What a wonderful way to teach children the truth about Santa when they are ready to understand. The message that is sent out from the letter can be used in many different ways, I asked a pupil to read it out during form time and the response and discussions it created was brilliant! I now have the intention to use it next year in an assembly across all age groups during the festive period.
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Santa not real letter
]]>The results for this year November entries have been very interesting and the national figures show an interesting global picture.
Comments are FREE. Please share your thoughts and your results below!
AQA Grade Boundaries November 2014
1MA0 
A* 
A 
B 
C 
D 
E 
F 
G 

1F  Foundation tier  Paper 1F  
2F  Foundation tier  Paper 2F  
1H  Higher tier  Paper 1H  
2H  Higher tier  Paper 2H 
1MA0 
A* 
A 
B 
C 
D 
E 
F 
G 

1MA0F  Foundation tier  
1MA0H  Higher tier 
Shoe Size Math Trick
How often do students ask their history instructors “when am I going to use what I’ve learned?” NEVER. How often do students ask their math instructors “when am I ever going to use this?” ALL THE TIME. Why is this the case? Because most students don’t find mathematics fascinating. They don’t get as excited about fractions and equations as they may about the War of 1812. There are quite a few exercises and examples that prove math to be a fascinating subject. I recently found one such problem via @magicalmaths. It stated:
“Did you know that your shoe size can tell you your age!”
1) Take your shoe size (no half sizes, round up)
2) Multiply by it 5
3) Add 50
4) Multiply by 20
5) Add 1014
6) Subtract the year you were born
The first digit(s) are your shoe size and the last two digits are your age! Its shoe magic!
Shoe size math trick revealed
I reviewed it and figured out how it was constructed and why it works. It is a very clever algebra problem, one I wish I had thought of myself, but I didn’t. So I created a similar one:
1) Take your shoe size (no half sizes, round up)
2) Add 20 to it
3) Multiply by 50
4) Add 7
5) Multiply by 2
6) Subtract the year you were born
Alas, the first digit(s) are your shoe size and the last two digits are your age!
I like this one a little better because it does not give away the year with adding 1014. We can create an infinite number of this kind of “magic”. It is a great exercise that can be used to introduce students to algebra. It will peak their interest in the subject. Here is how this works.
1) “Take your shoe size.” I do not know your shoe size. In typical mathematics fashion, we let x be the shoe size.
2) “Multiply by it 5” gives us 5x
3) “Add 50” is 5x + 50
4) “Multiply by 20” is 20(5x + 50) = 100x + 1000
5) “Add 1014” is 100x + 2014
6) “Subtract the year you were born” gives us 100x + 2014 – (your birth year)
At this point, the problem clears up. We see that 2014 minus your birth year will give us your age (unless your birthday is later in the year). Next, when we multiply a whole number (except 0) by 100, we get that number with two zeros at the end. For instance, 5(100) = 500. So, 100x will put your shoe size first and the last two digits will be reserved for your age (as figured out earlier).
This magical shoe size math problem can be modified in various ways. For instance, instead of shoe size, ask for their favorite number. That choice is typically a whole number. Try this with students new to algebra and let them see the power of x.
]]>Having been in this scenario many times before this video had me in stitches! It is amazing what we as teachers do when a pupil does not understand a concept or idea, and how frustrating it can really be. Have you ever been in this nightmare scenario?
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Kid Snippets “Maths Class”
]]>The knowledge of times tables is one of major fundamentals for anyone to be able to progress in Mathematics. Research has shown that one of the main reasons why kids struggle with their Maths is the lack of number skills especially the ability to learn and recite their times tables. The ability to recall your times tables quickly and be able to multiply efficiently helps pupils to problem solve and develop mathematical reasoning.
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‘Rate my Focus’ – an idea to help children activate their understanding of, and take ownership of their focus in lessons.
This term I have decided to challenge my wonderful Y6 Maths class to develop the amount of time they focus on tasks within our lessons. It is an area we have decided upon that needs improvement to help our learning and fits in well with our school Jane Simister ‘Futuresmart’ disposition theme for term.
Focus in mathematics is important when leaning new concepts as it is at these times when you need your brain to make the links with other areas. I have found that the best mathematicians are the ones who use their focus positively, being actively involved in their learning, making the links that are essential for deep rooted understanding and the ability to transfer knowledge across different areas. It is this transfer of knowledge, along with the subsequent extended ‘time’ practising due to starting an activity quickly, that many children find challenging. I wanted to see how moving ‘Focus’ to the forefront of our learning would affect the children’s understanding of work covered.
We began the challenge by coming up with descriptors for our level of ‘Focus’ from 1 to 5. This enabled the children to take control and become active members in setting the parameters and targets for each level. We also decided on that we would measure the total ‘score’ by the class, and then check it against my thoughts on what the ‘score’ was. This worked really well to engage the children in their understanding of what I was trying to achieve and gave them the opportunity to say what factors we could measure. Having a group total meant that the children all had to collaborate fully and were part of a team. This meant that ‘Focus’ went from being a word that is said within the class to a measurable target, with clear success criteria on how to achieve. We decided that for every lesson we would refer to the ‘Focus chart’ and use this to help manage our lessons.
At the end lesson each child rewarded themselves a score out of 5 which they then added together to get a total score for the lesson. I then told the children the total score that I gave the group. The aim was to score a high level of focus, and for the children’s score to match my score. The children quickly became used to the criteria they had arrived at and the language became part of the independent and collaborative parts of the children’s learning. We found that they realised the reasons for having to remain focussed at certain parts of the lesson. Throughout the week, the total scores increased and the difference between my totals and the children’s totals became closer.
Overall I have found that bringing ‘Focus’ to the forefront has allowed the children to deal with mathematical concepts more effectively, share their learning and make links with others. The overall ‘score’ throughout the time has increased and the children have increased the expectations on themselves and the level of Focus they need to show. They are certainly more active in their learning and aware of this in conversation.
I would recommend tailoring something that draws ‘Focus’ to the front of your lessons to see how it affects the teaching and learning that goes on.
@MrJPWalton
These are our criteria… (note the children’s input, language and ownership!):
Our level of focus for this lesson:
Below are the EdExcel GCSE Linear Mathematics 1MA0 November 2014 Paper 1 Grade Boundaries and Mark Schemes and EdExcel GCSE Linear Mathematics 1MA0 November 2014 Paper 2 Grade Boundaries and Mark Schemes. Check out the previous years’ Grade boundaries and Mark Schemes to make a comparison.
The results for this year have been very interesting and the national figures show an interesting picture. Be sure to check out the reviews of some great maths resources to aid in the teaching of Mathematics available on the site.
Comments are FREE. Please share your thoughts and your results below!
Grade Boundaries November 2014
1MA0 
A* 
A 
B 
C 
D 
E 
F 
G 

1F  Foundation tier  Paper 1F  
2F  Foundation tier  Paper 2F  
1H  Higher tier  Paper 1H  
2H  Higher tier  Paper 2H 
(Marks for papers 1F, 2F, 3H and 4H are each out of 100.)
1MA0 
A* 
A 
B 
C 
D 
E 
F 
G 

1MA0F  Foundation tier  
1MA0H  Higher tier 
(i) 3484 (1 mark)
(ii) 34.84 (1 mark)
(iii) 670 (1 mark)
2. Percentages
Maths (she achieved 40%) (2 marks)
3. Stem and leaf diagram
8  4 8 9
9  0 0 1 1 2 3 5 7 8
10  2 3 6 8
11  0 5
Key: 8  4 = 84 cm (3 marks)
4. Formula
T = 6x + 8y (3 marks)
5. Inequalities
6. Plants
Steve has enough money (he needs £149.58) (4 marks)
7. Floor Plan
x = 9 (4 mark)
8. Angles
x = 130 degrees (4 marks)
9. Questionnaires
a) Overlapping boxes and no units for distance or time (2 marks)
b) Correct question (2 marks)
10. Perpendicular
Correct construction (2 marks)
11. Monthly payments
£900 (4 marks)
12. Algebra
13. Factors and multiples
b) 6 and 30 (many other possible correct answers) (2 marks)
14. Wallpaper remover
25 ml (4 marks)
15. Box plots
a) Draw box plot (2 marks)
b) Median for boys is higher and interquartile range for girls is larger (other possible correct answers) (2 marks)
16. Cumulative frequency
a) Plot graph (2 marks)
b) Graham isn’t correct (it is 5%) (2 marks)
17. Octagon and hexagon
25 degrees (4 marks)
18. Trapeziums
a) 7.5 cm (2 marks)
b) 45 square cm (3 marks)
19. Table of values
a) y values are: 8, 4, 2, 1, 0.8, 0.5 (2 marks)
b) Plot graph (2 marks)
20. Cylinder and hemisphere
21. Surds
22. Indices and fractions
a) 1 (1 mark)
23. Probability
24. Coordinate geometry
No the lines are not perpendicular (the gradient of the perpendicular line is 1.5 not 0.75) (4 marks)
25. Graph transformations
i) (3, 1) (1 mark)
ii) (1.5, 4) (1 mark)
iii) (3, 4) (1 mark)
This picture, “Satire on False Perspective” is produced by William Hogarth in 1754. This picture makes a great starter to an Art lesson on perspective but also could be use for any lesson to exercise the mind as a starter and help develop engagement! How many perspective errors can you find? Leave your answers below.
Comments are FREE, please leave one below! The answers are below….
Satire on False Perspective
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