A quick blog to share free set of pie chart resources, require no-prep printable downloads, that we produced when NumberLoving joined up with LittleStreams in collaboration.

The worksheets produced by Littlestreams help introduce how to calculate angles in order to construct Pie Charts. Once pupils are able to construct, you can move them into completing the NumberLoving Treasure Hunt. This requires pupils to interpret pie charts; finding amounts from pie chart sectors and includes questions like those included in Higher EdExcel and AQA GCSE 9-1 Maths papers.

The two resources can be downloaded for free using the links below;

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.

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!

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!

Effective use of department time, this is a daunting task for a newly appointed head of department! So like most when I first took this responsibility I made sharing good practice (SGP) a permanent agenda item as one way of continuous professional development. However, I soon realised that this wasn’t meeting the needs of professional development for the team, all of which were at different stages of their career. The sharing good practice item too often had become one member of the department “sharing a resource” they have used or ‘found’ recently. For many reasons I decided to keep the format of SGP (rota basis throughout the department). So instead of replacing it, I added other activities to department meetings that I felt actually resulted in discussions of good practice in terms of the teaching of Mathematics. In this post I describe three tried and tested strategies for keeping the objective of deeper understanding at the forefront of your departments’ planning and preparation.

First: Why the importance in the Teaching of Mathematics One of the key message from “Mathematics: made to measure” (read it here) is our responsibility to enable all pupils to develop a conceptual understanding of the mathematics they learn, its structures and relationships and fluent recall of mathematical knowledge and skills in order to equip them to solve familiar problems as well as tackle creatively the more complex and unfamiliar ones that lie ahead. The Ofsted 2012 descriptors found on page 30 of this summary of Mathematics’ reports (another good read) are certainly still relevant when discussing teaching approaches with your department. One element for outstanding quality of teaching is; “Teaching is rooted in the development of all pupils’ conceptual understanding of important concepts and progression within the lesson and over time. It enables pupils to make connections between topics and see the ‘big picture’”.

The Bigger Picture

This is a simple concept in which you ask the department to work in pairs during department time, to consider particular topics/skills on three different levels.
1. Method; what is the method, the skill in its most basic form? Are there any generalisations (known by some as rules grrr)?
2. Understanding; How do you teach for understanding? How do you lead the pupils to make their own generalisations?
3. The bigger picture; What are the applications? Are there any links to other topics?

This really is a great for unpicking your departments’ approaches to individual topics in detail. Often revealing gaps in staff knowledge and understanding (particularly NQT/RQT’s), and can even reveal if staff have been oblivious using and teaching tricks just because they were taught that way. How many of your department now how to conceptually explain the division of a fraction by a fraction. This NumberLoving resource, download for free from here, includes a number of examples such as operating with indices,operating with fractions, standard form and a blank grid (probably the most useful) which you can adapt to suit any topic coming up in your scheme of work.

How do you teach yours? This second approach requires some forward planning, and forethought from your department members. Prior to the meeting give each member of the department a “How do you teach yours” sheet on the topic you will be discussing. Here is an example of what this might look like for the topics of multiplication and division.

As you can see the department members are asked to complete each indicating how they would teach the pupils, prior to the meeting. Once at the meeting methods, approaches are discussed and debated. This naturally leads to an agreement of what is the best way to teach for understanding. Once agreed on the best approach this can be documented as shown in the example on the right.

This department activity could easily be adapted for any subject area. I have provided three examples of “How do you teach yours” to help get you started. Download it for free here.

Department Reading This can be done with any text or report which you feel will aid discussion. With a pre-determined focus direct the department towards the book/report, or even better provide a paper copy in their tray. Department should read this in preparation for the meeting.

Nix the tricks As described on the website this book is “filled with alternatives to the shortcuts so prevalent in mathematics education and explains exactly why the tricks are so bad for understanding math”. I would highly recommend providing each member of your department with this book. This makes for both a great discussion point and a handy resource for alternative methods. I have also found it useful as a point of referral when during work samples I have observed potential teaching of tricks and not of understanding. This book can be purchased online or downloaded as a pdf for free from the Nix the Tricks website here.

I hope this has provided some ideas of how to promote continuous professional development rooted around the effective teaching of mathematics!

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