Friday, 19 June 2015

End of Year Activity: Angry Birds

An alternative to the Geometry Activity, I used the quadratic activity Angry Birds. Each group gets data on a bird in different forms - such as an incomplete table, equation, graph, a list of key features etc. They have to graph and decide which bird hits the king pigs (the baddies).

This year they took it to a new level (as you can see from the previous attempt)! I was impressed with their information, but also their execution on the posters - as you can see below!


They individually came together to created an eye catching final display.

What you need for this activity is: graph paper, coloured paper, sticky tape, coloured pencils/markers, instruction sheets. The instruction sheets I used were credited to Sergio Alvarez. There different sets (1st, 2nd and 3rd edition) which have the same set up but different trajectories. An example of the instructions/worksheet can be found here.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Four Corners

A routine that I heard of a while a ago, but my first opportunity to employ it. In advisory we were looking at stress. As a warm up we did the Four Courners discussion routine. 

Each person got a post it note where they could write their own reflection or response to the topic. Then in their table groups they shared and listed out patterns or key information. 

An example of one from the Grade 8's is here:


I like this because everyone has a day, enables the quiter ones to have a voice, can get a snapshot of all views in the class, forces everyone to be involved and you can then post then around the room or refer to them at another date. 

Friday, 5 June 2015

Alternative London: Masterchef

It's that time of year again! Many Grade 8 students are on Language Trips so we create our own Alternative London (rebranded from Time Out Day). Last year Julie and I designed a day out exploring the British Museum and Portrait Gallery. This year, Wendy and I took over the Masterchef Day!


Local industrial kitchens were hired and our resident Masterchef TV celebrity,  Sean, deigned a started, main and dessert for the students. 

Students and teachers met Sean at the kitchens as he transported all of our indigents n his car. He gave us a quick overview of the day, the kitchen, responsibilities and hygiene. First on the menu was the quiche starter. Student were given the common ingredients and booklet inspiration, but it was up to them what they put into it. The main was chicken escallop with a potato side. The desert was their twist on the Eaton Mess.

Fantastic day was had by all. At first students were frighten that they didn't have a recipe but it showed that cooking is not scary and doesn't always have to have a recipe. It can be fun and experimental!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

End of Year Activity: Paper Folding Geometry Vocabulary

Instructions have been produced by the Queensland Department of Education and Training (Australia) website - Geometry by Paper Folding - A step-by-step guide. I cannot express how straightforward the instructions were especially with photos and key vocal pointers. Amazingly easy!

First, I printed a circle on multi coloured sheets of paper. Rather than drawing by hand I used a template (page 4) in the document Get in to Shape (Dan Myers blog).

I wrote the words on the board to focus what Geometry vocabulary we were going to be looking at.


However, next time I might not write them in order (silly me!) and get them to cross them off as we discuss them/used them to describe what we see (Geometry Bingo).

We then decorated each truncated tetrahedron and pasted them together to form an icosahedron. This will be placed in my room as a reminder of the class.


Some interesting maths beyond the folding can be found in the document "Magic Circle" where is explores ideas of surface area etc with the folding.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Making Connections

Making connections explicit has really helped some of my students. An example of this is in systems. I present this quick flow chart at the beginning, but then revisit it at the competition. "Why?" you might ask. Well, it's because some students are "big picture" people wanting to know a rough guide of where will they be going to next. Other students need the piece by piece small steps and then time to look back reflect and see how its all connected. 


This year I have made use of flipcahrts to document learning. I have found these to be really useful in anchoring and summarizing big ideas to make our thinking visible. I leave them around our room as a reminder of what we have done and, in some cases, as a reference sheet if we need to go back.