Sunday, 10 June 2012

More Decoration

I used to have a "Maths tip of the day" on the wall but I didn't change it enough, so that title needed to change. Then somewhere out of staffroom brainstorming came the idea of Donald (in the style of his appearance in Mathmagic land) speaking the tip. Then it could be changed as irregularly as I liked, and could also include inspirational quotes. A year 10 student enlarged the picture for me and I painted it at home, then with the help of Dry Erase Cloud Decals, he was created:
Once the idea was started, it had to go further, of course. So Stitch joined him:
And now my classroom looks even more awesome :)

Thursday, 7 June 2012


The add to 10 and 100 grids came from Counting On, originally, and I use them in my Peer Numeracy roll call. In add to 10 you cross off pairs of numbers that total 10 (anywhere on the grid) and at the end there will be one number left - the solution to that grid. In add to 100 you circle pairs or sets of three numbers (adjacent this time) that total exactly 100.

Other versions I've made include complementary and supplementary angles, and equivalent fractions.

I like these grid activities when I want something more puzzle-like, but still easy and still in-your-seat for groups that struggle with less-structured or more complicated games.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


This is a great site. I personally like the older version rather than the demo of the new one, but both are good. They are a great fun way to introduce data. I love the idea of actually visualising the connection between your original data (which is more than just some numbers) and the graph that forms.

It forms a good basis for discussing the pros and cons of different types of graph, and therefore when you might choose each graph to display your information. And as all good students know, the important thing is to get AS MANY AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN and make their eyes follow your mouse around.


I love bingo. It seems to me that students do more drill questions playing bingo than they are willing to do in any other format, and don't care in the slightest that all they are doing is repetitive drill questions.

I know that as a classroom activity it is not exactly Quality Teaching, there is no deep conceptual understanding or exploration or critical thinking, but I like to think of it as a more engaging alternative to textbook work. I don't care for textbooks, especially in the junior years.

I used excel to randomly generate sheets, which means answers will sometimes be repeated. Usually I let them cross off multiples all at once, since I won't ask two questions with the same answer.

I generally write one question at a time and then every 10 or so go through the answers with the class so they can check if they missed any and to discuss method as we solve them. In some classes kids shout out a lot so this works well. With others I have found it works better to write up a few questions at a time then wander around helping people during the time everyone takes to find the answers. Obviously it depends how hard the questions are too.

All of my Bingo files are in this folder, and it contains the following items:

I've also used other versions where I've just given the students a range of values to choose from and had them draw their own grid. It's much easier as long as the values are simple (e.g. numbers from -10 to 10) and avoids repetitions. I've also given them a number plane to draw some points on and rolled two dice to randomly generate points.