11 November 2020

Zooming In

Marvellous Maths 2 is an online CPD course for maths teachers. Presented by me and Craig Barton, it focuses on three key topics (decimals, coordinates and Pythagoras). In it we share ideas around misconceptions, tasks and pedagogy - ideas that can be applied in all the topics we teach. You can read more about the course here.

I did a lot of research when I was creating my sections of the course. For each of the three topics, I hunted for the best teaching ideas and resources. I found some absolute crackers, which are linked throughout the course. 

One of the resources I featured in the course was particularly exciting. I couldn't believe I'd never seen it before. 

I tried it today for the first time when teaching decimals, and it blew me away how well it worked. 

I enjoyed using this resource in my lesson so much, I even decided to write a mid-week blog post about it. I never have time to write blog posts on a school day, but I am still buzzing from the lesson so felt the need to share!

Here it is: http://www.sineofthetimes.org/2018/zoom/. This absolute beauty of a teaching tool ended up being one of the most engaging things I have done with my Year 7s so far this year. 

This is how it works....

Ask a student to make a prediction of where the red point is...


Type their prediction into the box.

Then click Zoom.

A cool Zoomy thing happens, and then we are asked for the actual location.

Then we go up a level of challenge (click the arrow at the bottom right). Ask a student to make the first prediction, and another student for the second prediction. See how close they get.


I don't want to spoil it for you, but by the fourth level my students were jumping out their seats with excitement as the zoomy thing happened. They couldn't wait to see whether their prediction was correct. We played many rounds!

Have a go now, see what you think.

It's rare I enjoy an activity so much that I feel the need to blog about it immediately!

I feature some related tasks for teaching decimal number lines in Marvellous Maths 2, so do check out the course if you like this kind of thing.

Huge thanks to the author of sineofthetimes.org Daniel Scher (@dpscher) for creating and sharing this fantastic tool. I don't know how I've managed to blog about maths teaching for 6.5 years without featuring his blog before. I've just started exploring it and have discovered that it's full of all kinds of awesomeness. You can read Daniel's posts about his zoomable number line resources here and here, but do also check out the rest of his blog, and his list of interactive activities here.

To give you one more example, so you can see how high quality this content is... this angle estimator has five levels of challenge. I've seen angle estimation tools before, but this is the best version I have seen.

Enjoy exploring these activities! And if you use the zoomable number line and your students love it as much as mine did, do let me know!








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