Saturday, February 15, 2014

Maths stories

I have enjoyed teaching maths through mini mantles before and my children have risen to many challenges. My favourites were Swift Air, Nature Park and of course Chadbury's chocolates. I will share a brief synopsis of each. The links will take you to class blog posts, but be warned they may be a little vague!

Swift air

Swift Air announce new flights and holiday packages from Norwich International airport. Cue lots of problem solving with money and time. Swift air had to respond to customer requests and produce itineraries for them, which were carefully priced. Some were on offer at 50% off (year 4/3 set) and the G&T children had to calculate time zone differences. If you look closely at the photo you will see how the children were working with large amounts of money, then writing their responses to the customer phone calls (on the pink paper).

Party Planners and Chadburys chocolates

There are a range of possibilities when you become a company like Chadbury's chocolates and mine went far beyond the daily maths lesson. You can read about the full mantle here, which involves a giant problem!

I have used the theme of Chadburys for other maths too, such as data handling, designing boxes, weights and measures and also incorporated it into Party planners, who take customer orders and fulfil them! A great mantle for Easter.

Childerwood Nature Park

After a lottery award (we needed to problem solve with money) the Nature Park folk decided to spend money on a new adventure playground, before designing and creating more animal pens. This covered shape, space and measure (including area and perimeter) as well as a lot of problem solving and calculating. Of course collaborative working was another key skill.

In KS1 I have used maths stories more, though maths has crept into many other mantles, such as when we have had to measure polar bears in order to transport them in trailers and design and create things like fire engines, wheel barrows for Percy the Park Keeper and feeding platforms for orangutans. There have been many occasions when grid references, position and direction have been included and their have been many opportunities through geography and science to practice basic maths skills.  It puts the maths into a context, therefore giving more meaning.

As a KS1 teacher I have looked for stories that support mathematical understanding too. There are many! I have used the obvious (How Big is a Million?, 365 Penguins and Olivers Vegetables etc are great), but have started to look for others. I won't reinvent the wheel, but thought it would be useful to collate a bank of resources so that I don't have to keep dearching for them. here are some I've found. Please leave a comment with links to your maths stories posts or favourite resources. I love using other folk's successful ideas!

Maths from stories a great book list, mind maps linked to books and plans for different year groups can be found here. A useful resource!

Maths Stories lots of links to maths resources, not just from books

Gingerbread man themed maths

Maths Contexts you have to have a Norfolk nsix account to access these

Maths Story  has stories, poems and songs from the USA

And of course it wouldn't be complete without a great Pinterest page (thanks to Jan Pringle)

Please share your maths stories!

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