Monthly Archives: May 2014

218. Liverpool Maths

You know you are a Maths teacher when you go around a British city seeing shapes and maths everywhere AND you take pictures of it! Here are some discussion starters based around the area of Liverpool ONE:

Curved building
What would the plans and elevations look like? Why do you think the side windows are parallelograms not rectangles? Are the end windows similar shapes? What mathematical word describes distorting a shape? (Skew)


Stacked shapes
What would a plan and elevation of this building look like? What shape is the base of the projected level? (Trapezium)


Sine wave
Is this an approximation of a sine wave? Is it representing a convergent sequence?


Triangular roof
Why are triangles so popular in architecture?


Interesting shopfront projection
What would an aerial view look like? Would you see the zigzag projections?


Security door
What shapes can you see? Is it like isometric or squared dotty paper?


Curved stairwell
What mathematical things can you see? Are the handrails parallel?


Circular skylight
What features of a circle can you see?


217. My Learning Wall

Last week I responded to a request on Twitter from @missradders for people to share their wall display ideas. I tweeted a picture of my ‘Learning Wall’, which is a collection of the best ideas from other teachers from this year. I was surprised by the number of teachers who liked it and wanted to know what was on there. So here you go – my ‘Learning Wall’ with interactive links to where all the ideas and resources came from. If you hover your mouse over the image hotspots will appear. It is made using the ThingLink website, using a free teacher subscription.

216. Back to the Takeaway

If you like Takeaway homeworks or need a resource for the area and perimeter of circles, including some arc/sector challenges, then my third takeaway homework is for you!

Takeaway Homework 3: Area & circumference of circles

215. Another Takeaway

After the warm response the first takeaway homework received, I’ve written another! This time it is about Pythagoras and basic trigonometry – suitable for introductory or revision homework. This one hasn’t yet been trialled, so let me know how it goes.

Pythagoras and Trigonometry homework

214. My first takeaway homework

If you have been on Twitter recently you may have seen educators sharing their ‘Takeaway’ homeworks. The idea is in Ross Morrison-McGill’s splendid book ‘100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers: Outstanding Lessons’ (@TeacherToolkit). Maths teachers have started embracing this concept and sharing their menus online.

Image credit: Bloomsbury Press

Image credit: Bloomsbury Press

I’ve written a ‘Takeaway’ homework aimed at Year 9 Level 6/7 students on constructions, plans and elevations. Each task has a monetary value based on difficulty and every student must complete at least three tasks to complete the minimum £12 of homework.  I personalised my in-school version to include the websites we subscribe to and books we use. I’m looking forward to seeing what my students hand in and I will update this post when they do.

Constructions Takeaway Menu (pdf)

213. Crack the code 2

If you liked the previous post 212. Crack the code 1, you’ll like this one.

Image Credit:

Image Credit:

Another Code sheet, but this time on Pythagoras’ theorem. The sheet covers Pythagoras (find hypotenuse and shorter side), Pythagorean triples, problem solving and rounding to 2dp.

Download it here: Pythagoras Crack the Safe

212. Crack the Code 1

I love the worksheets produced by danwalker on TES resources. Basically a set of results are combined to make a numerical code. You could have a ‘Kilner’ stye jar with a changeable combination padlock and a prize locked inside as motivation.

Image credit:

Image credit:

I’ve started using this style of activity with sleepy sixth formers, unmotivated low ability Year 10 and excitable Year 9s. Dan Walker has released the following activites on TES resources:

Parametric Equations

Binomial Expansion


I’ve now created a Code sheet for Number Patterns. It covers term to term rules, using an Nth term rule, finding an Nth term and finding a specified term.

Number Patterns Crack the Safe (pdf)