Friday, 31 August 2012

Some more foldables

From year 7, Angles and Shapes topic:

And some types of triangle - sorry for the bad photos!

Friday, 24 August 2012


Actually my colleague Michael's lesson, but he generously allowed me to blog about it, because I thought it was a great and cute idea. I'm retelling it as closely as I can to the way he told it.

"There's plenty of fish in the ocean. But how many?"

"Here's the ocean. You can tell because it has fish in it. And a sea monster. Who is willing to brave the sea monster and go fishing?"

"You got a fish!" A yellow counter is removed. "What kind of fish is it? It must be a goldfish!" More yellow counters are removed. "They're all goldfish!".

"We've removed 20 fish. Now we are going to tag them." Twenty removed yellow counters are replaced with red counters. And returned to the ocean.

The ocean is shaken around for a bit.

Now the fish are recaptured in different sized samples and the results of tagged-untagged recorded. These are used to estimate the number of fish in the total population (a number unknown even to the teacher).

Then, since our ocean is only a small ocean, the real number can be found and compared to these values, and we can start asking the interesting questions. Which was the closest estimate? How did sample size in the recapture change the estimates? How accurate is capture-recapture?

I'm pretty sure now that all spare cardboard boxes should become monsters of some kind.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Some foldables

I've had a pdf about different foldables to use in Maths for a really long time, waiting in a large "To Do" pile, and recent blog and Pinterest readings have inspired me further. So I've had a go at it a few times. Here is the only one I have a picture of so far:

I put the index law name and question type on the front then the rule inside with an example, so they can work like flashcards. I love seeing the students go back and check these as we do questions.

Explaining where to write everything was probably the hardest part!

This one is by a student who rarely does their work, but asked me to keep this in my folder for them because they didn't have their book that day and thought it would get ruined in their bag. So that was a nice bonus! Hopefully she brings her book sometime and actually glues it in!

There will be lots more to come when I collect some books and take some more photos.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Not-really-Frayer Models

I was introduced at a Professional Learning day to the Frayer Model. I got my year 10 students to do it for Congruent and Similar Triangles one day when I was away, so I don't know how successful that was.

Then on Pinterest I saw some great examples with a "Number of the Day" in the centre and different information about the number around the outside. I really liked them. No longer a Frayer Model, I don't know what to call it, possibly a concept map?

I've been using some variations with different classes. I'll have to mark some books in order to get some photos, but here is one from Extension 1 (a student's work) and one from Extension 2 (me jotting down some answers to check theirs as they go):

I've really enjoyed this idea with the seniors. They seemed keen too, and I think when I teach Extension 2 next year I will regularly use this type of this to keep previous topics fresh in their minds as we move on and review prerequisite knowledge at the start of new topics.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Vote for Batman

Last week I took nominations for new characters for my wall and today we had the voting. My year 7 class were the only ones who even noticed the nominations sheet and contributed to it, but year 9 got VERY excited about the voting, demanded that Batman be added and a fierce "vote for Batman" campaign was pursued for the few minutes of voting time. All classes during the voting came up with other ideas and this just shows that I will end up making DOZENS of characters and covering my whole wall with them. But for now, the winner was a Dalek, closely followed by Yoda. A significant step up in complexity from my previous choices!! But awesome. The kids were very keen to have maths tips in Yoda-speak, so I will probably do two.

Some Olympics

My year 9s are beginning data, and I thought we might try to find some graphs about the Olympics to interpret, so I googled "Olympics graphs" and came up with some fun things.

Olympic Records - Match graphs of Olympic records over time to the sport they represent. They suggested giving the list of sports as a "possible support" but I think that I would do that for all but the best classes. My year 9s tried this today and needed a lot of support on top of that. Still I think for those that did engage it was interesting and it enabled us to talk about measurement units and data trends. It would be a really cool activity with a higher-achieving class.

Graph the Olympics - A great idea for Olympics lead-up time especially, so a bit late for us, and again one best suited to a higher-achieving class or higher-year class. Lots of deep understanding possible in deciding how to best make predictions, which data to use, which measures to use etc. If I'm teaching in another 4 years, I'll try to remember this!

Olympic Logic Problems - Actually there are a lot of links here (in fact it's largely a list of the resources at, including to the Olympic Records activity above, but the ones I like best are the logic problem ones. I'm setting some for year 7s weekend homework menu this weekend.

And for a bit of a laugh, here are some graphs:
(although the comments make a point, the Venn diagram is off)

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Paper Recycling Monster

Students! Stop throwing worksheets, scrap paper, and your tests you did badly on into my garbage bin!

I decided it was about time I had a paper recycling system for my room. I need to stand by what I believe and demonstrate these ideals to my students. Inspired by some cute stuff on Pinterest, I decided my system should be a monster. Here is how I did mine:

We use a lot of paper, and usually use the box lids to collect exam papers together, while the rest of the box is used less often. Then some paper, black marker, tape (and/or staples) and scissors.

 Cut the side part-way down.

Then fold them over to create an angle for the mouth and tape down or staple. I stapled the first one I did and some staples held while other didn't. This one I used just tape.


 Then cut out some triangles to give some teeth.

Cut some eyes out of paper and draw some pupils. Cut tabs on the bottom.

Turn the tabs in opposite directions and tape down.

Monster! This one is going to hold our student absence sheets in the staffroom.