Mega maths

22nd October 2004 at 01:00
I developed this idea at my former school, Cressex Community School in Buckinghamshire. Giant numbers from 0 to 9 are made from cardboard with different textured materials for each. (I have several 0s.) These go down well for most maths topics or skills, and with all ages and abilities.

(Even teachers like to have a secret game now and then.) Usually students stand up and the numbers are distributed for a starter or plenary. Alternatively, a few students can stand at the front and run and get the correct number from another student. The physical aspect caters for pupils with kinaesthetic learning styles. Music can help create a game-show atmosphere. Questions can require one or more answers, depending on how pupils are behaving - award points for team work. For example, ask pupils to: lrun to the front if you can make a pair of numbers that can be multiplied to make 24; lget together with someone whose number is half of yours; lmake the number 54, multiply it by 10, 100, divide it by 1,000 and so on; lmake an equivalent ratio to 2 : 3 or an equivalent fraction to 34; lshow a graph of, say, y = 3x + 4, or just the equation: pupils with the gradient and intercept run to the front.

Rachel New

St Clement Danes School, Herts, and freelance educational consultant Email: newmaths@hotmail.com

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