2nd of February is probably the most important day in a mathematician’s calendar. Why is this day important? Well, if you didn’t guess from the title, it’s World Number Day! At my alternative placement for my ITT year, I was given the project of helping to organise a school wide event to take place on World Number Day.

The first task to face was where do I get some fun resources for the students to use? Fortunately for me, at the last CPD session from the IMA I was given a load of resources to use, such as Caesar ciphers and enigma machines. These are exactly what we used as well as several more resources from other teachers and or found online. With all the resources sorted, it was just down to how we were going to organise the day. I made contact with other trainees from different departments and was able to convince them to do a number themed starter in most of their lessons on the day! We even managed to get a school wide form time number session going! The most important thing that we were able to get was t-shirts for the whole maths department with World Number Day across the front and their favourite numbers on the back! No professional dress for the most important day of the year!

The day itself started off brilliant, we gave the students a worksheet to describe themselves using numbers during their form time. The students loved this task and enjoyed coming up with various ways to describe themselves using numbers. When coming for their maths lesson, the students instantly knew something was different because of our t-shirts. They would come in and take part in 3 or 4 different activities and compete against each other to win sweets (I ended up eating a lot of those sweets and was on a sugar high the whole day!).

One of the activities was a murder mystery where one of the maths teachers had murdered another and it was down to the students to solve the crime! The first team to find the murderer, the victim, where, when and why it happened won some sweets! Another activity was code breaking, the students were either given a Caesar cipher or an enigma machine (depending on the ability of the class) to break the code on the board and get the code word for the secret stash of sweets (the word: Pythagoras!).

For one activity, students were given a number and had to stand if the statement on the board was true for their number. The final activity was a game called Fizz Buzz, a game in which the students have to see how far they can count. The twist? For every multiple of 3 they have to say fizz, for every multiple of 5 they say buzz and for a number that is a multiple of 3 and 5 they say fizz buzz. If they get it wrong, they’re out and it starts again.

Overall, the day was a success and it was brilliant to be able to sit in the home base and be surrounded by classes taking part in the activities that I had helped to organise.

By Emma Moulton