How will you celebrate Pi day in your classroom? Pi day lands on a Saturday this year 2020 but we plan to celebrate a day early on Friday March 13th. Here are some ideas including a free download from NumberLoving.
Beauty of Pi Use this video below to demonstrate the beauty of Pi or download the app by Fraser McKay and Chris Smith from their PiWire site here to explore Pi and other numbers visually.
One Million Digits of Pi Display as a list here or a rap video by AsapScience for just the first 100 digits in the video below.
Pi Day Dingbats These are great for form time; say what you see! Download this PowerPoint presentation shared by Lloyd here.
Pi Day Puzzle Free Download Two different puzzle styles, one is a straight forward pi-doku based on Sudoku but only using the digits 314 and the second is a reasoning puzzle similar to GCSE area/percentage question with no dimensions.
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 similar to those included in Higher EdExcel and AQA GCSE Maths papers.
The two resources can be downloaded for free using the links below;
Just a quick post to share a Maths Teacher hack for protractors!
Lots of pupils don’t own protractors and so very often I found setting homework that included angles particularly GCSE Maths exam papers that most often include bearings/pie chart to be completed at home difficult. So our hack is to print or photocopy protractors on to tracing paper or if you have it hidden in the depth of the stock cupboard, print onto OHP (Overhead projector transparencies)!
Download this page of A4 protractors ready to print.
You will need A4 tracing paper and patience with your photocopier, even better ask your reprographics department to do it. Warning when photocopying onto tracing paper the photocopier might not like it too much and chew up some of the pages, it’s best to feed one page at a time. Even better if you have any OHP (Overhead projector) transparencies, print onto these.
Once printed you can then give each pupil a tracing paper protractor to use at home without breaking the budget.
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.
Here you can see a foldable on a revision poster next to the simple revision idea of attaching an envelope to hold any flash cards created by pupils, another on the spot testing or interactive element to the revision.
I’m always adding to my foldable bundle on the TES, check it out here or click the image below to access this resource via TPT.
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.
The new GCSE continues to cause a lot of teachers I know some sleepless nights! The thing which worries me is not so much the new content but the style of the exam papers. It is clear via the specimen and four set of practice papers published so far that they are much less routine and less accessible than the current specification. Again, this isn’t really an issue in itself, I welcome the challenge and problem solving, I just hope I have been able to provide my students with the skills they need.
The main challenge I’m facing with my students is developing their resilience as well as the tools in their problem solving arsenal. I’m a great believer in the simplest solution being the best one and so to tackle my concerns I’m simply trying to expose my pupils to as many different problems as frequently as possible. Above is a picture of how students can “Plan for QWC” using this window overlay. The aim of the overlay is to help pupils breakdown the complexity of the problems; not always useful but has been for most students in the beginning.
Here are just some of the resources I’m using;
AQA have released a set of 90 maths problem solving resources, download from here.
These short problems from nrich make great starters across ages and abilities. They can also be used by tutors during form time if you don’t already have a numeracy programme. There’s a good deal of variety in terms of style of problem and difficulty.
This free problem solving booklet from La Salle comes with teacher notes, I’m using problems from it as homework tasks for years 7 and 8 but it could easily be linked into your SOW for use in lessons.
The premium bundles from NumberLoving are developed specifically with the new GCSE in mind. The mysteries in particular help to develop resilience and thinking skills.
When students are working on problem solving tasks I have a rule that they can’t ask questions for 5 minutes (you can get some good timers here). I’ve found this really helps them to start thinking for themselves and exploring different options. I also have a list of strategies on the wall in my room which can sometimes help them get started (see below).
Problem solving strategies
Draw a diagram or picture
Make a model
Try to spot any patterns
Can you solve an easier problem (make the numbers easier)
Write what you know on the diagram
Can you form a right angled triangle?
Try a number and see if it works (trial and improvement)
Make a list or a table
Don’t obsess over what you’ve been asked for, focus on what you know and what you can work out
Can you express anything using algebra?
What topic is this assessing, think about what you know on this topic
Hopefully if I keep at it my students will become more confident and independent mathematicians and therefore as a matter of course they are able to succeed at the new GCSE. I’d really like to hear other ideas and resources people are using, get in touch @numberloving and check out our free and premium resources in our TES NumberLoving Store.
This blog post has been sat in drafts for over 12 months! Thankfully in that time there has been a wealth of resources created and shared, too many to include in this post. I have tweaked this draft a little and published, thanks for the encouragement from Twitter Colleagues @ColleenYoung and @mhorley