Yarn Bombing Maths Rich Task

This week, Mrs Morrie set the 4/5 class a rich Maths task: Yarn Bombing our Walnut Tree!

Mrs Morrie wants the walnut tree at the front of the school to become a special friendship space. The bench under the tree is going to get painted purple and the tree will be yarn bombed! This means that its trunk will be covered by many colourful woollen knitted squares.

Mrs Morrie wants to know how many knitted squares will be needed to cover the trunk of the tree. She already has 78 squares to contribute, but she doesn’t think she’ll have enough.

We went to the tree together and agreed on the surface of the trunk to be covered with yarn. The students were then organised in groups to work out this real-life problem…


Potatolympics Yahl 2016 – Go Spuds!


Two of the 'athletes'

Two of the ‘athletes’

During the Rio Olympic Games, our class ran their own Olympic event, The Potatolympics!

To start with, each student was given a potato, which they decorated to create a potato athlete. Students even created mini-movies in pairs to introduce their athlete to their friends!

The next step was to create the Potatolympics events. This was to be the students’ job. They were given the task to create events in pairs. The Potatolympics involved using many measuring skills. The students had to be very clear about what data would be measured in their event, and what tools they would need in order to be able to make the measurements.

The 13 Potatolympics events.

The 13 Potatolympics events.

The students created 13 events: Potato Float, Potato Soccer, Potato Bowling, Bounce n’ Shoot, Long Throw, Sand Roll Relay, High Jump, Potato Diving, Swimming, Long Jump, Potato Spoon Race, Bobsleigh, Bowling and Mini-Golf.



The events were run in week 4 over three days. Students were responsible for running their event and recording the athletes’ times. This was a very important step, as we were planning a medal ceremony at the end of the Potatolympics!




Here are some photos from the events:


The Potatolympics were a huge success! All but one event ran very smoothly and successfully, and the children demonstrated excellent cooperation skills during the entire exercise.

Potato athletes and their humans participated together in a final medal ceremony:

The Potatolympics are a well-known Maths project. More information can be found from the Mathematics Centre here.



Chunking With Oriana And Megan

Lately in maths, we have been revising the chunking method for addition. The chunking method involved chunking – or splitting – a number into its tens and ones to allow for easier mental computation. All the students practised this method in their books before creating a presentation on the iPads.

You can find below Oriana and Megan’s presentation:

For more presentations, head to our students’ individual blogs.



Capacity Sculptures

We worked on a fun project last week. The students were presented with a variety of empty containers and challenged to create a structure with a capacity of exactly 3.15 litres (the true capacity of the container: filled to the brim). This activity involved lots of measuring, converting between millilitres and litres, and using problem-solving strategies.

We all had fun making these sculptures – not every sculpture reached exactly the target but everyone tried their best! Some of these are real works of art. We used Thinglink to present our work. Click on the main picture, and icons will appear. They will show you who made the sculpture and what strategy they used.

The idea for this activity was taken from here.


Multiplication methods

You will find below some multiplication methods that our class investigated. The children worked hard to create quality videos to explain their favourite method. Have a look at the videos, and don’t forget to answer our question at the end: which is YOUR favourite method? We’d love to hear about it!

The area model – by Zoe and Eliza

The expanded algorithm – by Jack and Wade

Mental computation – by Holly, Jennieva and Bri [The Wild Mikes]

The Lattice method – by Ben and Hamish

Let us know which is YOUR favourite multiplication method:


Wil and Harry H: we prefer the Lattice method!

Lately in maths, we have been investigating different methods for multiplication. In pairs, the students are creating quick videos using the app “educreations” to showcase and explain their favourite method.

Here is Wil’s and Harry H’s – the Lattice method:

There will soon be another post showcasing all our class’s favourite methods.


Building Maths Skills Everyday

Wondering how you can best support your child with maths? Here are some examples of everyday activities that help develop strong maths skills:

  • Play Monopoly!
'Monopoly Justice'  http://www.flickr.com/photos/8628862@N05/2450496004

‘Monopoly Justice’
Photo by John









The game of Monopoly has so much maths in it… Think about it: as I roll my two dice, I subitise (instantly recognise the patterns of dots and the number they represent) the numbers rolled. By adding these two numbers, I practise quick addition facts, some of them doubles. If I roll doubles… let me think, how likely is that? Hey, there’s some chance and data in this game!

The board is organised in 40 squares and 4 corners… As I navigate my way around the board and go around a corner, I chunk the number I just rolled so I can quickly work out where I am going to land.

As I buy property, pay rent, receive payments, I get to handle Monopoly money and I practise adding and subtracting, using multiples of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500! When I purchase houses, I get to use multiplication to pay the banker. Division if I want to work out how many houses I can afford…

When I land on Income Tax, I must decide whether to pay $200 to the banker, or give them 10% of my wealth… Hmmm… which way is going to cost me the least?

Monopoly is full of maths, and best of all, it’s also full of fun and family time. 🙂

  • Visit Target, Kmart or BigW when they have one of their 20% off sale!
'Is there a sale on? @ Lowestoft, Suffolk' http://www.flickr.com/photos/43632116@N00/930660427

‘Is there a sale on? @ Lowestoft, Suffolk’
Photo by Tim Parkinson








What a great way to practise our understanding of percentages, and the parts that make up a whole!

How many ways are there of calculating 20% off? I could think of 20% as the fraction 1/5, or I could start with the whole price and only take 4/5 of that price into account to work out how much the item is going to cost me.

If the sale is 20% off, that means $20 dollars off in every $100. That’s the same as $2 off in every $10, or $1 off in every $5. Perhaps this strategy can help me best…

Ask some ‘what if?’ questions: what if the initial price had been $100, $80, $50? Is there a pattern?

  • Forget about the mess, let the kids cook!

Following a simple recipe can give plenty of tasty maths practice. Adjusting a recipe to cater for more guests will make us think of important concepts such as proportion and fractions (of cups).

  • Get the kids to help you budget for your next family purchase;
  • When planning for a trip, get the kids to read bus, train or plane timetables and work out the best itinerary.

Maths is all around us. These are just a few examples of everyday activities that involve maths and that everyone can use on a regular basis to support their child practise some very important skills… and enjoy themselves along the way!


Blog Maths

Where in the world do our visitors come from?

Where in the world do our visitors come from?








Article written by Eliza and Levina

In maths our class has been learning how to make pie graphs. The pie graph was about who has visited our class blog.  Firstly we drew up a table of all of the countries that had visited our blog, then we did the tally, fraction, decimal, percentages, then we worked out the sector sizes. Once we worked out the sector sizes we were able to draw our pie graphs, we used a protractor  to draw up the sectors.

Holly's calculations and pie graph

Holly’s calculations and pie graph










Wil used Excel to produce a pie chart on the computer.

Wil used Excel to produce a pie chart on the computer.