Sunday, 19 November 2017

Maths Reasoning - Was Peter right? What did he mean?

On Thursday 16th November, Peter Kay was on the radio with Chris Evans. Here's a conversation they had. Available for 30 days (listen at 41:15)... 

Peter Kay (PK): You're lying in bed now thinking, I'll get up after this song. Round it up... What is it now? 7 what?
Chris Evans (CE): 7:12.
PK: Wait until 7:15.
CE: Yes, yes...
PK: Don't get up on an odd number.
CE: Go crazy.
PK: Wait until 7:15. When it's 7:17, wait until 20 past. 
CE: Is that what you do?
PK: You gotta round it up. You can't just get up mid numbers. 

So, Peter said to not get up at 07:12 and wait until 07:15 as he doesn't like to get up on an odd number. What's wrong? What was he intending to say? How can that be re-worded, but more mathematically accurate?

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Preposition in the Classroom

Heard of Elf on a shelf, right? So, here's something inspired by it...

Print and laminate the word 'preposition'. Each morning, put it on, under, behind, inside something and the class need to find it, and then describe where the word is, using a preposition...

On the window, under the chair, next to the board...

Monday, 13 November 2017

Welcome to Your Classroom

So this happened between us two many years ago and I've kept it going since...

After three years of teaching in Year Four, I was told I'd be moving to Year Five. I wasn't thrilled by the prospect, however, it turned out to be one of my most successful and rewarding years in the classroom to date. 

When I (Liam) moved into Year Five, I took over the classroom previously occupied by Dan. On the day I went into the classroom to sort it out, there was a note on the whiteboard. "Mr. M., Welcome to Year Five. You'll be awesome! Dan". It meant a lot.

Since then, I've moved classroom (but not year group) many times. And, I've always left a welcome message for the new incumbent of my previous room. 

Maybe you could start doing it too?

Monday, 23 October 2017

Synchronised Video Task from #Taskmaster

Ok, ok, maybe we should just start watching and enjoying TV instead of linking it back to the classroom. But...

Again, in the most recent series of Taskmaster there was a video task. The task was to perform something in synchronisation as a pair. We've previously used the 'Backwards Video Task' with some excellent outcomes and group/partner work.

In this task, pupils need to work as a three. Once to act as camera operator and the other two to perform something either mirroring or matching each other. This requires thought as a group to decide the act to perform, what each person will do and how they will remain in sync. In addition, linking it back to gymnastics; mirror or match?

Sunday, 22 October 2017

#Taskmaster - Spot the Difference

Yep. Taskmaster came up trumps again!

The contestants came to sit at a table. On the table was a task and in front of them were a number of, apparently irrelevant, objects set out in a scene. The contestants were asked to blow up a balloon so that its circumference was the same as the length of an average cucumber (an interesting idea on its own!). 

Once the contestants had blown up the balloon to the what they thought met the task, they were asked what they thought had changed in the scene in front of them.

Basically, put someone in front of something and give them a task to focus on. Then, when that task is complete (and you've made a few changes to the scene), ask them what's changed...

See how your pupils get on. There will be surprises!

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Personalise Your Posters

As teachers and school leaders, we often seek to inspire pupils (and staff) through motivational wall coverings or put up lots of prompts or reminders for lessons.

These may be created in house, or externally. They may be bespoke, or 'off the shelf'.

Here's something that Sparky Teaching recently made for us. Below are snippets of posters made with teacher's names, class/year group names and school name on to add that element of personalisation to a message.

This isn't just any poster. It's a poster for THIS school, class, group... 

Like them? See more at

Monday, 18 September 2017

Large Numbers

In maths, we're required to order, round, calculate and so on with numbers up to millions. Where can we find such numbers?

House prices
Sporting event attendances
Phone numbers
Social media follower numbers
Car mileage
Geographic values (mountain heights, distances, water depth)

[In coming days/weeks, we'll update above with some examples...]

Got any other ideas?