The latest version of this post with new activities added is here.
What to do for those last lessons?
Some of these activities would be great for any lessons, not just at the end of term. The complete collection can always be found on the End of term activities page. For readers familar with this collection all links have been checked and there there have been several updates.
You might want something other than a video, though perhaps consider a Numberphile video or I could make an exception for the counting chimps, a video I was introduced to by Alex Bellos at the SSAT conference which he included in his session and shows the astonishing recall of a chimp – compare the human!
Try some UKMT team challenges, their crossnumber puzzles make a great end of term activity. The junior materials can be found here and senior here.
Relays from Chris Smith. These are excellent, note there is a complete set; I used his Valentine relay very successfully this year! Featured in Mathematical Miscellany#2.
From JustMaths a great end of year pub quiz. I do like the way this ends with a round on Matchstick puzzles, this will keep our students happily busy! Note the very useful recommendation for Matchstick Puzzles from Dawie van Heerden.
Get your students thinking with some resources from Underground Mathematics. Try Equation Sodukuor perhaps LCM Sudoku.
Another possibility from Underground Maths, try the Division Game.
Let your students get their phones out to play Factris, a new App published in July 2017 developed by Richard Lissaman, of MEI.
Bingo always works really well.
A team game? Try Workers of Zen.
(ATM publish books of team games).
I must mention A Little Problem for the Holidays!
Some Mathematical games and puzzles perhaps? There are plenty to choose from.
The Set Game is a daily puzzle from The New York Times. How many sets can you find? Click ‘How to play’ for the rules.
Or try some pencil and paper games such as Sprouts, described very clearly here by the Iowa State Math Department.
Always popular with students is the game of Countdown. Exellent programs for both games can be downloaded free from Chris Farmer’s CSF software site. For a new challenge why not try Coundown with Fractions from Nrich or another variation – see this Countdown collection.
Learn the syntax for WolframAlpha, perhaps a chance for students to explore WolframAlpha, using the various slideshows, note the questions on the worksheet. Note the last slideshow on a little fun with WolframAlpha!
Explore the Desmos Graphing Calculator (and note the further reference to Desmos below, use Desmos to create some art work!)
For a main activity a Tarsia puzzle provides an engaging activity. I intend to use one to see how many of the formulae needed for the part of the course which my Year 10 students (age 14-15) will be studying next year are already known.
We could of course have some fun with WolframAlpha. Did you know you can plot Darth-Vader? There are in fact a whole family of Star Wars curves! Or maybe you prefer Dr Who?!
Have you seen Wolfram fun facts? (You can view these on Twitter whether or not you have a Twitter account). Why not try modifying these queries? Note the different cookies you can try in the cookie query shown below. You could perhaps invent similar problems! How many pizzas would it take to fill the moon? OrJupiter?
If those WolframAlpha equations are a bit much for younger students they could try something simpler using the Desmos graphing calculator; look at Alec Schultz’s PacMan for example, you could just show your students how to restrict the domain for straight lines, maybe show them the equation of a circle and see what they can produce! See this post on Graph Art on Mathematics for Students.
To generate some more pretty curves why not try Spirograph?! Students could experiment with these online versions to see the various curves that can be generated.
These logic puzzles from John Pratt should keep students happily and usefully occupied. (I have added these to the Puzzles page on Mathematics Games.) Or we could try another Kakuro Puzzle, students were fascinated by these when introduced to the puzzles by a member of the class. At the end of the year we often ask students to do a presentation to their peers which works well.
Try (or write a new) Sporkle Quiz.
Still thinking about games, from Nrich these Strategy games are for Primary teachers; but could also be useful for lower secondary.
For more ideas check Jo Morgan’s Resouceaholic.
We could finish with a song or two!
Wishing teachers everywhere a happy holiday (only WolframAlpha would give you the Scrabble score as well as the definition!)
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Some of these activities would be great for any lessons, not just at the end of term…