Tuesday, 25 June 2013

IWB Network Meeting 24th June 2013

Notes of meeting held at Ely College

Thanks to Sarah for hosting!

Present:  Sarah Kupski, Sarah Denney, Chris Armour (Ely), Deborah Gordon (Longsands), Lisa Grant, Robyn Afford, Ciera Tuohy (Neale-Wade), Simon Palmer (KEVI, Suffolk), Rachel Clarke (Cottenham), Mark Dawes (Comberton)

Notes by Mark Dawes

Focus: The broad focus of the meeting was Transformations

Sarah kicked the meeting off by showing us the NRICH Transformation Game: http://nrich.maths.org/5457
We discussed how this might be used in the classroom.  Sarah copies the sheets for pupils and they work in pairs using the cards, often with a selection of cards given out to each pupil.  She suggested that pupils could work collaboratively to create the biggest possible score with, say, 10 cards.  It seemed to be useful to have a copy of the sheet on the IWB and then to have a partially transparent triangle on there (so the scores are still visible) that is then cloned and manipulated.  Extra copies of the triangle at the side, in different sizes and orientations, might well make it easier for pupils to demonstrate what they have done.  On Activ a toolbar to do reflections, rotations, etc, could be set up.  In addition it could be good to have a large version on the table for pupils to manipulate (and to do the reflections and rotations with).  Next time (in a subsequent term?) the numbers could be changed.

Deborah asked about the toolbar of icons, which don’t appear on her screen.  Sarah’s computer has version 11 of the SMART software and this has some useful new features (such as the paint pot), although the ‘Maths Tools’ were felt by those present to be too expensive to be justifiable.

Lisa shared a number of transformation files.  
Enlargement  Draw the enlarged version using individual lines, group them, and then move them into position.  Or use the construction lines.  This can mimic what the pupils do on paper.  Then check that it is similar to the original version by dragging the corner.
Reflection   Make a ‘Reflection Bug’ (with thanks to Sam for the idea!) on screen and also using tracing paper.  Complete partially drawn reflections.

Lisa also uses some of the features of SMART such as the pairs game, dragging words in and out to complete sentences and the animation tools to hide and reveal answers.  Lisa has put together a file to share some of these.  

Simon demonstrated how the pairs game can be created in Activ using layers (so the ‘back’ of the card is moved to the bottom layer when clicked, and then the picture on the ‘front’ of the card is moved to the back when it is clicked).  This is more awkward to set up, but works.

Mark showed the Reflection Game he uses with low-attaining Yr 8 pupils, where they click on the paint-pot and complete the reflective symmetry.  For pupils who cannot easily ‘see’ a diagonal line of symmetry you can take a picture of the diagram with the camera tool and then rotate it to make the line run vertically.  We discussed that some pupils can feel ‘on-the-spot’ when called up to the board and ways of avoiding putting them under unwanted pressure.

We all then discussed how we could use features of the board to help with TransformingGraphs.  
On SMART you can make the background of an image transparent by using “Set picture transparency”.  This allows a curve to be moved up and down on top of the axes that have been set up.  We grouped the graph of y=f(x)+2 to a button.   Pupils could be shown y=f(x), could be asked to draw their prediction for y=f(x)+2 and could then click to reveal the correct version.  We liked this and decided it could be used for other transformations too.

Lisa showed us the NGfL Cymru enlargement webpage.

Next year we want to continue to meet each term and to have a tighter focus for meetings (as this year).   Neale-Wade and Longsands have both offered to host (but not the first meeting of the year).

Monday, 24 June 2013

IWB Network Meeting 8th May 2013

Notes of meeting held at Swavesey Village College

Thanks to Jenny for hosting!

Present:  Cam Fehr, Jenny Barker, Rachel Brookins, Ian Noakes, Bridget, Cecilia Freer, Tabitha Steel, Lydia Hewitt (Swavesey), Sarah Kupski, Sarah Denney (Ely), Agnes Davies (St Peter’s), Helen Harris (Newport), Barbara Sterecki (Chesterton), Deborah Gordon (Longsands), Mark Dawes (Comberton)

Notes by Mark Dawes

Focus: The broad focus of the meeting was manipulating algebraic expressions.

Cam showed us the iPad app ‘Dragon Box 2’, where expressions and equations can be simplified.  This looks good when projected using AppleTV and also looks like it would be good for individuals to use.

Tabitha was excited about the possibilities afforded by the software ‘Grid Algebra’, which is available from ATM.  http://www.atm.org.uk/shop/products/sof071.html
A site licence is £135 for members of ATM.  Creating and simplifying complicated expressions looked good.  Tabitha suggested that it was important to receive support from experts (she had seen Dave Hewitt, the author, demonstrate it) initially.

Mark wondered about extending the negative numbers ideas from last meeting (where +1 and -1 together formed a circle and equalled zero) to include x and -x too.  We discussed the possibilities this could offer.  This could start with simplifying expressions, it could also include expanding brackets and solving equations.  It might be useful to have card/laminated versions of the materials to act as manipulatives too.

The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) requires Java, but has some interesting ideas.  http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/vlibrary.html  
We liked the ideas included in ‘Algebra Tiles’, but wondered whether it would be better recreated on the IWB (although the facility to change the size of the ‘x’ was useful).  We liked being able to factorise quadratics using this.

Sarah shared a QR-code idea she had downloaded from TES.  http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/BIDMAS-BODMAS-QR-Code-Treasure-Hunt-6295093/
Posters are put up around the room and pupils use their phones to get the next question.  She used this as a revision exercise. 

To create your own QR codes: Google will do this automatically (and will also act as a URL shortener).

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Notes from IWB meeting, 4th Dec 2012

IWB Network Meeting , 4th December 2012
Meeting held at Comberton Village College

Attended: Ewen and Barbara (Chesterton), Robyn (Neale-Wade), Jenny, Ian and Rachel (Swavesey), Deborah and Nick (Longsands), Will and Debbie (Bassingbourn), Simon (Bury St E), Sarah (Ely), Katie (Bottisham), Vivien (Soham), Sue, Jack, Jess and Mark (Comberton)

Overview:  This was an excellent meeting with lots of ideas.  Thank you to all who participated.

As usual there had been a curriculum focus suggested in advance (Number).  At the start of the meeting Mark suggested that rather than merely asking people either to share materials they had brought or to ask questions, that narrowing the focus to a single topic might prove to be more useful.  We focused on Standard Index Form for the next hour.

Some files from the meeting are in a zipped file that can be downloaded from https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9079952/IWB%20-%20Standard%20form%204Dec12.zip
[The contents are likely to need to be extracted before they can be used.  Some are on SMART but these can, I think, be imported into Activ software.]

Standard Index Form
1]  Using a big arrow to show the moving of digits/decimal points.

2]  A file where zeroes and different indices are hidden behind white rectangles to allow them to be moved along together.  Which ways of doing this are most helpful?  Eg:

It might be best to start with the ordinary version of the number covered.

3]  There is a Standards Box lesson on standard form: N4.
These lessons can all be downloaded from www.iwbmathstraining.co.uk and are available for Promethean and for SMART.
The lessons include all of the cards and, as attachments, all of the other materials for the lessons, including pdfs of the sheets and teacher notes (for those who have lost pages from the folder!).
Click on Improving Learning in Mathematics and then select the relevant curriculum area.

4]  Videos to show what happens with powers of ten were shared.  It starts with a picnic.  http://www.powersof10.com/

5]  Zoomable images are also rather nice, because these can be paused or zoomed in/out.  One of these is here: http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/
It involves a leaf on a tree in the Florida State University campus.

Another is the excellent ‘Scale of the Universe’ http://htwins.net/scale2/
This allows for zooming, but also for the standard form to be turned on/off.

6]  NRICH has a task called ‘A question of scale’.  http://nrich.maths.org/6349
There is an opportunity for using some that are known and then trying to work out others.  The items change each time the task is used.   The ‘marking’ button can be used after each new item is placed to see whether it is correct.
It was pointed out that some of these are rather difficult and might put pupils off, so creating a new version on the IWB software would be an alternative. 

7]  To demonstrate that multiplication is commutative, the different elements can be moved around (it is important to create each number as a separate object on the board).

 8]  To begin adding in standard form we can give pupils very large numbers to give them a motivation for working out how to do this directly in standard form rather than converting to ordinary form.

9]  Because division in standard form needs brackets and is awkward, and for general understanding, it is often helpful to write these as fractions:

Focus for the next meeting:
It was agreed that a focus like this was very helpful (not least because a large number of those present had some input).
We brainstormed possibilities for the next meeting and it was decided that the focus would be:
Alg: expanding brackets, collecting terms, solving equations with x on both sides.

Venues for the rest of the year:
Swavesey, Ely and Chesterton all offered to host future meetings.
Chesterton have got a class set of iPads.  As long as the main focus for this group is still the IWB, people were happy that we would also look at related technology, such as smartphones and tablets.

Other sharing
Vivien and Sarah shared some ideas that had been mentioned earlier in the meeting:

Negative Numbers
Using a semi-circle (red) that stands for +1 and a semi-circle (blue) for -1 it is easy to see that pairs of these make zero.  This can then be used to demonstrate subtraction of negative numbers (amongst other things):

This shows 3 and can help with 3- -2 = 5

Numeracy Games
Roll dice on the board - pupils need to make decisions about where to put the numbers.  There is always a bin and one number goes in there.
·         Make a three digit number (with a fourth digit in the bin).  Try to get:
o   Biggest
o   Smallest
o   Odd
o   Even
·         Three digit added to three digit number - make the biggest/smallest total
·         Make two fractions where the first is smaller than the second
·         Make two fractions that are then multiplied.  The closest to 1 wins
·         NRICH task ‘dicey operations’ has other ideas too  http://nrich.maths.org/6606

Monday, 9 July 2012

Notes from the IWB Network Meeting – Weds 4th July 2012

Notes from the IWB Network Meeting – Weds 4th July 2012

Kathryn, Janet, Louise, Simon, Rachel (Cottenham), Glenn (St Peters), Mike (Linton), Paul (Longsands), Sarah (Ely), Fran, Alissa (Parkside), Mark (Comberton)

Thanks to Rachel for hosting the meeting.

The focus of the session was Algebra.

A photo-finish from the Athens Olympics 100m.  Asking what this shows (without revealing the source) provides some interesting discussion:
How do we know it is a sprint?
What do the vertical lines show?
How do we know who won?
How do we know, from this picture, who came second?  (we don’t)
How many runners are there?
Up to this point we had only used it as an image, so we discussed how to use the board to enhance the discussion. 
                Use the camera tool to take a picture of one of the runners and move it to help estimate how far behind the final runner is.
                Demonstrate that the width of the lanes can’t be used to help decide the margin of victory.

Rachel shared an nrich problem (http://nrich.maths.org/7283) that works very well when the pieces are created as separate rectangles on the IWB because they can be moved around to show the different possibilities.
The questions posed by nrich (and others) were typed on a slide for pupils to use.

Sarah uses geometrical diagrams to allow pupils to work on algebraic expressions.  For example, start with a square with area x and a quarter circle (radius the same as the side of the square) with area y.  Then make other diagrams.  Eg the area of a semi-circle is 2y, etc.
We explored how to make the fragment that has area (xy) made by subtracting the quarter circle from the square.

Alissa shared a file that involved balancing animal pictures as a way of introducing and exploring simultaneous equations.  This worked very well.

Glenn showed a way of helping pupils to understand what is going on when trial and improvement is carried out.  He gave an example using n2 + n = 25, showing a numberline from 0 to 10 and removing the sections that clearly didn’t work until he was left with the 4-to-5 section.
Then he had a new numberline that ran from 4 to 5 in tenths and removed sections of this.
We discussed whether the zoom function on SMART could be helpful.

Mike described a way of helping pupils not to be misled into trying to simplify further an expression that is already in its simplest form.  For example, to show that 3x+2 is not identical to 5x, Mike draws a line that he labels as being of length 1, another line (of a different, non-integer length) that he labels x and then clones these and makes a line to demonstrate the length 3x+2 and another, below it, to demonstrate 5x.  The lines are different.
An extension to this can show that x2 + 3x is not the same as 4x2

Using photographs of celebrities Rach used the camera tool to take a picture of one half, copied and reflected it and used this to test the idea that symmetrical faces are considered to be more attractive.
She then allowed pupils to use photos of themselves …

Next year:
This was the final meeting for this academic year.
Next year we will meet on four occasions as usual.  Cottenham, Parkside and Comberton all indicated a willingness to host a meeting.

Thanks to all for their input during the year.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Notes from the meeting on Weds 25th April 2012

Notes from the IWB Network Meeting – Weds 25th April 2012

Glenn (St Peters), Mike (Linton), Paul (Longsands), Rachel (Cottenham), Sarah (Ely), Simon (King Edwards), Fran (Parkside), Mark (Comberton)

Thanks to Sarah for hosting the meeting (and for providing cake!).

The focus of the session was Geometry.

Two features of the SMART notebook can be used together to make tetrominoes and then pentominoes.  One is ‘infinite clone’ – start with a single square and set up infinite clone (right click the square, or tap the square to select and then click the arrow in the top right-hand corner).  This allows lots of squares to be dragged from this one.  The other is ‘alignment’.  In some versions of the notebook this is found under ‘View’, in others under ‘Format’.   Choose ‘show guides for active objects’ and ‘snap objects to guides’.  This allows the squares to be joined together easily.

Rotations are very basic on the notebook software.  If you want a shape to rotate around a particular point, because the software will only let it rotate around the centre of the object you need to create a larger object that has the point to be rotated around at the centre of the object.  An easy way to do this is to copy the shape, put it the far side of the centre of rotation from the shape, colour it white, and then group it to the original shape.  The combine object now rotates as desired.  This is only a work-round, though, and must be set up in advance!

Vectors work brilliantly on the IWB.  Set up a couple of vectors, then put them on infinite clone and demonstrate the rules of vectors by dragging multiple copies. 

Cabri-3D is cool!  It is worth getting for sixth formers to use and great to use for younger pupils, but the cost may be prohibitive if it will just be used with KS3 and KS4.

Use ActivInspire Promethean software for rotations!  It will allow you to set up a centre of rotation and to rotate a shape around that point.  The centre of rotation can then be moved and the shape rotated again.  This is particularly good for loci work with, for example, a rolling square.

The centre of rotation can also show where the line of reflection symmetry goes.  This is very good when reflecting pictures.

Make a button and add an action, like reflect, to make this quicker to access.
There are lots of great effects that are possible on ActivInspire.

Cut corners off a triangle and rearrange to show that the angles add to 180 degrees.
Do this by setting it up in advance with a copy of the angle on top of each vertex – drag these and rotate as necessary.

Can use the camera tool to take a picture of these.  Beware – on SMART to get the image from the camera tool showing at the same size you need to set it to be at 100% and not at the default “page width”.  If you take a picture using the rectangle version of the camera you can then right-click and ‘set transparency’, allowing you to make the border parts transparent so they will overlap nicely.

The transparency tool will also allow shapes with holes in to be created – this has lots of uses.

Taking a picture and rearranging is also useful for things like showing the area of a trapezium.

NGfL Cymru has lots of excellent materials.  http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/

Next Meeting:
This will take place on Weds 4th July at Cottenham Village College, from 4:30 – 6pm (thanks to Rachel for hosting).  
The focus will be on Handling Data (as originally advertised) or on Algebra (from the session cancelled earlier in the year).
At the start of the session we will ask participants to share their problems/requests/demands.  This might be a lesson idea and a question about how the IWB can be used effectively as part of the lesson.  The group will then work on solving that particular problem during the session.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

IWB Meeting Notes - 6th July 2010

Here are the notes from the IWB meeting held at Parkside Federation, Coleridge Campus on Tuesday 6th July 2010.

Apologies: Mike Furness (Soham), Louella Prince (Netherhall), Simon Palmer (KEVI), Alice Creswell (Parkside Fed)

Present: Andy Evans (Impington), Lydia Prosper-Grant (Kingsbrook, Northants), Richard Stuart, Fran Wilson, Jenny Everton (Parkside Fed), Sam Taylor, Richard Hunt (City of Ely), Ewen Chamberlain (Manor), Ella Kaye, Mark Dawes (Comberton)

For this meeting we focused on using the IWB for Number topics.

Richard S
On the ActivInspire software, objects can be given permission to go into particular containers. This allows exciting possibilities where numbers or shapes with particular properties can be moved to certain groups. Richard demonstrated this with factors and multiples of 6. Others were excited about using this to create Venn diagrams. This does not appear to be possible on a SMARTboard.

Prime primitives at www.ptolemy.co.uk/primitives are a visual way to show prime factorisations. They are like using an iPad up on screen!

Richard is also exploring the NRICH number plumber at http://nrich.maths.org/6926

Sam showed a number of useful SMART notebook techniques, which can also be replicated on the ActivInspire software.

These included:
using Infinite Clone
creating Venn Diagrams.
In the box – setting up a “box” into which certain numbers can be placed (this is done using layers)
Directed numbers – where hot and cold cubes are added to a pond and the temperature is adjusted on a Flash thermometer (which involved using two pens simultaneously!)
Hidden things – changing colours of text to be the same as the background. When the answer is believed to be correct the colour of the background is changed and text that gives the answer (and which was previously invisible) now appears.

Sam gave some feedback on an idea that cropped up in the last meeting. She is finding Prezi to be really fun to use.

Fran showed us the Dropbox website at www.dropbox.com which she is using (for example with Heads of Maths across the county) to share files.

Fran reminded us of the Standards Unit materials on the Keele website at www.iwbmathstraining.co.uk and then shared with us a similar file she had made that showed different ways of combining diagrams of fractions to demonstrate adding and subtracting. Promethean’s ability to snap to grid was particularly helpful here.

Fran gave a brief tutorial in how to make an “In the box” file. She likes to be able to take the front off the box to see what was allowed to go inside. On Promethean boards ‘order’ and ‘layers’ are different things.

Fran had hidden “zoomed” parts of a numberline by scribbling over them in white. Erasing this enabled the extra information to be seen.

Mark showed that a rudimentary “Snap to grid” does exist on SMART and that this is particularly useful for aligning one object with another. Richard pointed out that a hidden set of squares could therefore provide a work-round for the absence of proper snap-to-grid.

We discussed that in many situations low-tech is good, by looking at alternative ways of demonstrating how to multiply fractions.

SMARTnotebook v10 will import Promethean files directly, without needing them to be converted to PowerPoint first.

Thanks to Fran for providing refreshments.
Next year we will follow a similar pattern of meetings: Autumn, Spring, Summer i, Summer ii.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Meeting Tuesday 6th July 2010

The last meeting of this academic year will take place from 4:30 - 6pm on Tuesday 6th July and will be hosted by Fran Wilson at the Coleridge Campus of the Parkside Federation:

Coleridge Campus
Radegund Road

Everyone with an interest in using an IWB in teaching and learning of maths is welcome to attend.