One of our most popular blog posts to date has been “Nets to catch Angry Birds” (view here) in which these computer game characters are constructed into 3D shapes using nets. Leading to investigations about area, volume, surface area and scale factors and some great display work.
In our pursuit to continue to “Pimp Our Displays” as described in an earlier post here, I wanted to do something different to Angry Birds. I’ll admit I am not an avid game player at all but even I know Minecraft is big and very ‘blocky’ in its nature, so I went searching and it really didn’t take long, here is what I found. First I came across this TES resource, which includes the net of a Minecraft zombie and creeper, this was uploaded by Daniohara.
Some further research and I found FPS-X-Games.com blog by Steven Bear and his printable resources on his post “Minecraft Mob” here. His post includes nets to build Steve the Minecraft character, shown on the left. Nets to make the Creeper, the Pig, the Zombie and the Spider.
Barking Dog also provides printable nets for the Minecraft materials such as sand, dirt, stone and grass, check it out here. And check out a Minecraft Fan Club page here with more printable nets.
I was still not satisfied, I continued to think about how I could bring the classwork into a great display and bingo I thought Mario! Mario is timeless, everyone knows Mario, Luigi, those blocks and that tune!
Wow check out this site Deviant Art and Taringa.net from here I downloaded the resources ready for the Mario class and display work. So the plan is to print these in full colour, pupils can then construct, consolidating their learning about surface area. I will then make a Mario 3D display, by having at least two separate rows of 3D mystery blocks and 3D versions of Mario, Luigi and the other characters. I will then get the pupils to do the calculations of volume or surface area alongside the display!
Check these out nets;
So what if Mario is not your thing, just image search “Cubecraft Cartoons” and if there is a cartoon character you can think of I bet it is there!
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Bringing ‘Old School’ into new school
So every store cupboard has them, the yellow ‘old school’ construction equipment.
Bring this old school equipment back to life by allowing pupils to graffiti the carpet with maths! I couldn’t think of more beautiful art work.
Pupils can construct bisectors, triangles, regular polygons, angles, using the equipment and some chalk (easily brushes off). Alternatively this can be done in the playground.
Not only do pupils enjoy this but it actually helps pupils who struggle with their fine motor skills.
The uses of chalk are endless; completing a venn diagram on the floor, drawing 2D shapes and labelling as much as they can (equal lengths, parallel sides). Write the answer 5, ask the pupils to come up with as many questions as they can that equal 5. Basically using chalk will hook pupils into doing anything you would do with pen and paper!
If you try it I would love to hear how it goes. Good luck! Get in touch @numberloving
I use these ‘free’ paper rulers from that famous furniture store we know to teach shape and space, in particular loci.
There are many ways you can structure the lesson using the rulers. Here is a brief description of how I have used them when teaching loci.
Having cleared a space in the middle of the classroom, pupils are given a paper ruler and told they need to position themselves with the following rules. For example “You must be 2m away from the wall with the windows” or “You must be 3m away from the chair in the middle of the room”. In addition, pupils can position them selves around a line (I use a broom handle) to produce the race track shape. Or given multiple rules around the room. For example must be at least 3m away from the chair in the middle but 2m from the back wall. Positions were pupils are stood can be drawn on with chalk or just discussed as a group.
If you have limited space pupils can be asked to place a counter, or some marker (do you have enough teddy bears? I managed to get enough together and created a teddy bears picnic with one class!).
Great way to introduce the topic, or as a hands on plenary.
Good luck and let me know if you give it a try!