# MathsClass

A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

## Archives → Lesson Idea

### Animated perimeter and area

Sunday, 13 September 2015 · (0) Comments

For a recent session with teachers about whole school numeracy, I created a couple of animations demonstrating:

### Odometer, the Universe and trains

Friday, 28 August 2015 · (0) Comments

Today in class, Year 7, I linked to decimals:

• the odometer in my car... rounding 19.999 to 2 decimals places is like 19999 on the odometer kicking over to 20000
• π...
and the universe
• trains terminating at the end of the line
• Luna Park, because trains terminate behind Luna Park
• and of course, Arnie, the Terminator.

### Pythagorean Dates

Tuesday, 18 August 2015 · (0) Comments

Monday (17/08/15) was a Pythagorean Day (172 = 82 + 152).

### Magic Vs - Year 5 Lesson

Thursday, 23 July 2015 ·

Today I had the fun of 20 Year 5 students in my classroom. I used the Magic Vs problem from NRICH. NRICH have lots of good leading questions, solution discussions and videos. There was lots of great thinking and discussion.

I made a SMART Notebook file to aid the discussions, available on MathsFaculty.

### Bingo: Trig Exact Values (Radians)

Friday, 26 June 2015 ·

I've had Make bingo for trig exact with radians on my To Do list for a while.

### Percentages Foldable

Thursday, 07 May 2015 ·

I recently made a Percentages Foldable (common percentages and their fraction and decimal equivalences) to include in our school newsletter. The idea was to encourage students (or parents) to make the foldable and put it on the fridge, or somewhere else prominent, to encourage the remembering of some common percentage comversions.

### Relative Frequency - Investigation

Thursday, 23 April 2015 ·

Probability is one of those topics where it's best to "see it".

### Rounding Using Significant Figures - MathsFaculty

Sunday, 22 February 2015 ·

A resource I put together for practising rounding using significant figures.

### Division problems

Sunday, 08 February 2015 ·

My Year 7s do not have a good grounding in division.

### Self-checking Christmas Worksheet

Thursday, 04 December 2014 ·

Here's a self-checking, simple questions, as you get the answers correct the tree lights up.

Nothing fancy. Just needed something for a computer lab tomorrow.

### Sierpinski Triangle

Monday, 01 December 2014 ·

Continuing with some design and construction activities for the end of term.

### Pizza, it must be engaging, right?

Saturday, 29 November 2014 ·

Recently, I have been considering how to see more fruit in my classroom. As I mentioned previously, the effort factor is significant. The modern idea that students will (or should?) only engage in activities of interest to them goes against everything they will come up against in the future.

### Constructing Triangles

Saturday, 29 November 2014 ·

One of the challenges I had this week when students were constructing rectangles and squares using a ruler and set square (drafting triangle) was checking the accuracy of the measurements (sides and angles). I walked around with a ruler and set square checking their drawings.

### Scale Cars

Sunday, 23 November 2014 ·

Matchbox cars, specifically that brand, have a scale written underneath.

I've always wanted to do something with that.

### End of Term 9 - world’s best paper airplane

Thursday, 20 November 2014 ·

I think I just found the activity for the last period on the last day of the year.

### Video of myself in lessons

Sunday, 16 November 2014 ·

Looking at the area of special quadrilaterals, I wanted the class to make the quadrilaterals starting with paper rectangles.

This particularly class, however, struggle with step-by-step instructions. A document camera would be great, but I don't have one.

So I made a set of videos, these had the benefit of being large, on the big screen and something a little different.

### I need to do this better #1 of ∞: find missing side

Friday, 14 November 2014 ·

Students struggle with this:

### Problem Solving, Spider and the Fly

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 ·

How would use this in your classroom (the problem, not the video)?

### The Developing Teacher

Sunday, 26 October 2014 ·

In the past, Maths teaching resources amounted to printed materials (be it a textbook, BLM). If the teacher didn't like what was available to them, they could hand-draw and Gestetner a more appropriate worksheet.

### Preparing to Engage, Enhance and Extend

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 ·

I am presenting twice in September about how I use technology to engage, enhance and extend in my teaching.

### Stem-and-leaf plots… an activity

Sunday, 03 August 2014 ·

### Simple Harmonic Motion with Sam

Sunday, 06 July 2014 ·

Back in 2012 when I first taught Extension 1 Mathematics, in particular Applications of Calculus to the Physical World - Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM), I captured this clip of my then 2 year old son:

### Water usage and collection

Tuesday, 03 June 2014 ·

For my HSC Mathematics General 1 class, we are currently completing the Focus Study FSPe1CEC Water usage and collection.

In this topic, students interpret information, make comparisons, and perform a range of calculations in relation to personal water usage.

### Solving Equations Booklet

Sunday, 11 May 2014 ·

These are resources I developed for a Year 9 5.1* class.

(What is not shown in these resources is not all of the conceptual steps I took with this class.)

### MathsLinks This Week 11 May 2014

Sunday, 11 May 2014 ·

I want to start writing more regularly to highlight some of the resources on MathsLinks and MathsFaculty, and putting them in the context of my teaching.

### Still learning - Diagrams and conceptual understanding

Thursday, 24 April 2014 ·

### Activity - Atlantis and Hubble in front of the Sun

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 ·

If we can determine the altitude of a plane in front of the moon, why not try the altitude of the Space Shuttle Atlantis in front of the Sun?

### Activity- Airplane in front of the moon

Saturday, 19 April 2014 ·

Back in 2011, Nordin Zuber posted this found image on MathsLinks.

### Number of the day

Monday, 27 January 2014 · (2) Comments

Here's a starter activity I have built on MathsStarters: Number of the day.

### MANSW 2013 Day 2

Sunday, 15 September 2013 · (4) Comments

### MANSW 2013 Day 1

Sunday, 15 September 2013 · (0) Comments

A summary of the sessions I attended at the 2013 MANSW Annual Conference. This summary is the key points I wanted to remember.

### Classifying Data - Foldable

Wednesday, 07 August 2013 · (0) Comments

Here’s a second foldable for the Preliminary (Year 11) General Mathematics course for the topic DS1 Statistics and society, data collection and sampling.

This second foldable is about classifying data.

### Statistical Inquiry Foldable

Tuesday, 06 August 2013 · (0) Comments

I’m trying to make the time to create foldables to use with my Year 11 General Mathematics class. The topic DS1 Statistics and society, data collection and sampling lends itself to foldables.

The first foldable is for the process of statistical inquiry:

posing questions, collecting data, organising data, summarising and displaying data, analysing data and drawing conclusions, and writing a report

### Number Sense Posters

Sunday, 17 March 2013 ·

For a few years, I’ve noticed that kids not only don’t know/struggle with their times tables, but also general ‘number sense’.

### Animated Budgie

Sunday, 10 March 2013 ·

Mathematical Induction, topic 7.4 in the NSW Board of Studies Mathematics Extension 1 Syllabus, is difficult conceptual. I suspect students think there is a bit of smoke and mirrors happening. One introduction that I use, I first saw in a resource by Stuart Palmer. The same story appears in this article online: Mathematical Induction (PDF 92KB), Helen Bush, Reflections August 1992 sourced on NSW HSC Online.

### Series Foldable

Thursday, 07 February 2013 ·

For “Arts and Crafts Thursday”* we made a foldable to summarise the formula in the topic Series and Applications (Topic 7 in the NSW BOS Mathematics Syllabus).

### Kitchen Scale

Monday, 28 January 2013 ·

I put up my first image on Dan Meyer’s 101 Questions yesterday, Kitchen Scale. Wander over there.

What’s the first question that comes to your mind?

### It does the Math™

Thursday, 27 December 2012 ·

Back in 2010, putting a piece of wall in our kitchen to attach a child gate to, a problem arose about evenly spacing screws.

### Consumer Arithmetic - Spending - Electronic Worksheets

Monday, 17 December 2012 ·

This is part 2 of my electronic worksheets for Consumer Arithmetic. Part 2 focuses on Spending Money, in particular: profit and loss, discounts, purchasing, best buys and buying on terms (hire purchase). (Part 1 focused on earning money)

### End of Term 8

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 ·

A couple of end-of-term/year activities…

### MathsClass This Week 2 December 2012

Saturday, 01 December 2012 ·

Nearing the end of the year, I’ve updated a previous MathsClass blog post from 2008 with additional supporting material to make this nice design. Files available on MathsFaculty.

There are other end of term activities on MathsClass and design activities on MathsFaculty.

### Consumer Arithmetic - Electronic Worksheets

Saturday, 03 November 2012 ·

Through the start of this term, I’ve been creating a series of electronic worksheets (in Excel) to cover the ‘earning money’ part of a Consumer Arithmetic topic.

### Times Tables Grid Wall Poster (Made4Math)

Friday, 21 September 2012 ·

It’s the last day of term here, so teachers might want to spend some time today fixing up their room. So, I brought my Made4Math Monday forward.

I needed some times table posters for my classroom, but the posters you can buy tend to be for younger students and I haven’t seen a grid version (rather than each table listed separately).

Saturday, 25 August 2012 ·

As I said in an earlier post...

2012 is looking like a year of quiet reflection (i.e. maybe not much on this blog), contemplation and trial and error.

Here is some recent thinking, please comment.

### Rules for Differentiation - Foldable (Math4Math)

Saturday, 25 August 2012 ·

A foldable for reviewing the Rules of Differentiation. Click the preview to see the full version.

Sunday, 05 August 2012 ·

Year 11 Mathematics have one of their three periods a week, last period on Fridays. Of course, they’re not highly motivated at that time.

The other week, we folded parabolas, I called it “Arts and Craft Friday”.

The next week, they surprised me by asking what we were doing for “Arts and Craft Friday”... I had nothing!

### Code Breaking

Saturday, 05 May 2012 ·

I recently received an email from the AAMT:

National Mathematics Day is Friday 18 May and looks at codes and code-breaking — to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing.

### The Biggest Loser 2012

Monday, 20 February 2012 ·

Each year I use the TV Show, The Biggest Loser, as an application of percentages – here is a worksheet for 2012 setting out the contestant data that your students can use to perform some calculations.

I’m completing this activity earlier than normal this year, so the data is from earlier in the competition.

### Locker Problem

Monday, 06 February 2012 ·

I recently used the “Locker Problem” in a Year 7 Maths Enrichment class (mixed ability). Here are some resources I used:

### Lesson Prep

Monday, 16 January 2012 ·

Where do you go for maths lessons and good lesson ideas?
Here’s the start of my list, I’m not particularly recommending these sites, just listing them as places to look for ideas.

### Lift Buttons

Thursday, 05 January 2012 ·

Whilst often used as a textbook example, I had never seen negative numbers used in a lift before.

### Superman Number Plane Logo

Sunday, 06 November 2011 ·

A number plane drawing worksheet for making the Superman logo. Included in the file (see below) is a page with a suitable coordinate grid.

### Frequency Distribution Table

Sunday, 25 September 2011 ·

On MathsStarters, I have added a Frequency Distribution Table tool. The tool lets you have 3 to 10 scores, you tally as you go and the frequency and total are calculated.

You could use this on a projector/IWB (the buttons for incrementing the tally are sized for an IWB). Or, students could use this to record data on their own laptop as they collect it – paperless!

### Smartie Statistics - Follow-up

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 ·

Smartie colours are not evenly distributed across the two bags of 11 fun size boxes I used with my class:

### Car Racing

Sunday, 11 September 2011 ·

Playing with the kids’ toys on the weekend, I came across this car and became interested by the relationship between pulling it back and how far it would travel.

Was it a linear relationship or something else?

### Smartie Statistics

Thursday, 08 September 2011 ·

Looking around, there are lots of activities for collecting and analysing data using small boxes of Smarties. Here is my version.

Thursday, 04 August 2011 ·

I’m not trying to present a view, either way, on the carbon tax being debated in Australia. But those against the carbon tax seem to be providing some good fodder for the maths classroom.

### Index Notation/Laws Hot Potatoes Exercises

Monday, 11 July 2011 ·

Last term I had Year 9 review and learn index notation and the index laws through some self-directed activities.

### New Section - GeoGebra

Wednesday, 15 June 2011 ·

I know there are stacks of GeoGebra files available on the Internet, but I’ve started putting my own here on the site.

### Decimal Games

Saturday, 11 June 2011 ·

Some games, played with dice, for getting the hang of decimal place value.

### Substitution Spider

Thursday, 21 April 2011 ·

Having made a Tables Spider this other day, I realised that I made myself a template for creating all sorts of “spiders”.

### Maths for SRN

Thursday, 21 April 2011 ·

With Stu Hasic’s Student Response Network (SRN) virtual clicker software installed on the 2011 DER laptops that NSW public school students in Year 9 receive this year, I wanted to try it out.

### Tables Spider

Monday, 18 April 2011 ·

In 2007, I wrote about a resource, a Number Spider, that I used as a lesson starter.

### The Biggest Loser 2011

Monday, 04 April 2011 ·

Each year I use the TV Show, The Biggest Loser, as an application of percentages.

### Online picture graphs

Saturday, 12 February 2011 ·

A worksheet to accompany the online tool Pictogram Graph (see on MathsLinks).

### For the new year

Sunday, 30 January 2011 ·

Here are some resources for the new year…

### Double Strength Cordial and Ratio

Tuesday, 18 January 2011 ·

When introducing the topic of ‘ratio’, I use the mixing of cordial as an illustration that most kids get.
The idea of using 1 part of cordial to 4 parts of water makes sense to them – and they get the idea of equivalence when you mix the cordial in a different sized container (I use the examples of using cups to fill a bottle for a picnic, and using buckets to mix a big batch for a party).

### Coffee and Teaching Aids

Saturday, 15 January 2011 ·

I wrote about my t-shirt box back in 2009. It’s a resource I still use in my classroom. When teaching surface area I have peel off sides for the box which can be placed on the board to show the net.

### Fun with Coordinate Geometry

Wednesday, 22 December 2010 ·

Tanya Duffy shared a great coordinate geometry activity on a private forum earlier in December.

### What if the largest states of Australia had the biggest populations?

Saturday, 04 December 2010 ·

You might have seen this map featured around the place recently:

So I wondered, what if the largest countries had the biggest populations?

### Teaching Surface Area

Thursday, 25 November 2010 ·

I like teaching surface area, I think it’s an interesting topic. Yet, I find kids struggle with the concept. Not understanding the basics of area and then getting over the prior knowledge of solids meaning volume are two aspects that cause some difficulty.

### Inequalities with GeoGebra

Friday, 19 November 2010 ·

This is a great interactive for representing simple inequalities on the number line: Inequalities with GeoGebra.

### Back to it…

Monday, 08 November 2010 ·

Returning from a few weeks leave, it wasn’t clear where my Year 8s were up to. I figured they had started looking at grouped data, but I didn’t want to repeat work they might have already seen.

### Follow-up to WCYDWT: Spacing Evenly

Saturday, 18 September 2010 ·

I showed WCYDWT: Spacing Evenly to some of my classes this week. A couple of reflections…

### WCYDWT: Spacing Evenly

Sunday, 12 September 2010 ·

A real-life version of this problem presented itself today.

(Source: Elementary Math Mastery, Rhonda Farkota)

### Letters and Numbers

Friday, 10 September 2010 ·

Jeff of Webmaths points out a new Australian TV show, Letters and Numbers.

### Lessons of stability

Thursday, 02 September 2010 ·

Things are tough at my school at the moment, tougher than normal. There are many reasons for that, this is not the post to discuss them though.

### Building Bridges

Saturday, 28 August 2010 ·

For Australian teachers with access to objects from The Le@rning Federation, the resource Bridge Builder is a nice way to deal with geometric patterns and finding the algebraic rule.

### Teaching Equations (or not)

Tuesday, 03 August 2010 ·

It’s that time of year again… that’s right… Year 8 solving equations.

### Term 3 2010 SDD

Monday, 19 July 2010 ·

Each year for the Term 3 SDD (Staff Development Day), the four schools (three 7-10 and one 11-12) in the collegiate I work in get together for a combined program.

### Are you water wise?

Wednesday, 14 July 2010 ·

In recent years, Sydney Water has been encouraging households to save water. “With limited and highly variable rainfall in the catchments, the community can no longer rely on water from the dams.” source

### End of Term 7

Tuesday, 29 June 2010 ·

The end of term series of posts are some of the most popular on this site.

### Time - Self-checking Excel Resource

Friday, 11 June 2010 ·

This is a resource for skills in working with time.

### Investigating Scientific Notation

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 ·

I’ve been trying to increase my use of the laptops with Year 9.

### Significant Figures

Saturday, 22 May 2010 ·

In the NSW Mathematics Syllabus students are to learn about “rounding numbers to a specified number of significant figures” [NS5.2.1].

### Pythagoras Outside

Saturday, 15 May 2010 ·

This is a fairly simple activity that allows for something different in the teaching of Pythagoras’ Theorem.

### Rounding Starter

Friday, 30 April 2010 ·

Here’s a quick starter activity for rounding.

### Richer Percentages

Monday, 26 April 2010 ·

How do you make a unit on percentages richer / project-based / engaging / authentic?

### The Land of Algerb

Sunday, 07 March 2010 ·

Starting Algebra with Year 8, we spend a couple of lessons on various “algebraic techniques”. I’ve been trying to find some activities which provide a little more engagement. I created “The Land of Algerb“ to explain multiplying pronumerals.

### Teaching Year 10 with Laptops

Sunday, 07 February 2010 ·

In 2009, Year 9 got their DER netbooks and now they are in Year 10. This year’s Year 9 does not have their netbooks yet, and so this gives teachers a little time to get their heads around the inclusion of netbooks into the classroom. This year, I’m teaching a 5.2 pathway Year 10 class (and a Year 9 5.2 class).

### Chocolate Bar Graphs

Friday, 01 January 2010 ·

Some chocolate discussion starters for looking at bar graphs: a series of chocolate bar graphs.

### Guessing to learn

Wednesday, 09 December 2009 ·

This week, my Year 8s have been looking at inequality signs, graphing inequalities and solving simple (one-step) inequalities. Today, after solving inequalities, we played a simple game. A simple, obvious game, that really doesn’t warrant a blog post.

### End of term activities 6

Saturday, 05 December 2009 ·

The end of term/year often brings lots of disruptions. So, as much as I like to keep teaching till the end, some days require something a little different. I like hands-on quasi-mathematical activities that allow every student to engage with and complete. And on Thursday, just before having one of those disrupted days, I found this…

### Pie Graphs on Netbooks

Thursday, 03 December 2009 ·

Despite every Year 9 student having a laptop for a few weeks, the topics we’ve been covering haven’t lent themselves to full laptop lessons. To end the term, though, we’re reviewing graphs.

### Drawing in Excel

Monday, 30 November 2009 ·

A lesson for Year 9 students with DER laptops, or anyone really.

### Some graphs are just wrong

Friday, 27 November 2009 ·

Here’s a great example of a graph that is just wrong, the data may be correct, but it has obviously been represented the wrong way. Watch the video…

### Evidence of doing anything

Wednesday, 25 November 2009 ·

I think that each student using a netbook/laptop in your class presents some slightly different issues in Maths.

### Heat Sinks - Surface Area

Monday, 16 November 2009 ·

I’m about to get into Surface Area with Year 8. Of course, there will be chocolate. But, since I last looked at Surface Area with Year 9 I’ve been thinking about Heat Sinks.

### Introducing Probability

Sunday, 15 November 2009 ·

This is an amusing video to introduce probability… some of my Year 8s found it hilarious.

### Making a matching activity

Thursday, 12 November 2009 ·

As I mentioned, the DER roll-out hit my classroom as we were in the midst of Algebra. Due to a tight program and exams shortly, I had to stick with a couple of topics which don’t really allow for “play” on the laptops as much as I would have liked.

A lot of the Algebra taught at the Stage 4 level is technique, and so matching activities work particularly well to practise and review skills.

Here’s a review of some of the ways I’ve found to make matching activities for use on the laptops.

### Computer Aided Homework

Sunday, 18 October 2009 ·

A Digital Education Revolution (DER) laptop in the hands of all Year 9 students changes everything… or does it?

### Words for operations

Monday, 12 October 2009 ·

I’ve been meaning to try ClassTools.net for a while. With ClassTools.net you can make interactive Flash games, from a range of templates, then save and share them.

### End of term activities 5 - Patterns

Thursday, 01 October 2009 ·

Tomorrow is the last day of term… hurray! Here’s another end of term activity for use with your maths class.

### Link: Western Bulldogs Number Plane Logo

Monday, 28 September 2009 ·

If you’re looking for more number plane drawings, but lean towards AFL, then check out Jeff Trevaskis’ Western Bulldogs Number Plane Logo from his blog, Webmaths. Nice one Jeff!

### Brisbane Broncos Number Plane Logo

Monday, 21 September 2009 ·

Last year, I posted the Melbourne Storm Number Plane Logo – and today, exactly one year later, purely by coincidence, I’ve made a Brisbane Broncos Number Place activity.

### Teaching equations

Wednesday, 16 September 2009 ·

Year 8 were recently assessed on solving equations and I was a little perplexed by the results.

### Surface Area and Chocolate

Sunday, 16 August 2009 ·

An excuse to use chocolate in a maths lesson…

### Perimeter of curved shapes

Saturday, 08 August 2009 ·

This week, Year 9 were looking at finding the perimeter of shapes that include curves (parts of a circle).

### World’s Fastest Clapper

Saturday, 01 August 2009 ·

Here’s a quirky little activity that uses the DER laptops.

Thursday, 02 July 2009 ·

Google Sketchup is one of the applications bundled on the DER netbooks being rolled out into NSW Public High Schools in Term 3. But as it’s free, you can download it now for Windows XP/Vista & Mac OS X.

### Dam Water

Friday, 19 June 2009 ·

Still on capacity. With Australia having been in a drought since 2003 another interesting way to engage with the topic of capacity is to look at the water storage levels.

### What’s in the fridge?

Monday, 15 June 2009 ·

What else could you do with capacity? As I was getting a glass of juice to have with my breakfast, I was thinking that I could use this image as a quick question at the start of a lesson.

### Digital Media - Capacity

Saturday, 13 June 2009 ·

With laptops rolling out shortly and projectors appearing in some classrooms, we should be thinking about collecting digital media for use as stimulus or investigation material. So, the other day when filling up my young daughter’s bottles, I took some pictures.

Monday, 08 June 2009 ·

For a while I’ve been collecting and saving to a web-site maths objects to use with my classes. By objects I mean single activities, rather than a web-site of maths activities. I’ve been trying to take some of the many things I find and save to delicious and put a purpose to them – deciding that it’s something I could use with one of my classes.

### Dice

Friday, 05 June 2009 ·

I wanted to play a multiplication bingo type game with a class the other day, so I grabbed two 10 sided dice (apparently you don’t need to call a single dice a “die” anymore) out of the cupboard. Then I thought… hey I have a projector and a laptop.

### Universcale

Tuesday, 26 May 2009 ·

Depending on what they’ve previously experienced, students struggle with the immense scale of the universe (mind you, so do I).

### Isometric Drawing

Saturday, 23 May 2009 ·

When starting “Volume” with Year 8, we start by looking at cubic units and isometric drawings. This year, with an interactive whiteboard (although, these resources are also suited for use with just a projector or in a computer lab), I was able to use a couple of excellent online resources.

### The Perfect Tree

Tuesday, 12 May 2009 ·

I was preparing for part of a presentation to the staff at my school tomorrow, highlighting the importance of numeracy being included in all subject areas.

### Transformations

Saturday, 02 May 2009 ·

Here’s a PowerPoint file I made to quickly review transformations before getting into congruency.

### Parts of a Circle

Wednesday, 15 April 2009 ·

I need to learn to use GeoGebra because it looks like a fantastic app, it’s free and shortly our students will have their own netbooks, itching to use them. I find the best way to learn new software is to do something with it that you need.

### The Biggest Loser 2009

Sunday, 05 April 2009 ·

The Biggest Loser, the Australian version, is again on television. This year, Year 9 are looking at Percentages at the same time.

### End of term activities 4 - The Game of Hex

Sunday, 05 April 2009 ·

The last week of term begins next week…

### Million, billion, trillion

Thursday, 12 March 2009 ·

I used to think that I knew what 1 billion was, i.e. 1 000 000 000 000. Then a couple of years ago, I looked on Wikipedia and found there were two defintions: Long and short scales.

### Pie Graphs - “when will I ever use this?”

Saturday, 07 March 2009 ·

### Bearing and airports

Thursday, 05 March 2009 ·

As part of a unit on Trigonometry, we review compass and true bearings before working with bearings in Trigonometry problems.
To start this review lesson, we looked at some images from Google Earth.

### A story for Trigonometry

Monday, 02 March 2009 ·

A really easy way to create engagement when introducing a new topic is to explain some of it’s applications outside of the maths classroom. For Trigonometry, I use an explanation of how I used trigonometry in a previous career to find the height of trees.

### The Big Picture

Saturday, 21 February 2009 ·

If you don’t have The Big Picture from boston.com in your RSS feeds, it’s time to add it. Alan Taylor regularly collects some fascinating photos together. This edition, At work.

### Sector Graphs

Thursday, 12 February 2009 ·

In my fourth year of teaching, I’m finally happy with how teaching sector graphs went.

### Borrowing Money in Plain English

Thursday, 22 January 2009 ·

Another good video from The Common Craft Show.  This one is on Borrowing Money.

### Theatrical Aspect Ratio

Thursday, 15 January 2009 ·

Recently Dan Meyer posted his thoughts on the ideal maths textbook, which would actually be a digital archive of very interesting mathematical media.  This is a great idea, and whilst I don’t have a projector in my classroom yet (although fingers-crossed), it would be something that I would buy/subscribe to.  Anyway, there was a challenge in this for me: being mindful of the media I consume and the world around me to collect digital bits and pieces that might help explain a mathematical concept (I commented on Dan’s blog that I missed the opportunity to take a picture of 3m³ of dirt I had delivered).  The second, to my mind harder, challenge is to take that item and make a meaningful and engaging connection with a concept being taught in class.

### Temperature Conversion Graph

Saturday, 10 January 2009 ·

As I was putting together a lesson on using conversion graphs, I couldn’t find a nice temperature conversion graph – so I created one.

### Saving Money in Plain English

Wednesday, 07 January 2009 ·

This video from The Common Craft Show is an excellent “introduction to the magic of compound interest and how it helps money grow over time”.  Keep an eye out for more videos in their financial basics series.

Friday, 02 January 2009 ·

I’m currently sorting through the many teaching blogs I subscribe to, trying to cull the list.  The thing about Maths related blogs that tends to keep them in the list is that Maths teachers generally write more practical posts.

### The Story of 1

Thursday, 01 January 2009 ·

Here’s a video about the history of number, in particular the numbers 0 and 1.  Our Year 7 program begins the year looking at ancient number systems, so this video will fit in nicely.

### End of term activities 3

Thursday, 11 December 2008 ·

The end of year activity of choice this year, will be making Zombies!

### Equal areas in a circle

Monday, 24 November 2008 ·

Trying to motivate Year 10 after the School Certificate Exams are completed is tough.  I like to use geometric design activities.  Whilst they seem like “fun”, or at least non-taxing on the brain – they get the students following a procedure, using geometric instruments and can be lead to a good discussion about the Mathematics of design.

### Melbourne Storm Number Plane Logo

Saturday, 20 September 2008 ·

Around this time each year, our programs have Year 8 and Year 10 looking at the Number Plane.  For the end of the term, it’s nice timing, because it allows us to draw some pictures on the number plane.  One favourite is the logos of various NRL

teams.

Saturday, 09 August 2008 ·

Understanding the concept of a fraction by shading in a part of a shape is a fairly standard introductory activity.  When I did a search on Flickr for fractions, I found this set of fraction shading diagrams*.  What I liked about these diagrams is that you are required to represent two fractions on one diagram.

### Angle Wheel

Friday, 27 June 2008 ·

Building an Angle Wheel is a great way to consolidate an introduction to angles for Year 7.

### Estimating length

Saturday, 03 May 2008 ·

When looking at measurement, year 7 measure “body units” and use them to measure things in the classroom, as an example of estimating.  Then, when we move onto perimeter, we come back to one body unit, the pace.

### The Biggest Loser

Tuesday, 18 March 2008 ·

The Biggest Loser’, the Australian version, is currently on Channel 10.  Conveniently, it appears on TV the same time we’re looking at Percentages with Year 8 providing a great connection between popular culture and maths.

Saturday, 09 February 2008 ·

Google have added a nice little feature to their online spreadsheet – the ability to collect information via an online form.

### End of term activities 2

Saturday, 01 December 2007 ·

It’s been two terms since my last post on this blog, End of term activities.  So, as I return to this blog at the end of the year, here are some more “last day” type activities.

### End of term activities

Thursday, 28 June 2007 ·

For the last day of term, lessons may not follow a normal program, however they can still be engaging and mathematics related.

### Heart Rate Activity

Saturday, 19 May 2007 ·

An outdoors activity is always a welcome change to a maths lesson.  To introduce rates, I take the class outdoors to measure their heart rate.

Simon Job — ninth year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
MathsClass is about teaching and learning in a maths classroom. more→

@simonjob