Category Archives: Teaching

ROTF – 24th March 2014

Year 7 – Probability

Year 8 – Simultaneous Equations

  • A QR code activity here.

Year 9 – Percentages; Multiples, factors, primes; HCF and LCM.

Year 10 – Circles, semicircles, sectors and arcs; Surface area and volumes of solids.

  • A nice question to introduce sectors of circles: Which pizza slice is bigger? A 9inch pizza cut in 10 slices or 7.5inch pizza cut in 8 slices?
  • A really nice way to get the students to discover the formula for surface area of a sphere – it does involve bringing oranges!
  • Dan Meyer’s Meatballs problem (from Three Act Maths) brings volumes of cylinder and spheres together nicely.

ROTF – 10th March 2014

Friday is Pi Day! Hopefully there will be some online activities as per last year, but here are a few other ideas as well.

  • Challenge your class to learn as many digits of pi as possible – prizes to whoever can remember the most.
  • Get them to write a pi-em for prep. Explanation here.
  • A nice website with lots of other ideas.

Year 7 – Metric and Imperial Units; Solids

Year 8 – Transformations

  • A fantastic collection of worksheets from the wonderful Tristan Jones – you will need a TES login.

Year 9 – Frequency Tables; Averages; Displaying Data.

  • A nice rich activity from ‘improving learning in maths’.

Year 10 – Problems involving quadratics; Quadratic inequalities; Using graphs to solve equations.


ROTF – 24th February 2014

Year 7 – Parallel lines; Straight Line Graphs

  • An unusual way to teach plotting straight line graphs.

Year 8 – Pythagoras’ Theorem; Volume

Year 9 – Trigonometry

  • A lovely extension activity here.

Year 10 – Converting units; Negative and fractional indices; Solving quadratics by factorisation; The quadratic formula.

  • An ‘improving learning in maths’ suggested lesson.

ROTF – 27th January 2014

Technically not a fortnight, as this lot will last you three weeks.

Year 7 – Formulae; Triangles and Quadrilaterals; Area and Perimeter

Year 8 – Fractions, Decimals and Percentages

  • An ‘improving learning in maths’ suggested lesson for converting between fractions and decimals.
  • An ‘improving learning in maths’ suggested lesson for percentage increase and decrease.

Year 9 – Solving simultaneous equations graphically; Graphs and inequalities; Similar triangles; Pythagoras’ Theorem.

Year 10 – Cubic graphs; Reciprocal Graphs; Alternate Segment Theorem; Intersecting chords and tangents Theorem; Problems involving sets. Shading sets. Set notation.


A Technology Treasure Hunt…

Last weekend, I had a moment of inspiration. Note: This is not necessarily a good thing…

Let’s start at the beginning. This term, I have been using the hour lesson that I have with top set Year 8 on a Tuesday as “Technology Tuesday”. We have had a go with Socrative, Educreations, Dan Meyer’s Three Act Maths…all good fun. Onto this moment of inspiration then.

I know, I thought, we’ll consolidate the work we’ve been doing on straight lines with a treasure hunt around the school! There can be QR codes, and passwords, and problems – it will be wonderful! I mapped it out on the back of an envelope – from the library, to the house room, to the picnic tables. There must be different start points so they aren’t all running around in one big group! The QR codes must be password protected so they can’t move on to the next problem unless they have solved the previous one!

Foolish, foolish, Mrs O’Clee…

The main trouble was that this was complicated to plan, and complicated things take time. A lot more time than I thought! (Probably 3/4 hours planning in total!). The concept was as follows:

  • The students have a booklet.
  • They solve the first page, giving them a password. Also on the first page is a QR code which gives them the clue to their first location. (There were 3 variations of page 1 therefore 3 different start points)
  • Upon arriving at the location, they find a QR code and a clue to the next location.
  • They scan the QR code (password protected) and enter the password they have just found. This then leads them to a problem. They solve the problem to get the next password.
  • They move on to the next location.
  • And repeat.
So what went right?
Well, I was really pleased with the immediate engagement from the girls – they loved running round the school and solving the problems. I told them to be back 5 minutes before the end of the lesson, and they were all 5 minutes late because they wanted to just do one more.
But what went wrong?
The password protected QR codes were a bit of a disaster. If they entered the wrong password 3 times it seemed to lock them out completely, so they all came running back to my room and we had to swap their ipad for a different one that hadn’t been locked out. Perhaps I was missing something, but password protected QR codes are a big fat no-no for my future (plus I had to take out a trial subscription for the privilege of creating the password protected QRs in the first place! A whole $3.95 wasted…)
Of course, that was just my opinion. So today I asked the girls for their feedback. And they LOVED the passwords. Yes, even though they were an absolute pain and at least half of them had issues, they were adamant that they did not want to lose the passwords if we were to do this again. They loved that they had to ‘unlock’ the next problem. I might have to think up a compromise there, because I’ve pretty much had it with password-protected QRs! Perhaps solving the problem gives them a word that completes a URL (maybe a padlet wall) and that leads them to the next location instead?
Other (sensible) suggestions included only sending them to places where they could sit and do workings out, as it was tricky figuring out the problem when they were stood outside next to a wall! Half wanted the clues more spread out, half wanted them less spread out so that was helpful.
I think I will spend a day or two just amending and improving the resources to incorporate those issues before sharing. If you’re interested in seeing them please leave me a comment!

ROTF – 13th January 2014

Year 7 – Algebra and Equations

Year 8 – Area

Year 9 – Solving equations; Using formulae; Positive integer indices; Inequalities.

Year 10 – Direct Proportion; Non-linear relationships; Inverse Proportion.


ROTF – 2nd December 2013

Phew! Nearly at the end of term. Watch out for Thursday when the date is a Pythagorean triple (5/12/13) and if you’re teaching the first lesson next Wednesday…make sure you don’t miss 09:10 on 11/12/13!

Year 7 – Algebra and Equations

  • Collecting like terms pyramid worksheets – easy and a bit harder.
  • Why is x the unknown? A short video.

Year 8 – Working with number; Straight Line Graphs

Year 9 – Ratio; Direct Proportion; Simplifying Algebraic Fractions

Year 10 – Distributions; Quartiles; Measures of spread; Cumulative frequency; Inverse Proportion; Recurring Decimals


ROTF – 18th November 2013

Year 7 – Accurate use of a calculator; Introducing Geometry; Coordinates

Year 8 – Ratio

Year 9 – Venn diagrams; Standard form with negative indices; Four rules of fractions.

  • Wanna be in my gang? A nice introduction to the idea of sets. Could be expanded to having two students each choose a type of number, which introduces the idea of an intersection.

Year 10 – Sequences; Transformations.


ROTF – 4th November 2013

Refreshed and relaxed after your break? Don’t miss Thursday’s very important date – 7/11/13 – this is the last time ever that we will get consecutive primes appearing (in the UK).

Also, Monday 11th November is Origami Day! If you have a spare 10 minutes, you could show some of this video.

Year 7 – Addition and subtraction of fractions and decimals; Multiplication and division of decimals. 

Year 8 – Multiplication and Division of Fractions.

Year 9 – Basics of angles; Constructions; Loci 

  • Worth reminding them of the correct terminology when quoting angle facts. This quiz makes a nice homework, although a couple may need to be deleted before you give it to them.
  • Find it difficult to get them to take good notes on how to do construction? Simply give them a QR code to stick in alongside the notes you give. 

Year 10 – Multiplying brackets; Factorising quadratics; Solving quadratic equations; Problems leading to quadratics.


ROTF – 30th September 2013

Week 5 – not long until half term!

Year 7 – Number and Patterns; Part of a Whole

  • A sequences alternative to ‘how many matchsticks’ can be found here.
  • Jim Ponds Mathematical Mission – maybe a good prep?


Year 8 – Linear Equations; Probability


  • An ‘improving learning in maths’ lesson idea addressing misconceptions in algebra.

Year 9 – The gradient of a straight line; Straight line graphs.

Year 10 – Proportion; Recurring decimals.

  • A cruise ship uses 1gallon of fuel to travel 6inches. In a 500mile cruise, how much fuel is needed?