Numbers, Patterns & Shapes - an Extraordinary Morning of Maths

Maths Morning took place on a sunny day in May.

We like to start every special event by gathering as a whole school and Maths Morning was no exception. Barney from House of Maths put the subject centre-stage in an amazing, interactive and educational show. He explained how Maths was all about numbers, patterns and shapes in an appealing way, suitable for everyone from age 3 to 11 and even to teachers aged up to 60 something! The children learned about the importance of nothing (zero), sequencing patterns, neat tricks for addition and multiplication, creating polyhedrons and other complex 3D shapes and that nature has some of the most awe-inspiring shapes.

The rest of the morning was book time, a novel approach to maths. Each year group then took a storybook as a stimulus for a mathematical investigation.

The children of Squirrels Nursery looked at Moonchap by Mary Murphy, a dynamic story that weaves in shapes and numbers as well as lessons on good citizenship. The three and four year olds then looked for 2D shapes in the school grounds and then used triangles, squares and rectangles to make their own pictures. Reception read When the Moon Smiled by Petr Horáček. This lovely tale about a farm inspired a Numicon hunt in the woods. Year 1 tackled Raymond Briggs’ Jim and the Beanstalk. Everything belonging to the giant was ten times bigger than Jim’s so the children were soon measuring things to work out the right sizes. The Great Pet Sale by renowned children’s author Mick Inkpen led Year 2 to hold their very own sale of animals, a great way to learn about money and coins.

If Zog the alien has four fingers on each hand and he has six hands, how many fingers does he have all together? It was an interesting way for Year 3 to learn about on ratios from Here Come The Aliens by Colin McNaughton. It was off to the fairground with Year 4 who loved designing roller coaster and Ferris wheels, working with remainders as they filled up the seats on each of the rides - as suggested by the Stuart J Murphy book, Divide and Ride. On the first day of the new year, the postman brings a surprise – a penguin! One by one, day by day, penguins fill the house. 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental led Year 5 to answer many penguin-related calculations and to present these to the class on PowerPoint. If the World Were a Village by David J Smith imagines a global village of 100 people. Nine speak English, 24 have televisions, 17 cannot read. The book explores the statistics of our planet and Year 6 represented this information in pictograms and bar charts.

Maths is such a fundamental part of everyday life and, of course, it is a daily activity for children at The Paragon. What was so special about the Maths Morning was the link with literature and the dynamic delivery of the activities, showing how much fun it is to play with numbers, patterns and shapes.

Miss Roberts, Head of Maths