Alternative lesson ideas to keep learners engaged in the run-up to the summer holidays
With exams almost behind us and the promise of the well-deserved summer holidays on the horizon, it's very tempting to take your foot off the gas and start winding things down. Ploughing through yet another scheme of work like it's business as usual is sure to exhaust both you and your students, so why not use this time to try something a bit different?
The following collection of resources from the TES Maths community satisfies two key aims. They are not only mathematically valid in terms of their content and opportunities for challenge, but also fun and engaging to boot.
I hope you and your students find them useful. Roll on the summer holidays!
Craig Barton, TES Maths adviser
Problem solving and rich tasks
Get your Year 9 and 10 pupils ready for the demands of the new GCSE specifications using these well-structured problem-solving activities, which cover a multitude of topic areas. All learners should be able to tackle the running track and Pentagon problems, while this wooden fence post task caters for those looking for a bit of a challenge.
Alternatively, allow students to get into a mathematical mindset with these rich tasks, broadly covering areas such as number, geometry and sequences.
Practical project ideas
STEM project work
Encourage learners to explore real world problems in a dynamic way using these detailed project booklets: Bronze (KS3), Silver (KS4) and Gold (Post-16). These easy-to-use and fully-resourced projects fall roughly into one of three categories - research, design and make and communication - and can be easily adapted to suit the needs of your class.
Lunar theme park
In this activity, students must manage the finances for their very own theme park. From building and maintenance costs to advertising, this project is ideal for revising number and calculator skills over several lessons.
Pop bottle rockets
While this project might appear to lend itself nicely to science classes, there's plenty of maths to be explored. As pupils work together to form their own rocket-building business, they practise a wide variety of skills, including measuring mass and calculating circumferences.
There are lots of TES resources that require learners to design a particular room but if you're looking for something with a interesting hook, then this is the resource for you. The well-structured, visual presentation will capture your students' imaginations as they embark on this project.
What would the average student look like? What would their likes and dislikes be? Students can take this task in whatever direction they wish, from exploring the physical attributes of the ‘average’ student to classic personality traits.
Plan a holiday
In this stimulating task, pupils become travel agents as they plan a trip to a given budget. Not only will they have the chance to practise working with percentages, exchange rates and two-way tables, but also hone their presentation skills as they unveil their trip to the rest of the class.
Misleading data activity
Make your pupils media-aware while consoldiating their understanding of data representation with this activity, which challenges them to produce misleading graphs to promote four different food and drink products.
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