# 358. A spatter of trig

The fabulous Mrs D (@mrsdenyer ) shared this forensics video, by crime scene analyst Matthew Steiner, on Twitter. At eight minutes in the presenter looks at blood spatter analysis. The use of basic trigonometry in a practical situation is a gift of a video for a starter in lesson.

My class were absolutely silent throughout and wanted to watch the whole video, however they may have just been trying to avoid work. I shared the video link with them via our digital classroom platform. We are now using blood spatter for 3D trigonometry examples rather then mobile phone masts. Gory, but effective!

# 341. Dragon Bridge

Here is a little starter picture for you:

This is the ‘Pont y Ddraig’ at the marina in Rhyl, in North Wales. What mathematical questions could be inspired by this?

‘Pont y Ddraig’ means Dragon Bridge. Find out more about the bridge here

# 329. Quick acrostic starter

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.

1. Give students a topic word (eg circles) or use your school name.
2. 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:

# 311. Sales starter

Here is a neat little starter photograph (click on the image to enlarge) – get the mini whiteboards at the ready!

Possible questions

• How much money could be saved with the different reductions?
• What are the percentage discounts?
• What is the price as a percentage of the original?
• What is the exchange rate between pounds and euros (using the original prices)?
• What would the sale prices be in Euros?

If you can’t read the data clearly, the prices are: £45, £30, £22.50, £13.50, 70 euros

# 301. How much is my sandwich?

A visual discussion starter for you:

These three pots of sandwich filling cost £1 each. The flavours are egg mayo, chicken & bacon and cheese & onion.
How much would the 182g chicken filling cost if it weighed the same as the others?
The large pots contain 5 servings and the small pot contains 3 servings – are they the same size serving?

If you zoom in on the picture you could generate your own questions based on the nutritional information eg calories per serving.

You could extend this to the snacks in students’ bags. Are they as healthy as they think?

# 300. Name that Number

Simple little starter for you today. Minimum preparation, personalised challenge.

Equipment

• Paper or whiteboards

Instructions

• Hand out mini whiteboards or use paper.
• Write the alphabet on the board.
• Assign each letter a value. You can go for the standard 1 to 26 or choose a mixture of big/small numbers – maybe a negative number or two.
• Get each student to write down their name and associated numbers.
• Write a target number eg 100 on your board.
• Each student must use the numbers of their name to make the target. If they can’t, they must get as close as they can.
• If they make that target either find another way or change the target number.
• Alternatively once they’ve finished they could use their classmate’s name – did they use the same method?

Variations

• You can make this as easy or difficult as you want by changing the target or the alphabet numbers.
• Throw in some fractions or decimals – go all the way and thrown in algebraic indices or standard form. You are the best person to judge your students’ level of challenge..
• You could allow surnames, you could insist all numbers are used.
• Put three alphabet variations on the board for mixed ability teaching.
• If you are teaching a class not in the English language (eg Welsh, Greek, Russian), where the alphabet is different, this still works just assign each letter/character a number in the same way.
• The possibilities are huge – have fun!

Note: this isn’t numerology, it’s proper Maths!

# 253. Picture of the week

Here is a quick photo prompt starter for you:
What does this picture make you think of?

If you said favourite colour bar-chart or line graph, you’d be wrong.

The shorter the bar, the more popular the colour.

However turn it upside down and here is your line graph:

The heights of the blue bars are the amount of each colour used – hence more popular.