Maths - Divide and conquer
What it's all about
We spent half a term on pirate-themed learning with Year 4s (P4), and their enthusiasm was palpable. We began to link all subjects possible, but maths was a struggle, writes Chris Fenton.
Then, after a week of mental maths strategies, I took the next lesson into the PE hall, armed with five different-coloured pirate swag bags and a collection of gold coins.
I split the class into six (mixed-ability) gangs of pirates. They came up with gang names, and I allocated them a colour and a swag bag, and explained the rules.
Five PE mats were placed around the hall. Each was a "number island" and allocated a function (addition, subtraction, division or multiplication); the one in the middle was for "super maths". At one end of the hall was the pirate ship's dungeon (a PE bench).
One of the gangs was called into the middle and given bibs. When the whistle blew, it had 60 seconds to tag as many rivals as possible.
The number islands were safe bases. Tagged pirates were sent to the dungeon and when time was up, those left on the islands had to answer questions based on their function. If correct, a gold coin (two for a super maths question) was placed in the swag bag and the pirate freed. If wrong, it was off to the dungeon.
Each gang had two turns. Afterwards, we counted up the booty. House points were awarded and the winning team gained an early playtime.
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