Mathematical Advent Calendars

It’s that time of year again…!

Nrich Advent Calendars

Nrich Advent Calendars

December means Advent Calendars and Nrich have published two Advent Calendars, one for Primary and one for Secondary each containing twenty-four problem-solving activities, one for each day in the run-up to Christmas. The primary Calendar tasks focus on encouraging mathematical habits of mind and the Secondary tasks have been chosen to encourage mathematical creativity.

You can in fact find a whole collection of advent calendars on Nrich and clearly the year doesn’t matter! Note the different themes available – a Sudoku for each day perhaps? Or a tangram? Maybe you want to play a game? 

Advent calendar Alex Pett

Advent Calendar by Alex Pett

Alex Pett created his advent calendar complete with history and problems for each day. Alex has provided a pdf version or use as a Google document. For an Activeinspire resource this version also has sound.

revision-calendar
Alternatively how about this Christmas Revision Calendar form Access Maths?

mathsbank

MathsBank Advent Calendar

And for an A Level Advent calendar, try this one from Mathsbank.

With Mathsbank you can display solutions step by step.

The last few days of term …

So – just a few days to go. I have a couple of Year 12 (UK age 16-17) lessons left. We have done everything we should and made a very good start to the Year 13 course – so what to do for the very last lesson? These logic puzzles from John Pratt should keep us 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 ask Year 12 students to do a presentation to their peers which works well.

I wrote last week on End of term activities and mentioned the excellent Bingo games on Maths Box, colleagues have said how well the Treasure Hunts from the same site worked with their classes. Thank you Maths box!

Still thinking about games, I see that in the latest Nrich newsletter, Strategy games are featured for Primary teachers; these would also be useful for lower secondary.

This week I was pleased to see the new podcast from TES, ‘The Big Conference Interview Special’ which features interviews with some of the speakers from the TSM conference and  includes the pros and cons of using iPads in the classroom, a new curriculum for post 16s and an in-depth discussion about what the new UK mathematics curriculum will look like. At about 16.5 minutes in you can catch Criag Barton talking to me about the use of technology in the Mathematics classroom. The links I refer to can all be found in the slides here.

End of term activities

Darth Vader curve

Darth Vader-like curve on WolframAlpha

The school year is coming to an end for teachers in the UK and looking at the statistics for recent popular posts I can see people have been searching for end of term activities. I have recently updated this post with suggestions for such activities. Recent additions include fun with some plots on WolframAlpha; there are in fact a whole family of Star Wars curves! See also many other fun curves!

Other additions to the original post include Bingo which works really well. You might like to try a team game? Try The Workers of Zen(ATM publish books of team games) and I must mention A Little Problem for the Holidays

PacMan by Alec Schultz on Desmos

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! For more Desmos art have a look at this wonderful collection! (I have added a post to Mathematics for Students to show how to display parts of lines and circles on Demos)

Wishing teachers everywhere a happy holiday (only WolframAlpha would give you the Scrabble score as well as the definition!). For teachers already on holiday I hope you are having a great one.

See also – The last few days of term.