Author Archive

Trying to help

Had a bit of a rush of blood to the head.

Am off to Lesvos after Christmas to help out with the refugees for a week. Tickets and hotel booked.

I’m not actually doing it to raise money. I’m paying for it myself and to be honest, I may well end up staying in my hotel bedroom trying to get the wifi to work and pretend things aren’t as grim as they are outside – but if you like the work the real aid-workers do, I’m sure they’d appreciate your support.

Blessed Unrest

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.

If you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium
and be lost.
The world will not have it.

It is not yours to determine how good it is;
nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.

You have to keep open and aware directly
to the urges that motivate you.
Keep the channel open.

No artist is ever pleased.
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction;
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes us more alive than the others.

Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille

Clash of Clans Maths Lesson

Almost all the children in my classes play Clash of Clans, so I thought it would a good basis to try my first 3-Act lesson, as per Dan Meyer.

There’s some arithmetic and geometric progression that’s ripe for more advanced students, but I teach KS2 and KS3 so wanted something a little simpler. This thread on Reddit gave the starter

Anyway, looking forward to trying it with my Year 7s tomorrow.

Slides here: Clan Maths – Build Walls

Info Sheet here: Clash of Clans – Wall build – info sheet

Rough notes below

Act 1: The set-up

  • Introduce Clash of Clans / make sure everyone understands it
  • Show pictures of time-lapse growth and ask for questions
  • Discuss everyone’s questions – which interesting, which mathematical etc
  • Make list of these so can come back to them and try to answer
  • Ask for estimates of real cost of walls in gems.
  • Act 2: The Wrestle

  • Ask what sort of information we’d need to work out the answer
  • Discuss approach:
  • keep it precise
  • help with proportion / rate problems if need be but try to ensure students do heavy lifting
  • Handout info sheets
  • ask children to team up to find useful bits of information
  • can use calculators
  • Act 3: The Reveal

  • Show the answer
  • Explain steps and discuss how tie in to discussions in Act 2
  • Look at left-over questions – room for answers, what next

  • David Weston on Unleashing Greatness in Teachers

    Student Design Award Winner - Curiosity: Exploration and Discovery from RSA Student Design Awards on Vimeo.


    Like this a lot.