Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Classroom decoration updates and open-ended questions

I made a wall decal! Actually, I made a fabric first, then a decal. Spoonflower is awesome. I wish I could wallpaper my classroom, then I would make loads of awesome maths wallpapers. But this will have to do. Inspired by the pencil creature from Donald-in-Mathmagic-Land.

Our faculty recently bought some books on open-ended questions in Maths and I've been using the ideas a lot teaching measurement to year 7. My favourite activities so far involve perimeter and area of letters.

The first one begins by showing a letter drawn on cm grid paper. Telling the kids that the diagonal is approximately 1.4cm, we work out the perimeter of the letter. Then the challenge - write your name on cm grid paper with a perimeter between 98cm and 102cm. This was awfully fun.

It was great to have a project that involved a bit of planning, but lots of checking, trial-and-error, and editing. And looks cool on the wall!

I did one too. As you can see, I'm not shy about working out, unlike a lot of the kids!

Then we looked at area. We tried to make letters with an area of ten square centimetres.

I haven't been posting much, but this weekend I'm starting something special for the end of school year! It's going to be fun.


  1. Fun class! They do look cool on the wall, and it's good to have such tangible experience when trying learn a concept like this. Love your work, Tanith! :)

    1. Thanks. You can tell I've enjoyed it too when there's so much of my work in the mix!!

  2. What grade level would be able to do this?

    1. I think it depends more on whether they are comfortable with open-ended problems already. This exercise was with 11-13 year olds, but they were a very confident class. I did it again with a group of 15-16 year olds who struggled with it.

      I would attempt the area exercise with even younger kids because there are no decimals but the perimeter is probably the harder task.