Monday, 3 December 2018

Advent Maths

So, this year (2018), 1st December was on a Saturday. Doors opened on Advent calendars all around the land. Go to church on 2nd December and they're lighting their candle and saying that it was the first day of Advent.


There are four Sundays in Advent. The four Sundays leading up to Christmas Day.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

#Taskmaster - Estimate of Perimeter in...

Calculating perimeter can be a bit, er, repetitive.

Estimating can be a bit, er, repetitive.

So, you've been studying perimeter. You've measured, you've done 2(A+B), the trundle wheels have been out, you've costed a new fence for the school field and more...

You've tried and tried to convince your class of the virtues of estimating, but they think you're just balmy.

Well, we like this task!

In the task the contestants have to estimate the perimeter of the caravan in baked beans. So, perimeter of the field in beans, the perimeter of the school hall in paper clips, the perimeter of a maths book in dice and so on...

Same learning, same objectives, but in a different way. Mix things up and get 'em thinking! Let us know how y'all get on...

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Penalty Angles

Going back a couple of months, we came across 'The science behind Eden Hazard's FA Cup winning penalty' on Facebook. We watched it and, of course, it gave us an idea for a lesson...

It was the video's thumbnail (above) that caused our minds to begin thinking 'school' and 'maths'.

Like you, we imagine, one of our biggest tasks is the 'how do we get them engaged?' question. Football is usually quite successful!

Here's a photo of Messi taking a penalty. Similar to us, you could search the internet, or screen capture penalties being taken (remember to check copyright laws!). 

If you attend football matches, you could take your own photos:

Perhaps, even better. Get the children taking and photographing their own penalties. 

28/10/18 Update: See here for numerous examples!

Finally, whichever you choose, give the children example shots of the penalties being taken. Get them to put on the '0 degree line' and measure the angle from there. If using your own photos, is there an angle that guarantees scoring?

Got some examples? Do share them...

Friday, 14 September 2018

What Peer Marking Can Tell You About the Marker

Peer Marking:
-time saver
-gives children the opportunity to see each others' work
-allows pupils to receive feedback from people their own age

Here's something we've recently learned to use better...
- Pupil A completes their work
- Passes it to Pupil B
- Pupil B reads the work and leaves a peer assessment 
(This does all the points above)
- Teacher reads the assessment and gains a better understanding of Pupil B's grasp of the task

Some examples:

Above: peer used 'story' - we were writing a recount. 'Describing more' is ok, but describing what and how - does the peer assessor know?

Above: 'Nothing' - really? A piece of writing in Year Five (or at any age) with no scope for improvement?

Above: Tense identified. What 'sentence types' and why?

Look at your peer assessments more closely. What does it tell you about the pupil carrying out the assessment? What do and don't they know?

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Plant a Conker!

I was in the park with my three year old daughter. I found a conker on the floor. "Look," I said. "What's that?" she replied.

I explained, it's a seed, grows into a tree, you can play with it, it's spikey, but brown and shiny inside. "What?" she replied!

So, we're going to plant it...

So, right now, it's about 'Conker Season'. Grab one. Plant it. Share it's journey with this class. And, your next... Then, plant it in the school grounds. 

Talk about how it grows and remember where it came from and what it will grow into.

In fact, as the year goes on, plant the odd seasonal item and have it there in class as an ongoing experiment that can be referred to.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

What is the Purpose of Success Criteria?

Earlier this year, Ross (of Teacher Toolkit fame) ran a twilight session at UCL. It was entitled 'Effective Classroom Differentiation with @TeacherToolkit'. It was on Wednesday 7th March, but we were unable to attend, but as we subscribe to UCL's PLN, we were sent a copy of the slides used by Ross in his presentation.

Much of what Ross had presented looked useful, but we were particularly impressed by his piece on Success Criteria. It really struck a chord with us. 

Here's the basics of it (and it really is simple): Get the children to design, draw, make, write something with only basic instruction. Get them to mark this against success criteria that they only see after they have finished. Then, repeat this, but with the success criteria shown in advance. Then, discuss which was more successful and why...

We've put together some examples here (Currently as .notebook & .pdf)

NB: unrelated to any of the above, but from the same presentation we also picked up the following;
- Refer to No Hand Up Policy as 'Cold Calling'

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Colloquial Imperatives

Want to help your children find, identify and remember where imperative verbs are used in instructional writing? 

Try making the imperatives a little less formal!