How do you construct a 50p?
What is it? What shape is a 50p piece? A heptagon, right? Actually, no. On closer inspection, the edges are curved, making the coin a reuleaux heptagon. This shape has a fascinating property: each diameter is the same width and yet the shape is not a circle. This worksheet from the British Museum looks at the reuleaux heptagon and asks students to construct their own 50p pieces.
How can it be used? As suggested in the worksheet, you can leave the task completely open-ended, or go as far as to show the completed 50p diagram to the students to see if they can recreate it with a compass, a ruler and an angle measurer. The worksheet also suggests follow-up questions that will prompt students to look more closely at the shape's properties. Before you know it, you will be discussing symmetry, tangents, similarity and much more, after refining those all-important loci and construction skills.
Find it here: bit.ly50pConstruction
Craig Barton is an advanced skills teacher at Thornleigh Salesian College in Bolton and a TES secondary maths adviser. Find him on Twitter at @TESMaths
What is it? This resource, created by the Bulmershe School in Reading and uploaded by mraali, responds to an easily overlooked problem area: command words. The PDF includes a wheel of command terms and an accompanying viewfinder, which allows pupils to focus on the likes of "explore", "identify", "contrast" and "analyse", one at a time. Each of the terms also has a succinctly written definition.
How can it be used? The nature of this resource means it can be used across the curriculum. It could be adapted to create a PowerPoint presentation, but would work most effectively if you were able to invest in making class sets. It would be beneficial for pupils to be allowed to use the wheel as a tool in an early mock exam, before being given a copy within their revision materials. The wheel also lends itself to pair work and memory games.
Find it here: bit.lyLiteracyWheel
Jon Sellick is an English teacher and head of sixth form at Range High School in Formby, Merseyside
Muscles, bones and movement
What is it? This week's science resource, created by Mrissitt, is an exciting introduction to muscles and the skeletal system. Although the resource has been designed for key stage 4 PE classes, its relevant and stimulating activities are suitable for key stage 3 science lessons. The PowerPoint presentation and two supporting worksheets give students an insight into the structure of bodies, and the tasks are sure to engage and stimulate curiosity.
How can it be used? This resource is an ideal starting point for teaching the skeletal system, as it provides such a clear introduction. My Year 8 class particularly enjoyed the skeletal "speed dating" task.
Find it here: bit.lyMusclesBones
Aimee Mckeon is head of key stage 3 science at Shirley High School in Croydon, South London
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