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.
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.
In this post I have pulled together lots of different ways of studying 3D shapes, with my new favourite ‘Pull-Up’ shapes. For each activity I have linked it to my favourite nRich tasks, check out their collection here.
Fold-Up for the Notebook
This great idea from Pinterest, means pupils can have this 3D shape in their class books but it still folds flat! I believe this idea originally came from Hooty’s Homeroom blog, check out their website here for full instructions.
n-Rich Pyramid N-gon
The base of a pyramid has n edges. In terms of n, what is the difference between the number of edges of the pyramid and the number of faces? Check out this nRich task here.
Construct and Hang-Up
Using toothpicks or wooden skewers as edges and midget gems or marshmallows as vertices most 3D shapes can be built. These make great 3D shapes for display but also useful for when exploring trigonometry and Pythagoras’ Theorem in 3D. Midget gems will go hard and therefore will withstand the test of time on the classroom windowsill. Check out our blog post Sweets, cocktails sticks and 3D shapes
NRich Cube Paths Puzzle
Use tooth picks and midget gems to constructa skeletal view of a 2 by 2 by 2 cube with one route ‘down’ the cube.
How many routes are there on the surface of the cube from A to B?
(No `backtracking’ allowed, i.e. each move must be away from A towards B.)
Often the building of 3D solids leads to some not so pretty and poorly constructed shapes, partly due to ‘accidentally’ cutting tabs off and mostly due to poor fine motor skills. I recently read Liz Meenan’s article for the Association of Teachers of Mathematics, who had experienced the same and in her article she talks about pull-up nets.
The nets are constructed pretty much as usual, however there are no tabs but instead small holes in strategically
placed corners. A thread is then looped through these holes in order, pull on the thread to pull-up your 3D shape.
Check out the full ATM article by Liz Meenan here.
Net Profit- add some challenge to the pull-up cube activity with this nRich task.
The diagram shows the net of a cube. Which edge meets the edge X when the net is folded to form the cube? More questions and solutions here.
I absolutely love making the pop-up Spider for a Halloween activity. The pop-up spider is a dodecahedron painted black. Check out our blog post here for this and other Halloween maths ideas.
Alternatively, get pupils to construct equilateral triangles using a compass, therefore create the net for this pop-up octahedron. Check out our post ‘A lesson off-never’ here for further details.
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron which is a solid made up of pentagonal faces. Using twenty of the numbers from 1 to 25, each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. The number F is the number of faces of the solid. Can you find all the missing numbers?
You might like to make a dodecahedron (pop up or not) and write the numbers at the vertices.
In a Magic Octahedron, the four numbers on the faces that meet at a vertex add up to make the same total for every vertex. If the letters F,G,H,J and K are replaced with the numbers 2,4,6,7 and 8, in some order, to make a Magic octahedron, what is the value of G+J? Click here for the website and access to solutions.
Build-Up (Virtually) with Building Houses
This can be used on the interactive whiteboard to build with ‘virtual’ cubic cubes by pupils or teacher. The shape can be rotated to consider different views (side/front elevation etc). Check out the website here. Colleen Young has a great blog on the use of this app, check it out here.
Summer is here and now we can get stuck into those projects requiring a little more time. Here we have listed a wide range of projects that will keep you busy over the summer holidays.
Maths Dance Mats
Make a class set for use on any topic with numerical answers. Check out our post “Dance Maths” for details on making the mats and resources to use with the mats are also available.
Instant Pie Charts
These have so many uses from the teaching of pie charts itself to its use in group tasks to rate participation rates of individuals, to measuring a pupils understanding. Easily made using four different colours of paper, and slotted together. Check out our post “Instant Graphs” for further details on making and using the pie chart wheels, as well as free resources to make and use with the wheels.
How do you Measure Up? Display
Make or update your height measuring display in your classroom, and why not post around the school in communal areas and even the staff room. Update with winners from the Olympics, or today’s favourite celebrities.
Check out our post “Pimp your classroom” for our free tape measure and other ideas to jazz up your classroom for September.
Print and laminate a few sets of top trumps, a wide range is available on our TES shop. Each set is differentiated red (easy), amber and green. We have found they last longer if cut out and then laminated. Well worth it!
Wallwisher can be used as your very own internet based notice board, use effectively with class investigations. As pupils complete investigations they post their findings onto the wall. Sign up for this free posting wall here. Check out our post “Computer room lessons sorted- no mymaths required” for more online tools we recommend.
Nrich offer a service to provide postcards for free, each postcard includes a puzzle to solve, just sign up here stating how many of each you would like to receive. These are great for leaving in communal areas around the school, or use as praise postcards home. BP trading game
Access and download the free BP educational resource, game is available at two levels of difficulty. Pupils trade in oil, making decisions based on news updates. Check out our post “BP Trading Game- Enterprise/STEM/Maths”, here you will find our adapted resources to use with the game.
These can be bought from most toy stores, we found Ikea’s to be a bargain at £5 see here. Check out our post “Hama Beads & Symmetry”, where we use these beads to create symmetrical patterns. Use as an end of topic activity or great for open evenings.
Whilst at Ikea take advantage of their free rulers and grab yourself a set. Check out our post “Teaching Loci”, here we describe guiding pupils under given rules of loci and a paper ruler to create locus of points.
We love using our windows for displays, puzzles, assessment for learning and found window crayons to be the best tools for the job. Check out our post “Who wants clean windows” for further details, get creative!
Avoid sweet treats and instead reward pupils with mathematical based puzzle such as these Rubik cube key rings. Check out our post “On our best Behaviour” for other ideas for rewards.
Essential for when you promote pupils to be experts, either they finish and become markers or are already designated as examiners with a given mark scheme (or self created markscheme). I use cinema 3D glasses with the lenses popped out, also great for control pupil movement in class when running a treasure hunt with a lively group. Pupils can only be out of their seat if they have the glasses on, limiting movement as each group only have one pair of glasses.
Clock for classroom
Every classroom needs one, a mathematical clock like this equation clock. There are also a number of variations available. Check out our post “Equation clocks and more”.
Post It Notes
Well worth the investment, reasonably priced from most stationary stores. Check out our post “Post-it Addict” jam packed of different uses for post-it notes in lessons!
For more ideas check out our posts on Outdoor Learning and see if these fit into your department calendar.
Have a great summer! Get in touch @numberloving and check out our free and premium resources in our NumberLoving Store.
As a teenager and an avid fan of CSI I desperately wanted to be a Criminologist, this was until I stumbled across Euler’s Formula and everything changed (for the better of course)! But that love of mystery has stayed with me and inspired me to attempt to bring it into the classroom.
One set of CSI resources are now available as a collection on the TES, these contain five pieces of context based evidence which students have to analyse and interpret in order to eliminate suspects. I get the students to work in pairs or threes and they have to present their findings at the end of the lesson. My students love doing these and they are good for getting students to apply their maths in a new setting.
Whilst the above resources are good for the end of a topic or end of term another way to bring in some mystery is through activities like this Coordinates_Mystery. You can adapt these mysteries to suit any topic, simply write a set of clues which reveal properties about your chosen subject. Again students can work in pairs and discuss their approaches, building up their ability to problem solve in this way stands them in good stead for their GCSE’s under the new spec.
Alternatively whieldon has shared some great ‘mini mysteries’ on the TES which ask students to work out several different questions in order to reveal details about a murder. These are brilliant at any stage of a lesson and there are some seasonal themed ones too!
I also recommend this resource shared on the TES by pixel. It is designed for primary but I have used it up to Year 11. There are a set of clues and six suspects, students have to organise and analyse the clues to eliminate the suspects. The clues are themed around speed, distance and time. Inspired by this resource check out this mystery which is based on scale, bearings, loci and constructions.
We would love to hear from anyone with any other ways they bring mystery into Mathematics. Get in touch @numberloving and visit our NumberLoving store for free and premium resources