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What Makes A Good Resource - Naming Parts of a Circle

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 08 September 2009 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 03 September 2010 by ncetm_administrator

What Makes a Good Resource

Naming Parts of a Circle

Resource description:
This is a power point slide taken from the shape section www.whiteboardmaths.com

Naming parts of a circle - resource example
Teacher comment:
Our school adopted recently an approach to teaching and learning through Personal Leaning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) and each department was asked to try to incorporate these into some of their lessons.  This activity focuses on one of these skills, namely ‘Collective Memory’.  Some people will know this strategy as Maps from Memory as it was first developed in the context of geography but it has much wider significance. Above all it requires pupils of whatever ability to do a task that is complex and unless they plan and do it together they will fail. In this collaborative process they have to be metacognitive - i.e they have to talk about their thinking. However it has real power because pupils have to use their visual processing abilities and thus it brings out the difference between looking and seeing. Like the 'Reading Photographs' strategy it emphasises visual literacy.  I chose this particular activity as I wanted students to learn names of parts of the circle but wanted them to learn it in a more imaginative way than otherwise done in the past.  I anticipated that students did not already know many of these names.

What I did:
I firstly had a power point display with parts of the circle but without the names.  I used individual mini whiteboards asking students to write on their boards the name parts of the circle that I pointed to e.g. “What is this called?” pointing to the tangent. 

I then arranged pupils in groups of three and told them that they were going to have to reproduce something that I have on my laptop screen but they are only going to see it 9 times (3 times each) and for 10 seconds each go (90 seconds in total).

I told them they had to recreate the image on a sheet of A3 paper that was on their desk.

I gave them 3 minutes before the first go to plan their general strategy and to decide what the first person will do.

I then called up the first student from each group to come up to my laptop and view the image they had to go back and reproduce what they remembered on their sheet of A3 paper.

After each go I gave them time to reflect and plan the next visit.

I encouraged them to cooperate and support one another.

After the activity I then repeated the starter activity as a plenary.


What happened:
Students came up and viewed the image on my laptop and they ran back to their desks eager to reproduce the diagram. There was lots of running to and from the tables in haste to reproduce the diagram. 

Levels of response in picking out identifiable details from the visual image and remembering them varied between groups.  Some remembered small details, some remembered the position of images.  The groups worked cooperatively and amended their strategy throughout, telling the next person that was going to run up what to look at.


In the starter activity very few students were able to correctly name parts of the circle much to my relief, lesson plan out of the window if they had! 

I was concerned that students might not take the activity seriously as it does not look like “work”. The classroom looked chaotic at times but learning is not always achieved in ordered conditions and although there was some hubbub pupils were usually very on-task. I forgot to tell students to take care when running to and from their desks.  I felt it was really important that they recognized they had in fact learnt a lot through this technique and hence the necessity for me to repeat the starter activity as a plenary. I wished I had a recording sheet where pupils recorded their general strategy, what each person did and perhaps what they did manage to achieve so I could use it as valuable diagnostic assessment information. I did wonder whether I could have just projected the image on my IWB for 30 secs at a time as this was stop some of the chaotic running around but on reflection I think it was because students were moving that injected the buzz and pace.

Secondary Resources
What makes a good resources - using the materials

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20 February 2016 18:01
Great idea - I will try this with a group I have next week - I think that when children are working together against others they will work for their group and try to focus more, generally - I also believe that having an opportunity to discuss and collaborate on the things they are doing constantly will help each child reflect and refine their own understanding. It works for learning languages so why shouldn't these types of activities work for maths.

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