Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Where is the middle?

Finding an easy Geogebra challenge for Year 5s that's just right is itself a challenge, but this one went well.

Where is the centre of a regular pentagon?

We know how to make these, because we've had a go at making stars (another interesting and more open-ended challenge).

Some of the children remembered how to find the mid-point between two points (we'd done this finding the parallelograms inside any quadrilateral).

So they found the mid-point between A and B. Here it is, F. Then they found the midpoint between F and D and "I've found it!"
There it is - G.

Except that it isn't.

We checked and, doing the same thing on the four other sides, we got four other "centres":
 So, it's got us close, but not close enough. After a bit more experimenting, some of the class did it with lines: We were now pretty confident that we'd found the centre! To finish off, I asked the children to play a little, and see what they could create from that. Later on, some of them had a bit of spare time to colour in their creations on Paint.

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Art of Fractions

Year 8 students have been making some fabulous ‘mondrianesque’ pictures all based on the idea of different fractions. here is the 'Art of Fractions' activity. All pictures are based on a particular fraction. Starting with any rectangle students mark off the chosen fraction of that rectangle so that it is split into two new rectangles. Each of the new rectangles can be split in the same way, but they don’t have to be. Rectangles can be split horizontally or vertically by the given fraction or left alone. The artists then add their chosen colour scheme and ‘hey presto’ we have ‘The Art of Fractions’. It is good to do creative things and have students thinking about the fraction as they make their decisions. The whole process is great practice of calculating fractions of amounts in an engaging context! Looking forward to this year’s productions! Here are some examples!

Venn that tune!

A new twist on an old game! Can you figure out what the song title is by the area that is shaded on the Venn diagram?

This is all inspired by this lovely book ‘Venn that tune’. Maths Studies spend a lot of time with Venn diagrams and link them thoroughly logic, sets and probability moving to understand about dependent events and conditional probability. With this in mind, we enjoy playing with them at the start to make sure we understand the implications of intersection etc. We have started a shared presentation to share some of these and are hoping to get others to contribute their examples and get quite a collection. Maybe you can add one!

Exploring HIV Stats

Students in years 10 and 11 have marked World Aids day (Dec 1st) by learning about some of the stories that are told through statistics on HIV and AIDS. The idea was to give students a sense of what the numbers mean and the impact that HIV has had on different parts of the world. The idea is a cross curricular project between PSCHE/homeroom and Mathematics and some resources are available here - HIV - AIDS Statistics.

In an assembly, students were asked to put them selves in to different groups that eventually represented the ratio of those with and those without HIV in different countries. They were watching themselves do this live as a camera image was projected so that they could decide how they looked before photos were taken. The idea was to work on visual representations of some of these statistics. They were eventually asked to think about their own visual representations of these numbers and to be inspired by other infographics about HIV like these examples. Hopefully we will soon be able to post some of the examples students came up with here.

After that students were asked to solve a puzzle involving bits of information and some graphs about 8 different countries. the aim is to put the right piece of information with the right country.

The puzzle is here and involves looking at graphs like the one below where you can see what has happened to life expectancy in this particular country over the last 60 years. Which country do you think it is?

Here are some photos from the activity in action! This is the students moving themselves in to different groups to represent the proportion of people with HIV in different countries. As you can see, some of the groups have as many as 1 in 4 people standing up.