This short post is the first of 2014; having moved house and changed school this is the first opportunity I have had to write this up.
The lesson simply starts as a game of bingo - played on a 3 by 3 grid with students picking their nine numbers from 1 to 30. This slide can be used as a template and displays the four letters that will be used for substitution. Here is a set of numbers to call out at random, with students first aiming for a line (any row, column or diagonal) and then a full house.
the rest of the lesson
At this point I tell the students that I created the numbers in September 2009 (the truth) and that I am bored of calling out the same numbers every time I do this lesson (not quite so true, I’m just happy that I’ve already done the work). I challenge students to create a new set of numbers and tell them that we will play a game at the end of the lesson with someone’s numbers. As a class we choose four new letters with values between 2 and 9. They then write out numbers 1 to 30 in three columns of ten and we find a few examples to start them off. I find that telling them we will use their numbers at the end of the lesson gives them ownership of the task and hence the motivation to be thorough and accurate.
I’ve done this lesson many times with a large range of abilities. It can be differentiated by
- only allowing letters in calculations (harder) or allowing letters and numbers
- making the substitutions more difficult, e.g, , …
- restricting the number of operations or types of operation
- selecting the fourth number based on the choice for the first three numbers (e.g if the students choose 7,8,9 then selecting a 2 may be more useful to them that selecting 7).