I’ve discovered that wordpress has a list of blogs under the tag ‘maths can be fun.’ I’m obviously delighted by the contents of this find, particularly the Sherlock Holmes themed activities*:)
I was struck, though, by the title ‘Maths Can be Fun’. Is the desperation necessary? ‘Maths is fun’ is as bad, I suppose. It’s sad that so much has to be done to convince pupils/people that they’re not having an awful time when learning about maths.
I’m not sure where this stems from. A recent survey of our ‘middle ability’ Y7s revealed that they find secondary school maths to be ‘stricter’ and that they would like more practical activities and more time to understand things. It’s been really noticeable that my second set Year 7s have been much more resilient, and able to tackle and absorb more challenging tasks and ideas, than my second set Year 9s. I’m not sure how this change comes about, but a lot of my older pupils (14-16) have very fixed ideas about what they’re ‘crap’ at and visibly deflate when we move to certain topics.
*Incidentally, I really hope the BBC continues their Sherlock series. Even if they don’t, the website for it has some codes and activities that could be good to use on the last day of term when ‘real’ work is both pointless and impossible.