Maths Scholarships Resources Webinar 3 - By Sophie Jenkinson

Probably the best probability session south of the north pole & Games and puzzles in the mathematics classroom and club

Sophie Jenkinson With the current situation facing the world I have been trying to find ways to maintain a bit of normalcy in my life so when I received an email that the team over at Maths Scholarships were hosting 3 resources webinars I quickly signed up. With my placement being cut short, I have genuinely missed just doing a bit of maths so I was very much looking forward to all 3 sessions. The last of the webinars, hosted by Peter Ransom from The Mathematical Association, was packed full of activities to be used in the maths classroom. The appropriately titled session “Probably the best probability session South of the North Pole” began with a quick game of higher or lower. Peter explained how this game can be used to link fractions, decimals and percentages and how we can encourage students to use probability to make informed choices when making their guesses. 

We moved on to an activity designed to get students thinking about relative probability. Peter randomly chose multi-link cubes out of a tub and we had to use a tally chart to decide how many of each colour there were. I really enjoyed this activity and the questions it raised that could be asked in the class such as “how many times do we need to show a cube before you can determine how many there are?” I was also very impressed that I got the right answer which was a nice bonus! We played another multi-link cube game which involved dropping the cubes and recording which way up they landed before moving on to the next session “Games and puzzles in the maths classroom.” 

Peter first showed us how to make an 8 page booklet which honestly blew my mind! The booklet is a great way for pupils to record answers and keep learning organised in something that can easily be revised from. We used out booklets to record how many shapes can be made from a 2-piece tangram puzzle and we discussed the properties of these shapes being encouraged to make notes in our booklets. Next, we looked at using Pentominoes to create an enclosed area. This activity is great to develop pupil’s problem-solving skills and can easily be turned in to a competition, who can create the largest enclosure? The last activity that Peter showed us involved a 5-piece puzzle which can be pieced together to form a square. I have to admit, this last activity definitely had me stumped but I know other attendees completed so it isn’t impossible! 

Overall, this session, as well as the previous two, was brilliant! I came away with so many new resources to use with my students and cannot thank the scholarships team enough for organising.

By Sophie Jenkinson
Twitter: @MissJenkinson1



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