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 resource site here. 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.
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.
Free web-based graphing software and much much more. Download to your desktop now here, offline installation also available.
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 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 “Hammer Beads & Symmetry”, where we use these beads to create symmetrical patterns. Use as an end of topic activity or great for open evenings.
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.
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 TES NumberLoving Store.
It is most likely that you have heard of Tarsia, the free jigsaw/domino/follow me creating software from hermitech laboratory (download the program here). If you haven’t yet, you really must and fortunately for all of us many teachers have contributed their tarsia puzzles to Mr Barton’s great website where a whole bundle organised by strand can be downloaded. As well as the collections on the TES collated by Mr Barton again, link here.
Things didn’t know; pictures, uses in other subjects, add anagrams etc
Making Use of the Edges
When inputting your questions and answers using the tabs 1-18 you will notice underneath the d1, d2 etc (see below). Anything you input here will appear on the edge of the completed tarsia puzzle!
So what could you put here? Questions of which puzzles answer on the paper they’ve stuck the completed puzzle onto. Letters, one on each edge which make a word, or ask pupils to name a mathematical word beginning with each letter. You could put answers there and ask pupils to come up with questions with that answer.
Mr Barton’s site gives further ideas on the uses of these edges and other features.
Simplify!No this is not the popular TV programme the cube, but the idea is the same. In the Output and solution tab you have the options of the size of the triangles (large to normal) or the number of triangles (simplify). For example choosing simplify in the hexagonal puzzle will reduce the puzzle to the inner 6 triangles that make the smaller hexagonal puzzle.
I just didn’t know you could insert photos till recently! On the input bar just go to edit> insert image, then locate the image on your computer and it will insert it into the puzzle/jigsaw. This is great for graphs, such as straight line graphs, reading values from a conversion graph, identifying the median from a box plot. The only glitch is that on the transfer of the tarsia to another computer, you will need to reinsert the photos. I have gotten round this by zooming out on the input screen, taking a snap shot of that (using print screen), pasting this into word. Once in word, crop and resize to fill the page. Do this with each output page and of course the solution, save as word and convert to adobe. This can then be shared easily with colleagues. Although using this method some of the resolution maybe lost!
****UPDATE ****Print to Adobe
Printing to adobe will save a pdf version of your tarsia
If you have used this software in another way please share! Check out numberloving’s co-author Laura Rees Hughes’ Tarsia collection on both the TES and Mr Barton’s website. Good work Laura!
Try these numberloving favourites!
I was first introduced to Sudoku as a NQT ten years ago and found this puzzle right up my street. I am sure many of you know how to complete a Sudoku puzzle, this article concentrates on puzzles beyond the basic Sudoku. For beginners click here for hints and tips on the classic puzzle.
So what happens when you breeze through [most] sudoku challenges found in newspapers and magazines alike? Or you maybe simply looking for a new logic challenge! Well I recommend the samurai Sudoku. As you can see this joins five classic sudoku to get your brains really working.
Click here for a daily samurai Sudoku, or tap into its archives and puzzles can be printed (myself I prefer to print as a break from the computer). Or there are many books like The Times Samurai Su Doku available through online bookstores.
Way beyond the classic Sudoku is Kuboku a 3D Sudoku cube game created by Creaceed this app, available for £1.49 (at time of publishing). The video below gives a demonstration of Kuboku, don’t forget you get extra Kuboku points if you can complete it faster. You will be interested to know there is no sound in the game, unlike the video!
For a 3D Sudoku in 2D try this flip pad, also known as Tredoku. Tredoku keeps to the same rules as classic Sudoku with the added dimensions or corners which need to be considered whilst completing. Some printable Tredoku available here.
Also don’t forget killer Sudoku, in this game not only do the digits 1-9 have to be placed in the same way as classic Sudoku but you are only given guidance on the total of groups of numbers. Therefore knowing combinations of digits for a given total is helpful. This is an example of one online playing site, there are many available. I use that particular site as its archives are easy to navigate.
New to myself, and frustratingly yet to fully master is the greater than and less than Sudoku, as shown on the right. Again the ultimate goal of placing digits 1 to 9 are the same, however the only hints you are given are the inequalities < or >. I found A day in the Life‘s blog helpful and need to dedicate time to completing one of these over the Christmas break. Play online here, or some print and play here.
The Bermuda Triangle Sudoku game, is a nice twist, with triangle placement of the digits 1-9 as well as colour coordination. Luckily the sound can be muted once the game has begun by clicking on the word sound in the top left corner.
Many of these variations named above are available online, or as a downloadable app for those with a smartphone and on the move. Here is a list of recommended websites for Sudoku. If you have an favourites to add to the list please your comment, authors of Numberloving are always looking for a new puzzle challenge!
Numberloving does not endorse any product or site, we merely blogging about our favourites. There are of course other sites/books/sellers to get these services.