# a 'practical' hands on maths lesson!!!!!! :-s

Discussion in 'Primary' started by pkltw3, Jun 4, 2008.

1. ### pkltw3

Hi all, im hoping some1 will be able to help. Iv just found out im going to be observed this week. My head wants to see a maths lesson and i need to make it as 'practical' and hands on as i can! It can be a one off lesson on ne topic. Im just been told this and starting to panic. My first thoughts were doing a lesson on capacity however i feel water is a bad idea for an observation so im thinking some kind of investigation??? Ne ideas would be much appreciated. Its been a tough week so far and my minds turned to mush :-( x

2. ### piglet33New commenter

What year group? I wouldn't rule out doing capacity - shows that you are brave and confident! If not how about something using weight or length in a similar way?

Or I did a triangle investigation lesson with LA year 6 (probably suitable for year 4/5) which was practical looking at triangle properties and extension involved a challenge where the children made triangles to investigate if it was possible to have an equilateral RAT?

3. ### pkltw3

whoops forgot to say a KS1 class !

4. ### teacherofmanyNew commenter

Go for capacity... if it's sunny (ish) you could take them outside to do the bit with water having already done the main teaching in class.

My personal favourite is to gather lots of weird and wonderful shaped containers (shower gel bottles, Body Shop containers, yoghurt pots etc) and get groups of children to order them according to their capacity. The way I've approached it is to get them to line them up in order then discuss ways of testing their order. I usually do this with KS2 and simply give them 2litres of water in a bottle, a funnel and a deep tray and tell them to come up with a method and go for it... the language and reasoning skills that it requires makes this a fun but reasonable challenge. For KS1 it might be worth bringing them together once they've come up with an order and invite suggestions for a testing method but for an observation it may be less scary to give them lots of bottles of water, measuring jug and funnels and ask them to measure the capacity of each container. If sticky labels and big marker pens are provided the children could label them with the actual capacity (good for demonstrating the reading of a scale). Depending upon the length of the lesson it would be possible to bring the class back inside and maybe look at the digital pictures and see how the pre-measuring orders compared to the actual capacity. Hopefully the plenary would be straightforward with the children able to identify how height, width etc. affect the capacity of the containers (those wine bottles with a tall indent in the bottom are a good red herring for KS2 but you'd definitely need to mention the H&S side of using glass containers, especially outside).

It offers lots of speaking and listening opportunities and is cross curricular in a science/DT sense. You could assign roles to different children to assess particular skills/ensure the 'usuals' don't dominate e.g. scribe (labeller), photographer (to record the order that the group decide to test), chairperson etc.

Good luck with whatever you choose!

5. ### pkltw3

those are fantastic ideas, thankyou!

6. ### needmoresleep

i had exactly the same situation as you and did capacity, it was brilliant, highly recommend it for all the reasons already stated-go for it.

7. ### *Elaine*

Hi,

I think i'm gonna steal that capacity idea for my lesson next week (got the dreaded ofsted in).

What sort of things would you discuss in your plenary??? Thats where I always come unstuck!!!!

I HATE OBSERVATIONS!!!!! xxxx

8. ### pkltw3

Havent quite got it organised yet, not paniking yet! We're going to have the water available then think i might have a variety of different activities around and rotate?? Iv never done capacity before and im a little nervous, willing to share ideas. For the plenery im guessing linking it to the next step, getting feedback from the children of how we can move them on, what did they struggle with / what could they do different next time etc???

9. ### WelshKatie

I'm doing capacity in year 2 at the moment. I have split the children up into 4 groups.

1. Making angel delight (have to accurately measure milk) - Would need a T.A. for this.

2. Estimating the order of 5 different sized bottles, smallest to largest capacity. Then measuring them and finding out if they were right. - This was my focus group and involved water.

3/4. Choose 5 different bottles/cartons and find out the capacity by looking at the label. Write them down, then put them in order. Once they had done this, they had to put them on a scale.

Children have worked really well today and they are all switching tomorrow to do a different activity.

10. ### pkltw3

Ooooh i like those ideas, thankyou! I was going to have one group working with water, estimating/finding out how much the containers hold, another group doing the same with sand, one group doing an activitiy on the interactive white coard looking at how much containers hold and trying the fill the exact amount and then a final group doing some kind of investigation using cubes/containers, how many cubes can a container hold, does this sound ok? A little nervous :-S

11. ### geniegirl

I love the Angel Delight idea - do they go crazy onc they've eaten it though?!

12. ### Brummie

I have used rice in the past when doing capacity - still spills, but easier to clean up?

Just a thought...

13. ### Brummie

obviously I wouldn't mix the rice with the angel delight

14. ### titus4tNew commenter

I use rice, but once bought long grain (it was on offer and cheap) only to find it wouldn't go down the funnels!

15. ### Brummie

Yeah - I think I had that problem too - but just got wider funnells!

16. ### WelshKatie

They weren't too crazy. Two packets of angel delight split between 30 doesn't go that far so they don't actually eat that much of it. I didn't let them have it until the very end of the lesson and only gave it to the children sitting nicely so it was a good bribery tactic.

Also, I repeated the activities today and didn't have a T.A. which meant I had a water group and an angel delight group but apart from a tiny milk spillage they were fab.

The class I have are not great at working independently but this week they have really responded to the practical activities.

17. ### tambourineteacher

The giant's hand - tell the children a story about a giant and produce a large paper cut out of a hand claiming that it is the giant's hand print. Give the children lots of resources: tape measures, string, rulers, scissors, markers, large sheets of paper etc and ask them to work out how tall the giant may have been from his hand print. Great maths/PSHE lesson. Group the children in mixed ability and remind them that everyone in the group needs to be involved. Quite noisey, but great fun and lots of learning

18. ### wellingtonbootNew commenter

Re: the plenary after testing capacity of containers.

Could you have a variety of cups or glasses and explain that you are *really* thirsty after all their hard work so you'll need the biggest drink possible at break/ lunchtime, so which cup/ glass should you choose and why? Take a vote and test the most popular with water. Choose your testers carefully and use as an assessment opportunity.