this function, thankfully my Twitter colleagues @MrCarterMaths and @Mathematical_A reminded me!
Select mode (green arrow) which will give the four options seen on the display. Select option 3 : TABLE. You are then prompted by f(x) to enter the function, enter the function using the ALPHA key and the bracket key with the X (red arrows). Ensure pupils check carefully that they have entered this correctly. You are then prompted with “START?” followed by “END?”, both referring to the range of values of X in the table, e.g. from -2 to 5 (remember to us (-) for minus two), press enter after each. The final prompt is “STEPS?”, i.e. what is X going up in (most often one). Then a table of values is given in a vertical format. @Mathematical_A has mentioned that the new FX991EX has dual tables!!
Here is one of the treasure hunt cards requiring remainder to be found, again this was originally poorly answered by my pupils despite it being on one of the calculator papers. This style of question is seen in the AQA foundation practice papers, for example Q12 from paper 3 of set 3.
Below is the method we show pupils to tackle this efficiently; this slide is taken from our Walking Talking Mock.
Scientific calculators can be used to set a number of decimal places (using shift>set up>6. Fix), however this is not something that I choose to show pupils; they should be able to round correctly and there’s too much of chance they don’t change it back! So instead it is good ‘exam technique’ to insist pupils write down the whole answer and then round as required. Again a slide from our walking talking mock on the left demonstrates these calculator paper tips.
To help refine pupils calculator paper skills we have produced some resources for use with a scientific calculator and knowledge of skills such as Pythagoras’ Theorem, Trigonometry etc. Therefore this resource is best used once you’re confident pupils have the range of skills on the topics listed below.
9-1 Calculator Use Resources
The first new resource is our 9-1 Efficient Calculator Use Treasure Hunt activity differentiated to two levels; amber and green. The amber level covers the following topics; finding remainders, calculating with fractions, improper to mixed, area of fraction of circle, product of primes, Pythagoras, Rounding. The green level covers Trigonometry, remainders, compound interest, density, rounding, area of sector, scales, conversions, using formula. Each of these require pupils to round correctly i.e. decimal places or significant figures.
Check out our Treasure Hunt blog post for different ways to use treasure hunt activities in the classroom and beyond.
The second resource is our 9-1 Efficient Calculator Use Worksheets which includes two worksheets to complement the first resource to make a full lesson or use as homework. Worksheet 1 covers six topics (powers/roots, place value, remainders, primes, fractions and percentages). Worksheet 2 covers three overall topics but each progresses in challenge (use of formula, right angled triangles i.e. Pythagoras’ theorem and trigonometry, circles (arcs/sectors).
A 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.
Pupils use the clue cards to plot two shapes and translate them both twice, labeling each vertex and dis-ciphering 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 full resource and solutions from our store here.