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secondary magazine

issue 3
Secondary Magazine issue 3
We hope you have enjoyed the first two editions of the Secondary Magazine. It's not too late to catch up if you've missed any issues - check out the Secondary Magazine archive. Article of the week this issue comes from a reader inspired by a visit to her school from a Japanese artist, to explore using origami in the classroom.
Pecking Crows and Limping Seagulls
This afternoon I have worn a Samurai hat, I have been pecked by a crow and I have met some limping seagulls. All in a day's work you know.

Today was STEM Club - that's STEM as in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths forming yet another educational acronym. This week technology met maths as we created some beautiful origami under the skilled direction of Seiko Kinoshita. Seiko is a textile artist and an expert at origami; she regularly runs workshops in schools for students of all ages and abilities.

The great thing about STEM club is working with such a great group of students: they are bright and incredibly enthusiastic. Everything is attempted with determination; they ask intelligent questions and even use mathematical vocabulary. In fact they are remarkably like the students from the 'Teach Maths' TV ads.

After a quick introduction, Seiko handed round enormous sheets of paper and we all folded furiously according to her instructions, although initially we didn't know what we were making. In between folding and guessing ("It's a frog!"), the students put the folded paper on their heads ("It's a swan!") and enjoyed looking suitably daft. ("It's a hat!") And so it was: not just any old hat, but a most splendid Samurai hat. I was quite proud of mine, you can see it in the photo, complete with my name translated into Japanese by Seiko.

We then created a pecking crow. More furious folding. The most appealing aspect of the finished product is that if you flap its wings, the beak opens and closes (hence the name). I can see that this will provide endless entertainment for me!

Finally paper roses, Japanese water bombs (without the water, because we're cowards) and limping seagulls. Limping seagulls don't look very impressive at first sight and I could see the students were looking a touch disappointed with the grand finale. Then Seiko started to show them how to link the seagulls together to make a variety of 3D shapes. Suddenly disappointment gave way to "Cool!"

I suppose what I'm really saying is that the limping seagulls looked a bit lame on their own, but once they flocked together everything was fine. But we'll have much less of that kind of talk.

Article submitted by Lois Lindemann

Secondary Focus - The NCETM provides a round up of all news related to the new secondary curriculum  
Secondary Magazine archive

Browse Secondary Magazine
Issue 1 Welcome to the magazine
Issue 2 How much mathematics?
Issue 3 Pecking crows?
Issue 4 Unusual hobbies

PD Activities
Self Evaluation
Why do we teach mathematics?
Learning mathematics in my school
Pathways and options at KS3 to KS5

Website of the week - which ones really are worth a visit?


Contact us - share your ideas and comments


PD Activity - Learning mathematics in my school 2 hour learning module - Click here to find out more


 5 things to do this week - register to participate in World Maths day


Explore the Secondary Forum


Secondary magazine issue 4 - Read the next issue to find out more about Pathways and Options