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Missing number

My brilliant idea

Maths

Ages 11 to 16

Never be stuck for a starter again. I got my pupils into a routine by writing the date and the lesson number in their books. If there are three lessons a week, you'll probably get up to more than 100 lessons by the end of the year.

We had two numbers to discuss. Pupils looked for connections between them, for instance, on September 25 it was lesson nine, so both were square numbers. On October 8, it was lesson 13, so both were Fibonacci numbers.

You might encourage pupils to find the lowest common multiple and highest common factor of the two numbers, or one as a percentage of the other. It all depends on the ability of the group.

This also helped me to see from their books if a pupil missed a lesson - it's easier to see if any numbers are missing, rather than looking at dates.

Joyce Brown teaches maths at Durham Johnston Comprehensive School in Whinney Hill.

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