You may already know about my blog posts on the ‘Dancing Man’ cipher. If not, check them out here;
34. The Dancing Cipher
97. The Dancing Cipher (part two)
Now, I have two parallel classes and I want to set the Dancing Man project as a homework, but they’ll be doing the task at different, but overlapping times. I don’t want the second class to have an unfair advantage, so I’ve written a second task. All the instructions are the same, but it’s a different text. I’m not sure whether to give each class a different text or whether to randomly assign both texts within both classes to avoid copying/generate confusion.
This text is a little more interesting than the last one … think zombies!
You can download an advanced (Beta?) copy below and I’ll update you on how it went, after I’ve done it.
Dancing Men Project 2
Letter frequency analysis project answer B
Here is a zero preparation revision or recap starter for you and it might tick a literacy/spelling box too. It’s fiendishly simple, but can be devilishly difficult to complete.
- Give students a topic word (eg circles) or use your school name.
- Tell them they have to complete an acrostic of maths words related to that topic or general revision words.
That’s it! You can make it more difficult by saying partners must have different words or narrowing the focus of the task.
Interestingly none of my students used the textbook index or Maths dictionaries to help them. The finished product could be used as a wall display, revision prompt or stuck on the front of an exercise book.
A Wise Word of Warning – W Maths words are in short supply.
Here is the example I used in class:
So, I was doing my usual Human Piechart activity when an interesting point occurred. I had the class split into a group of 20 and a group of 18 (I had a student in charge of each group so that the circles would be factors of 360). I asked the class how we could combine the groups to make a whole class pie chart. One student suggested we add together the angles and divide by two. Several other students agreed that it was a good idea.
There goes my lesson plan.
I put this prediction on the board and asked them to prove it or disprove it using hard facts. I was very impressed by the different techniques they used. Most students started by adding the angles and dividing by two, then:
- They went to the raw data and calculated the actual answers, disproving the prediction.
- Some looked at the angles on the ‘combined’ pie chart and worked out the number of degrees per person for each angle. They used the irregularities in angles to disprove the prediction.
- Looking at how many degrees there were per person and using logical deduction that you cannot add the angles.
- Others noticed that categories with the same number of people had different sized angles.
All this before they’d answered a single pie chart question! The moral of this story is: don’t ignore the wrong suggestions, embrace them and use student knowledge to dispel the myths.