## Sunday, 11 August 2013

### 180!

Back in June I came across the following resource on the TES...

http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Darts-Project-number-and-geometry-project-6323154/

The resource is a Darts project that gets students to practise their use of compasses to construct their own dartboard. This, however, is only the 1st part of the resource. The second part includes a set of 8 'challenge cards' that get students to answer questions based on the possible scores you can throw in darts. The challenge cards are differentiated and levelled starting at asking what scores you would get if you threw, say, a single 8, double 7 and treble 6 up to the highest level challenge cards which ask students to work out how many ways they can achieve a certain score with 1, 2 or 3 darts. The higher challenges require a lot of thinking and workings, which makes these challenges great for seeing how students approach a task, whether they are able to work systematically and present their findings.

As part of the resource the uploader (chk242) has included a lesson plan, the powerpoint with the challenge cards on it, assessment sheets and a link to his blog post, which you can also view below...

http://mathematicalmagpie.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/bullseye-mathematics-of-dartboard.html

Naturally, as soon as I saw the resource I had to go and get myself a dart board and get started with the 'project' straight away. I used the end of term lessons to trial out the project.

Here's the dart board I got...

I was originally looking for a magnetic one as suggested in the blog post above, but when I saw the selection on offer at Toys 'R' Us in Croydon and saw this one I decided to go with this - it has that 'ping' noise when the darts hit the board, and I like that!

It only cost £12.99

The board is a magnet to the kids as soon as they see it. They want to know what it's for, whether they're going to play darts, if it's mine etc etc. It acts as a good visual aid for students when creating their dartboards using their compasses. The only downside to the one I have is that there is no bull/bull's eye, just the one 'bull'.

I found that it took most students a lesson and a half to complete their dartboards, after having introduced the project, used the mymaths lesson as the 'starter' activity and then set the class off on drawing their circles etc. It shows how weak some students can be with using a pair of compasses (and also that half the compasses I had to work with were far too loose to be used effectively). We were able to discuss how big each of the sectors had to be using angle facts we had learnt previously which was a nice 'stopping point' in the lesson when a few students had got to the point where they were ready to draw the sectors.
The challenge cards then took anything from a lesson and a half to 3 lessons depending on how much time you have to give to the project, and how long your students stay with it. Some of my students were really interested in finding all possible ways of making certain numbers using the darts and would happily have worked through each of the challenge cards if given the chance.

In addition to the challenge cards, and creating the dart boards I used my dartboard to have a class challenge to see who could get the highest '3 dart score', much like in the blog post above. This introduced a nice 'sideline' to the main tasks and my classes got quite competitive with this. I also used the board in a few of my 'last lessons' of the year to play other dart based games such as 501, 301 (when time permitted a shorter game) and 'Killer'.

I also found, that whilst the board was at the back of my room, I could use it to settle conflicts in the classroom or to use it as a reward for those that finished tasks. It's great for choosing a set number of questions students have to answer too, although this can go both ways depending on how good you are at darts/who you allow to through the 'dart of decisiveness'!

A lot of fun can be had with the 'project' and the dart board in general. I plan to have the board put up in my new classroom ready for next year (with the darts hidden out of sight until I need them).

The board was also used in my school's Open Evening. I had one of my top set year 9 students help me out with the board and we had a 'who could get the highest 3 dart score' competition on the night with (potential) students, their parents and their brothers/sisters all trying to get the highest score. The mental maths involved in adding their 3 darts was quite challenging for some of the younger students (and some of the parents too) and it created a great 'buzz' about the room we were in.