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Creativity in maths?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by juliateacher, May 25, 2007.

  1. Title says it - how creative can you be in maths?
  2. Title says it - how creative can you be in maths?
  3. myrtle

    myrtle Occasional commenter

  4. do elaborate...
  5. Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2016
  6. i have the scholastic creative activies maths problem solving books (two books; 5-7yrs and 7-11yrs)and have found them useful in making siome aspects more exciting and not just lookin at the board or worksheets, other things that I do that the children respond well to is have questions on cards in pots on the tables, much easier to differentiate, children answer question in books. Just like using a worksheet, but because it is more interactive, the children seem to respond much better.
    Also what i do is for the main body of work in some lessons, I have their groups' task in labelled envelopes on their desks. Have great enjoyment opening it - find it much more exciting than just bein givin the work!!

    I work in VERY mixed ability y4 class, so this might not work for you.

    Hope that helps (and makes sense!! LONG LONG week! lol)

  7. shetland-kat

    shetland-kat New commenter

    ooh this is just what i am looking for so thought i'd bump it up again.

    Apart from baking etc with the younger ones instead of filling out workbooks on weight i am a bit stumped.

    I am really keen on making maths creative.

    Anyone got any great ideas???

  8. Am off out for the day will think on this one!
  9. I taught rotation in maths this year by using Powerpoint, if that's the sort of thing you mean.
  10. i guess one way to look at this is to think about where maths occurs in the environment baking and shopping being the obvious ones and then to look at how to apply maths. think i would still teach maths as a discrete subject and then look at topic work for how to apply eg if build buggies in dt measuring as making and as testing how far they go. lots of measuring and data handling in science
  11. Art goes very well with Maths. There's a wonderful fibonacci site: www.mcs.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/ R.Knott/Fibonacci/fib.html

    Fibonacci has so many fascinating aspects: golden mean. golden square, spirals...

    Then there's mandalas - sacred circles -- google mandalas lesson plans...symmetry etc, concentric circles, squares

    The Number Devil is a very good book, aimed at HA children, but easy to draw ideas from. It includes references to fibonacci (or Bonacci) but also introduces Pascal's triangle. There's a good interactive website called 'shodor' which colours in different aspects of the triangle. I f you google pascal's triangle there's a template you can use for the children to complete and they can colour in 3 x, 5x.nx tables. You can then put 6 of these together to form relly interesting hexagons - quite beautiful....

    Fractels - quite advanced, but you can blind them with the beauty of it all.....

    Then, thinking skills........all those investigations - lots of books on those!

    Smarties are good for fractions/ ratio/proportion

    Opal fruits/starburst where there are 10 wrapped sweets of different colours in a packet. Each child has a packet... Show me 2/20/ proportion/ratio/decimal fractions.

    co-ordinates - always refer them to computer games/graphics so they think they can see a relevance of this(!) - islands can fit nicely into that and link with other topics, such as Kensuke's Kingdom!!

    Recently, linking in with traditional tales, (Jack and the beanstalk), I took multiples of 10.100,1000 etc to make different sizes of object to suit differnet giants. (So, giants who are 10x bigger , 100x bigger, etc.) We drew out in chalk on the playground a giant who was 10x bigger than one of them, and then did the same for objects to go with them. Questions arise naturally then between which measurements to us ..mm,cm, m etc.

    measurements really lend themselves to a creative approach. Begin with what do we measure and what do we measure it with. That could take an hour in itself, especially as you get on to light years...the history of measurement, how do you measure if you haven't got standard measurements. A great challenge...ask them all to measure a minute, or 30 seconds. (You'll get marble runs, sand timers, water clocks and candles...!! Be prepared for chaos)

    Another good topic link upis with the Ancient Egyptians. Not just shape and space, but also their wayof dividing and multiplying (quite good methods actually). They didn't use many fractions and yet the pyramids are accurate to a just over a hair's breadth, maybe a bit more!) There are some topic based books on that.

    Links with science and data handling also abound.

    I could go on, I love Maths, the secret is to think creatively and outside the box and get away from the wretched prescriptiveness of unit plans et al.

    Happy to say more, but suspect I've gone a bit overboard as it is!

  12. shetland-kat

    shetland-kat New commenter

    up again! I want to keep this one going for a while.

  13. This is a great thread!! Looking for ideas myself on how to teach directions to a year 4/5 class in an exciting and creative way... any ideas?

    Oh and frilly pants:

    'have questions on cards in pots on the tables, much easier to differentiate, children answer question in books'

    do you have a selection of questions on one card, or just a question on a card and the children take a question as they finish?? Just wondering as would love to try this idea!!!

    I'll try to think of some things to add myself.... once I'm more awake!!
  14. hanami, i put different questions on different cards, time consuming, but well worth it!! Cards can be re-used too. Let me know how you get on with it!!
  15. Andrew Jeffrey

    Andrew Jeffrey New commenter

    Some great ideas here. Modesty forbids me from telling you about my own website (so I won't), but what I saw yesterday at the Brighton Festival certainly qualifies...

    A guy armed with nothing but raw spaghetti and marshmallows was getting kids to build incredible 3-D structures, using tetrahedra etc.

    Fantastic creativity - I will certainly be trying this out at school next month!

    I was just putting the finishing touches on a world-record-breaking tower when my 3-year old ate a cornerstone and the whole thing collapsed in on itself. Ah well...

  16. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    Go on tell everyone your website!
  17. Shetland Kat says you need jelly babies as well as the marshmallows go eekky if you have to pull them off again.
  18. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    I wouldn't be able to do lessons with that much food - I'd just want to munch! (it's bad enough when I do smartie pie charts/bar charts!)
  19. Hi Everyone,

    Just had to reply to this post as it is a topic quite close to my heart. I really didn't enjoy maths in high school, but remember loving it in primary school which made me think why? Because it was made to be fun. Now that I am a teacher I try to make maths as fun and as hands on as possible.
    I am an Aussie teacher living in London and whilst teaching at home I discovered these WONDERFUL books by an author called Bev Dunbar. She has a whole series of books called 'Exploring Maths' for the Early Years. They are so great I bought the whole series over with me.
    She uses games and hands on activities to teach maths and they great the children so excited and switched on.

    For example last year we had a fantastic couple of weeks exploring length in my 1/2 class. Just a few things we did:
    - Mintie (an Australain sweet) Wrapper Challenge - who can rip their mintie wrapper and make it the
    longest? Informal measuring
    - Paper plane challenge. Who can make their paper plave fly the furthest? Measured distance with distance stick.
    - Lots of challenges. You need a straw, a ping pong ball and a timer. What is the furthest distance you can blow the ball in 10 seconds? You need a snail and a timer. What is the furthest distance it can crawl in 1 minute?
    - Lots of investigations. How long does it take and ant to travel one metre? How many metres in a roll of toilet paper?

    So may ideas. Must stop now. It's holidays and my brain hurts.

    Let me know if you want any other ideas. There are loads!!


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