Monday, 3 December 2012

Day 9: Christmas Codes

Another one of Michael's recent teaching activities. Rather than just giving out notes or reminders, he's been encoding them using dingbat fonts and getting the students to work them out.

The first time you do this with a class, it's good to give them the first line or at least a word or two to get them started. After that, talk about the common letters and words that are most likely to appear, or look at double letters, so they can start working them out for themselves. The more you do this activity, the better at it they will get.

There's lots of great free fonts out there for this, although some cool ones don't have the whole alphabet, or don't include numbers. I tend to look at dafont and I used Xmas Dings for this one.

Use it to encode wordy definitions at the start of a topic, or a summary at the end (this is a good one because they should have some idea of what words will appear). Or for reminders about what to bring to class, what topics will be studied this term, or class rules.

Get students to write their own summary of a topic and encode it and swap with another student to crack the code. Or give pairs of students a topic each from the whole year to summarise, encode, then give out a copy of each to the whole class.

Since it's Mathsmas, make a series of encoded clues to solve a greater puzzle and give a prize for the first to piece all the clues together.

Need a clue? The title is Triangles.

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