Practical Activities in Mathematics

Brain Gym Ideas Brain Gym: Teacher's Edition Revised Paul Dennison 1994, Educational Kinesiology Foundation, ISBN 0942143027 Accelerated Learning in the Classroom by Alistair Smith ISBN Number 1855390345 Brain Gym
Activities from The ALPS approach  Accelerated
Learning in Primary Schools by Alistair Smith
and Nicola Call (ISBN 1 85539 056 6)
www.braingym.org.uk/  access to Brain Gym
resources. 

Stand in the middle the room with all of the students around the outside facing you. Throw them a soft ball and tell them to catch it or drop it – they have to do the opposite, if the don’t they sit down.  
Pair them up and get
them to count to 3 (alternating so 1 2 3 1 2
etc. ) as quickly as possible. They will find
this surprisingly difficult at first. When they can do this quickly, add another instruction e.g. nod your head when you say '3'. 

Count from 1 to a
reasonable number; eg: 30. When a multiple of five, left arm & left leg out to the side...if a multiple of three... right arm, right leg to the side...if a multiple of 3 and 5 both both arms and legs out to the side (matchstick man jump I hope that makes sense !) Speed it up  slow down as needed. 

Students stand up
with arm out in front of them and with feet
shoulder width apart, tell them to turn around
as far as they can (without moving their feet)
and and remember the point on the wall they got
to. Then get them to close their eyes and imagine doing the same thing but getting past the point they reached. Now quickly, get them to open their eyes and repeat the turning and they always get past their original point. Tell them that in a similar way, passing or failing is a state of mind and send them off thinking positively. 

Display a sequence of
numbers and underneath the numbers you have L, R
or T (left, right, together). For example 2 4 6 8 10 L R R T L Students say the numbers out loud and at the same time raise up either their left, right or both hands. That is the hand they raise up corresponds to the letter under the number. 

Pupils standing up.
When you say go they run on the spot and when
you say stop they stop. Practise this a few
times then add in when you say jump they jump
and when you say clap they clap. Practise with
all four instructions randomly for a short time
and then say "when I say stop you go and when I say go you stop. When I say jump you clap and when I say clap you jump" (so they are doing the reverse of what you say. You can add any other actions you wish to this eg cold (shivering), hot (fanning themselves). 

I use spot running (counting to ten), jumping jacks (counting to ten), one arm bent back behind the shoulder touching the other arm bent upwards, bend down to touch toes … 
Mathematical Activities Across the Curriculum
Science  Physics 
Foundation Level 
Mission to Mars 
This resource was funded by the
Spacelink Learning Foundation
and written by Sheffield Hallam
University. It is aimed at
students between 11 and 14 years
of age. The resource is based around the Beagle 2 mission to Mars. The students have five main tasks: • Work in a team to prepare a short drama about the plight of Beagle 2 • Identify the likely problems that could have caused the Beagle 2 failure • Design, build and test a parachute for a Mars lander • Calculate the basic measurements of a parachute suitable for use on Mars • Design a model for a Mars lander. Teacher Notes Task Sheet Pupil Log Book 
nrich.maths.org/7459  Building a helicopter , making design changes to suit the purpose of the project. All abilities could get involved in this. 
Carbon Footprint Project  The whole project involves working out how much energy a student uses in week and how many calories, protein etc they require. They can also look at the food they eat and see the nutritional content and match this up to their needs. 
AlkaSelzter Rocket 
Bridges and Structures  An engineering feel to this – all abilities would get something out of this. 
Make your own Solar System –
Activity Planetary Data for analysis Your Planetary Age 
Level 2 
Large and small
This activity introduces standard form and shows
students how to use it in real life contexts. nrich.maths.org/6140 Large and small numbers  could be used as an intro into standard form or a consolidation. 
Level 2  Road test Students use acceleration and braking data from a car road test to draw graphs. Students then interpret the graphs and make predictions about values which have not been plotted. 
Level 2  Speed and distance Students explore the idea that the area under speedtime graphs can be used to find the distance travelled. 
Higher Level 
Level 3  Test run Students interpret a speed–time graph for a car during a test run, and fit linear and quadratic models to the graph 
Science  Biology 
Foundation Level 
Keeping baby warm – Making models of a baby and an adult, could be to scale, calculate volume and surface area. All abilities. 
Nutrition Project 
Level 2  Heart rate Students are shown how to measure their pulse rate. They then investigate the effect of other things like exercise and relaxation. 
Level 2  Five a day Students collect data and then use statistical methods to analyse the results. 
Level 2  Larks and owls A very open investigation in which students may set their own statistical tasks based on sleep requirements. 
Higher Level 
Level 3  Anthropometric data Students investigate relationships between anthropometric variables and write a report on their findings. This may include the use of scatter diagrams, lines of best fit, regression lines, and correlation coefficients. 
Level 3  Stature Students use simulated stature data for men and women in eight countries to draw histograms and look for general results. 
Level 3 
Climate prediction There
are two versions of this activity. Students create (A) spreadsheets or use (B) graphic calculators to model what would happen to the temperature of the Earth if there were to be a sudden change in the amount of radiation entering or leaving the planet. Then they investigate polynomial and exponential functions to find the best model. 
Level 3  Cup of coffee Students model data from measuring how long caffeine from tea, coffee or cola stays in the human body’s bloodstream. This involves drawing graphs, then finding functions and parameters to fit different models to the graphs. 
Level 3  Ozone hole Students suggest types of function to model ozone hole data (given in a table and also a graph) before using a graphic calculator or spreadsheet to find at least two particular models. They then consider how well their functions model the data and what they predict for the future. 
Technology 
Foundation Level 
Level 1  What is it?  Recognising and drawing objects from different viewpoints. 
Level 1  Measure it! Estimating lengths and measuring objects using both centimetres and millimetres. 
Decorating Project 
Geography 
Foundation Level 
Level1  Shorter by helicopter Students plot graphs of real data to compare the straightline distances between towns with the distance by road 
Location Project 
ICT & Computing 
Foundation Level 
Computing Project 