End of term activities

See also Christmas and Easter.

What to do for those last lessons?

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.

Relay
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.

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.
Maybe….

The Set Game  which is a daily puzzle is set in The New York TimesHow many sets can you find? Click ‘How to play’ in the menu on the left for the rules.

Or try some pencil and paper games such as Sproutsdescribed very clearly here by the Iowa State Math Department.

Always popular with our staff and students is the game of Countdown. The Numbers (and letters) game can be played online on the Woodlands Junior School site. Excellent 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.

On a similar theme try Make 24, a Wisweb appletThis page has further information on the problem and a link to an online program which optionally shows solutions as well as presenting random problems. The program will also show solutions for any given set of four numbers.

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!)

The Experiments at School site is great – students enjoy the experiments and you can generate your own data to analyse which I believe makes it more meaningful for students. As an added bonus, students can learn some new Excel skills, handling the large data sets which can be generated.

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.

Craig Barton and the TES Maths Panel have put together a collection of TES Resources that would work well at the end of term. Craig describes the resources in this video.

Darth Vader curve

Darth Vader-like curve on WolframAlpha

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? Or Jupiter?

fun facts

WolframAlpha fun facts – click on the image for solution

PacMan by Alec Schultz on Desmos

Art Elements

Get creative 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! See this post on Graph Art on Mathematics for Students.

Spirograph

Spirograph on Desmos

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 Puzzlestudents 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.

The excellent Bingo games on Maths Box, have already been mentioned, colleagues have said how well the Treasure Hunts from the same site worked with their classes, see the samples – there are Treasure Hunts to try.

Try (or write a new) Sporkle Quiz.

Sporkle: Find the missing primes in two minutes

Sporkle: Find the missing primes in two minutes

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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