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Secondary Magazine - Issue 46: An idea for the classroom

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 20 October 2009 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 10 November 2009 by ncetm_administrator

Secondary Magazine Issue 46   mobius strip

An idea for the classroom - cre8ate Maths

I was given a flier advertising this website at a recent conference. I was initially put off looking at it as you need to register, but it takes seconds and is definitely worthwhile.

cre8ate Maths is a CPD project for teachers in Yorkshire and Humberside who are developing and testing new curriculum materials at Key Stage 3. The website states:

‘The structure of the resources matches the twelve priority work/industry sectors in Yorkshire and Humberside. Resources for each sector will include activities that relate to the industrial or work related aspects of the context. The key characteristic of all the resources is that they link real and significant mathematical thinking with authentic real world applications.’

The twelve priority work/industry sectors are:

1 Growing food
2 Working with chemicals
3 Childcare/early years
4 Building for the future
5 Digital design
6 Making things work
7 Food and drink
8 Health and social care
9 Working at play
10 Getting there
11 Retail services
12 Working with others

I had a look at the ‘Building for the future’ section and found a resource called ‘Rigid Structures’. The introduction states that:

‘This set of activities provides the teacher with a great way of looking at new or local landmark buildings whilst introducing youngsters to key aspects of shapes and construction of accurate drawings in a motivating problem solving context.’

Pupils are asked to find and record, via a sketch or a digital camera, rigid structures in their environment. Pupils then create a structure using geostrips and are asked to consider if it is rigid. What could pupils add or take away from their structure to ensure its rigidity? Finally pupils make a framework of squares then predict and test which braces are need to make the structure rigid. 

rigid structures

Another interesting resource was in the section Childcare/early years. The resource is called ‘Keeping Baby Warm’. Pupils are invited to consider why it is important to wrap up a baby to keep it warm. Pupils make a model of a baby and an adult. They then calculate the volume and surface area of each model – possibly using a spreadsheet, but this is not provided – and compare the answers. Each resource is attractively presented with contemporary photos and is likely to appeal to pupils. The resources are not closely structured, rather like the Up2d8 resources in our Secondary Magazine, but allow teachers to construct a project using the stimulus of the packages.

Do have a look at this website and tell us what you think.

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