Tag Archives: maths teaching

Best Buy!

29 Feb

Like a lot of teachers I spend a fair amount on things to support my teaching. For example, the smelly stickers from PTS are a favourite of mine for using as rewards. However, without a doubt the best buy I’ve made so far is my Hue HD webcam. This may seem expensive at £39.90, but considering I use it every day it has paid for itself time and time again!

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It’s basically a webcam, but it has a weighted base and an adjustable arm so it works really well as a visualizer. You install the software (this takes a couple of minutes) and then simply plug in via the USB connector. I use this on a daily basis and it really is brilliant! Here are some ways I use it:

  • Pick a student at the end of the lesson and display their work. Get the class to assess it and feedback. This is an instant plenary, it exposes misconceptions, promotes discussion, encourages good presentation and much more!
  • As an extension get a student to write an exam question on the topic you’ve been doing. Then just put their question under the webcam and you’ve got your plenary sorted.
  • Display an exit ticket from the previous lesson and get students to find the mistake as a starter.
  • Display students’ exam responses and get pupils to mark them.
  • Use after marking books to showcase really good work or a mistake lots have made.
  • Use when teaching constructions (or measuring angles etc.) so pupils can physically see you doing it.
  • Use to display a nice question in a book which you only have 1 copy of.

The webcam also has a little button on the top which takes a picture, so you can save their work, tweet it, email it to a parent – whatever you fancy!

I’d be really interested to hear about your best buy – tweet me @laurareeshughes

 

 

New Number Loving!

2 Feb

Number Loving has been on a bit of a break lately, we needed a bit of time away to concentrate on our day jobs to be honest! But we’ve been really busy recently upgrading the website and developing lots of lovely new resources. Here are a few highlights to ease us back in. There’ll be lots more to come in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

Constructions PictionaryCapture

This is a really fun lesson when teaching triangle constructions, my students love it and it really gets them talking (and thinking) about what they’re doing. Simply print off the page one copy between two and cut the triangles out so each pair of pupils will have 9 triangles. Students take it in turns to pick a triangle from their pile, they then have to describe to their partner how to construct it without showing their partner the picture. The idea is that their partner accurately constructs the triangle in their book. The students then swap over so the other one is drawing. Their team are finished when they have constructed all 9 triangles between them. This activity will really encourage students to use mathematical vocabulary and will improve their communication and literacy skills!

Negative Numbers Always Sometimes Never

This is a brilliant activity for getting students to really think about negative numbers and attack their misconceptions head on. I’ve had great feedback on these activities as they promote independent thinking, reasoning, literacy and problem solving. This activity is a free sample from one of our premium bundles so it comes will full instructions, answers and support and extension. Have a look – if you like it the bundle is only £3 for another 10 activities.

Surds Discovery Lesson

A great way to introduce surds and encourage students to use their understanding of algebraic expressions to make sense of them. Print pages 1&2 double sided and pages 3&4 double sided, then display page 5 on the board. Give pupils either pages 1&2 or 3&4, tell them to read it, make notes in their books, then answer the associated questions on the board. After 10 minutes, get them to swap their sheets so they have the other pair of pages. After 20 minutes they should have taught themselves the basics on surds whilst you’ve put your feet up and have a well deserved cup of tea! I would complete the lesson with a little look at simplifying surds, then get them to revisit their answers to page 5 and simplify anything they can.

Sine Rule Target Table

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A new favourite of mine are target tables, super easy to use, really engaging for pupils and already differentiated! These are so simple and effective they can be used regularly in lessons (also no printing required – give the copier a rest!). Basically pupils answer the questions but they have to achieve a target set by you and each question is given a different number of points depending on difficulty. Have a look at our target table for the Sine Rule to get the idea, this is a free sample from one of our bundles so it has full instructions, answers and ideas for extension. If you like it we have lots more of these on the site and two premium bundles brimming with them!

Easter Mathematical Mysteries

16 Mar

Last year we blogged about some of our favourite resources to use at Easter time (read the blog post here) a lot of these resources, and others on the web, are aimed at KS2 or lower ability KS3 students. So this time around I have designed three mysteries aimed specifically at secondary students, all can be downloaded for free on our resource site numberloving.co.uk.

In the first mystery students have to use the clues to determine which chocolate shop the Easter bunny should buy his Easter eggs from. They have to work systematically to find all the possible combinations of eggs, then calculate the price of each option.

In the second mystery students have to use coordinates, straight line graphs and number types to find the six eggs which have been hidden in the coordinate grid.

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Finally in the last resource students have to work out whether Benny makes any profit from selling hot cross buns at a market.

These could be used with KS3 and KS4 students and could each span a whole lesson depending on how you get students to approach them. Instructions and ideas for support and extension are given within each resource, the solutions are also given at the end. If you like these resources you can download our mysteries bundle which contains ten different mysteries covering a variety of topic areas.

Mathematical Whodunit?

30 Sep

Halloween is such a fun time of year and it’s great to try and bring some of that excitement into your classroom, I’ve never found a really good Halloween themed resource so at Number-Loving we set about trying to make some!

To kick things off we have a Mathematical Whodunit, this is born out of my love (and unbeaten record) of the board game Cluedo (To download go to numberloving.co.uk and click on ‘featured resources’).

The setting is the hotel ‘Spooksville’, the victim is the elusive ‘Mr Black’ and there are six suspects.

The idea is that students work in groups of 5-7, each assuming the identity of one of the characters. They each get a character card which gives them answers to three questions. On their turn they can ask a fellow player one of these question. There’s also a pool of general evidence for students to look at to help them in determining who the murderer is.

The task is quite complex so depending on the class you may need to structure it for them – e.g. tell them for the first 10 minutes they have to find out about the crime itself, then for the next ten they have to find out who had a motive, then who had the means and finally who had opportunity. But if your class are quite used to mysteries and open tasks then you can probably just leave them to it! The Maths is mostly functional and includes:

  • Interpreting time in 12 hour and 24 hour
  • Maps and scales
  • Speed, distance and time
  • Reading timetables and mileage charts
  • Reading bank statements
  • Applying logic and working methodically

In the resource I have summarised a few alternative ways to play – one idea being to get members of the department dressed up as the characters and play the game at an open evening or collapsed timetable day.

I haven’t used this with a class yet – I’m going to save it for my last lesson before Halloween, if anyone does use it I’d love to hear how it goes. You can tweet us @laurareeshughes and @numberloving. We will be adding more Halloween themed resources to our ‘featured resources’ on numberloving.co.uk so keep checking back if you like it!

Mathematical Taboo!

17 Sep

We have been a bit quiet on the blog since the Summer but we’re now back with lots in store for the new academic year!

To kick things off how about a game of taboo? Taboo is a really simple, fun and occasionally frustrating game where you have to describe a word to your partner without using the three ‘taboo’ words. These are an amazing way of consolidating key words and concepts as well as promoting communication and team work!

Instructions 

This works well if students work in fours and  split into two teams of two. Team one have say, two minutes to get through as many words as they can with one member describing and one person guessing. Whilst this is happening team two are timing them and keeping a close eye on the ‘taboo’ words to make sure they are not used. Once the time is up the teams swap over.

In the style of many of our resources these cards are differentiated. Each set comes with 8 green and 8 red cards. The words are taken from the key vocabulary in the national strategy, the red cards are words from year 7 and 8, the green cards are words from year 9. Students could split the cards into two piles and pick which one to play with or you could direct them, I often suggest they get 2 points for a green word and 1 point for a red word. So far we have 6 sets on Number Loving covering key topics.

Variations on the game

Once a word has been guessed additional points can be gained by guessing what the ‘taboo’ words are on the card

Students get blank versions and make their own with the key words from a specific topic or unit

How to download

We have just introduced a ‘featured resource’ section to the Number Loving resource site. Using this we will highlight our new or favourite resources. These taboo cards are currently downloadable from this part of our website – just click on the graphic. Next month we will be featuring all our Halloween resources – some old and some new so keep an eye out!

Summer Projects

29 Jul

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.

Get Making

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.


Top Trumps

Print and laminate a few sets of top trumps, a wide range is available on our resource site http://www.numberloving.co.uk. Each set is differentiated red (easy), amber and green. We have found they last longer if cut out and then laminated. Well worth it!

Check out our post “Maths Top Trumps & Other Games”, with details of how pupils can play the game and links to all top trump resources.

Download

Tarsia Software

Tarsia jigsaw and dominoes software is great and as many colleagues have shared their jigsaws on the TES resource site or here on Mr Barton’s site, if you haven’t yet made use of it now is the time!

Check out our post “Tarsia puzzles- things you didn’t know” for more ideas on how to use the software to its full potential.

Geogebra

Free webbased graphing software and much much more. Download to your desktop now here, offline installation also available.

Prezi Desktop

The zooming presentation software. Check out our post “Get onto Prezi.com. Present & Collaborate”, with links to some of our own presentations. Ideal software for wowing everyone at the September inset day!

Sign up for

Wallwisher

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 Postcards

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.

 

Buy:

Hammer beads

These can be bought from most toy stores, we found Ikea’s to be a bargain at £5 see here. Check out our post “Hammer Beads & Symmetry”, where we use these beads to create symmetrical patterns. Use as an end of topic activity or great for open evenings.

Finger Puppets

Another investment from Ikea, a pack of 10 for £4, check out here. Check out our post “Puppets go the distance with speed & time” , here we describe using the puppets to create stories to match a given distance/time graph.

Rulers (& pencils)

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.

Window crayons

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!

Rewards

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.

Geek glasses

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!

Number loving out and about

21 Jul

Thanks to @steelemaths @ThisisLiamM, @InteractMaths, @jonsmcest and @jlc1602 for kindly sharing some pictures of their students using our ideas and resources. Number Loving out and about…

Balloon modelling with fractions from our maths party blog

Cocktails using ratio and proportion from our crazy cocktails blog

Jubilee themed mysteries from our jubilee blog



 Home-made dance mats from our dance maths blog

Calculator racing from @numberloving on twitter

A brilliant mystery inspired by our post Mystery and Mathematics

 (download the full resource on the TES here)

Thank you to everyone who’s tried our ideas, if you have any pictures we would love to see them, tweet us @laurareeshughes and @numberloving. Keep posted as we’ll shortly be blogging about some projects to keep you busy this summer!

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