A little bit of logic

At the start of this term I have been working on Logic and Reasoning with my S1 class. The aim is to focus on strategies, thinking, discussion, problem solving and perseverance.

As a class we have looked at two way tables, Venn diagrams and logic problems. But I also wanted to throw in a few strategy games and puzzles.

Firstly, we played the Traffic Light Game, which I wrote about previously. It was so much fun. I still love that it is a game that everyone can play no matter of mathematical ability and can develop strategies to win.

Then we looked at how to solve Futoshiki puzzles. Futoshiki puzzles are from Japan and the name means “inequality”. Continue reading

A Little Memory Game

Here’s a little game that I like to use at the start or the end of a lesson – or even in the middle of a double period.

It is very simple and needs very little preparation which is always a bonus.

I don’t have a name for it so I am just going to call it “Memory Blast”.

Start by displaying this on the board:

memory blast Continue reading

First Day Activities

What is your favourite icebreaker or first day of school activity?

My first day of school with my classes actually happens in June not August with the exception of the new S1. So some of these icebreakers and first day activities I have already done this year.

I like to start classes with a problem solving task. This gives me great insight into how well the pupils follow instructions, tackle a problem, work with each other, communicate results and engage with a challenge.

Here are some of the different problem solving tasks I like to set: Continue reading

(Even more) 5 minutes of fun!

I previously wrote a blog about three activities that can be used at the end of a lesson. Here I want to share a few more little activities that I like to use in my classroom.

The first one is entitled “Pass the Bomb” – it is called this as I use a plastic bomb from the game “Pass the Bomb”. This is a word game (super fun) which I had and thought would be fun to translate into a maths game. Continue reading

Race to Zero

As you know I love games, especially ones that involve dice. Here is one that I only found out about today from a colleague of mine. It is not an original idea I’m sure but here it is:

Write a number between 100 and 500

Write a number between 500 and 999.


The aim of the game is to get both numbers to zero. Continue reading

The Traffic Light Game

I love playing strategy games with my classes. The games don’t have to be overly mathematical but help to develop logical thinking. I also love these games as everyone in the class can compete and win even if they are not as confident with maths as their opponents. I always hope that there are an odd number of pupils in the class so that I can play too!

Here is a game that I only discovered last week. It is from one of my favourite sites NRICH.

These are the rules: Continue reading

Simultaneous Equations War

My S3 class have been learning how to solve simultaneous equations by elimination this week.

I set this problem for the class:


While this is not the most realistic of problems, it allowed the pupils to consider solutions in a familiar context. There were a few different methods used. Most tried trial and error but a few started with 20 chickens 80 legs and 1 pig 4 legs then adjusted the number of chickens until there were 30 heads.

After practicing the mechanics of solving simultaneous equations by elimination a few in the class were asking if next lesson we could do something more fun.

I wanted to provide an activity that would allow pupils to work together in a fun way that still allowed each pupil to practice solving simultaneous equations as an individual.

So I declared WAR! Continue reading

Encouraging Communication

In a previous post Risk It All, I described one of my favourite games to use with mini whiteboards. But there are lots of other great activities I like to use with mini whiteboards that involve my pupils working together to solve a problem.

Here are a few that encourage the pupils to focus on how they communicate their answers:

(1) Relay Race

For this game, I arrange the pupils into groups of 5 or 6 and they stand one behind each other in a column. Continue reading