Thursday, 21 February 2013

Assessing and building on students prior knowledge (#blogsync)

Last month saw the very first #blogsync. If you missed it - check out my first entry on 'The Universal Panacea - Time' here.

This month's #blogsync is centred around classroom practice and all the blog posts are aimed at 'a teaching and learning strategy intended to elicit the highest levels of student motivation in my subject'. For this month's #blogsync I have chosen to discuss assessing and building on students prior knowledge. The reasons for me doing this is that I feel it is one of the most important things we do as teachers, as if we don't properly assess students prior knowledge we'll just end up going over old ground - over and over again; students learning nothing new.
Also, a secondary reason for me doing this topic is that as part of being an NQT one of the standards I have to collate evidence against is standard 2 'promote good progress and outcomes of pupils' of which one of the bullet points is 'be aware of pupils' capabilities and their prior knowledge, and plan teaching to build on these'. So, it has been my aim, this past half term, to focus my teaching on this bullet point, and in turn, write this post and reflect on my ability to do this in my lessons and how it has impacted on those lessons and my students' progress.

This will be just one of the posts in the series of blog posts on the topic above (in bold), to see the rest go to

So, when I was choosing my topic for this month's #blogsync I was trying to think of how I get students motivated in my subject (Mathematics) and there were a number of ways I achieve this. However, I can have the most practical of activities, put the lesson in a context my students will relate to, use as much ICT and music as I desire but none of that would matter if what I was teaching the students was something they'd done before. And so it seemed to me that the best way of me eliciting the highest levels of student motivation was to pitch the lesson right in the first place - the only way of doing this...checking what they already know and then building upon it!

I see Mathematics as a set of building blocks; blocks that can be built upon, but without the basics, can often fall apart leading to students easily forgetting concepts, or even whole topics. I like the layered approach you can often work with in Mathematics in terms of you know how to do 'x' and so we can now use 'x' to do 'y'. Sure, some topics can be taught as 'one off' lessons, but the majority involve using something you'd learnt previously to access a new problem.
There are however, those topics in Mathematics that students fail to grasp throughout their schooling that inevitably have to be taught year after year, or at least revised with classes. This, I believe, should happen in the 'assessing students prior knowledge' part of teaching any topic. Ideally students will be presented with something they should have learnt before, tested on it, and then moved on to a new problem using their prior knowledge. It's at this point I, as a teacher, would see where the class were at and then teach my lesson accordingly. If this meant going over gaps in knowledge or covering misconceptions the students may have then great, if it means that all students are ready to move on, even better.

So, in order to show how I have assessed my students prior knowledge, what I did with it and what affect it had on the lesson and my students' learning I will talk about 3 different lessons (and 3 different ways of assessing students prior knowledge). I have chosen these 3 lessons as these lessons were the ones in which I was teaching the class a new topic for the first time. As I have been in my current school since September I don't have the luxury of having taught the students before (last year, the year before etc - I have been teaching them since September!) and so don't know what they may/may not have covered last year. Sure, I have held conversations with colleagues who did teach my classes last year as to what they did with them, but will my students have actually retained this information and still have a working knowledge of it? This, is what I will be essentially checking in each of the lessons I have highlighted. I must point out at this stage that I am very much still learning how best to assess my students prior knowledge and, indeed, how to plan a lesson following this initial assessment and being flexible enough to go in whichever route the class need to venture down! So, that being said, if anyone has any pearls of wisdom they can share I'd be more than grateful to hear from you.

Lesson A1 - Year 9 - Linear Equations
(Socrative) see for my 1st post on using Socrative.

Before teaching this lesson I received an e-mail from my HoD with a Socrative quiz he had used in his class and having used one of his quizzes before (see blog post above) I thought this would be a great way of assessing what my top set year 9 class may already know from last year. The quiz only consisted of 10 questions, all ranging throughout the topic that I was just about to teach the class - Linear Equations. The only objectives for that topic that the quiz didn't cover explicitly were plotting inequalities and shaded regions, which the class would eventually go on to once I was confident they knew how to plot a linear equation, recognise the gradient and y-intercept from its' equation and be able to recognise parallel lines and lines that were parallel with one of the axes.

So, I introduced the quiz to the class and the minute I said they'd need to get their mobile phones out there was an immediate joy about the room! The students, all, in turn, completed the online 'live' quiz and I had the results coming up on the board so I could see how the students were doing and how many of the 10 questions they were getting correct; the competition between them was fantastic. The only problems with the Socrative quiz and assessing my students prior knowledge at this point was that on the 'live' screen you just see a mark out of 10 for each student and so as much as I could see generally how many questions they were getting right, I couldn't tell which ones exactly they had got correct/wrong. However, at the end of the quiz, once all students had submitted their answers you are able to send yourself a report of the students answers to peruse and use in your lessons. So, as not to embarrass any students I didn't delve into these too much in the lesson, and perhaps I should have done as I needed the time to go over the individual questions and assess where I needed to go next. However, this I could do later! I was almost helped by the fact that the time left of the lesson wasn't exactly that plentiful. Due to students having to share mobile devices/my computer/my iPhone the Socrative quiz ended up taking a good half hour to complete fully. So, for the remainder of the lesson I did two things...

The first was to go over each question in turn, covering any misconceptions the students may have had and also giving them instant feedback on the questions they had just answered. The benefit this had for them is that they could see which ones they had got wrong and why. I heard a lot of 'oh yeah...' noises coming from the class as I was explaining each question; I went through the quiz on the IWB just like they would have done on their mobile devices and then added notes to the board where needed for them to jot down.
The second thing I did, for the remainder of the lesson (about 10-15 minutes) is I got the students up at the board and in pairs, using my IWB buzzer resource I found online [see], I asked them various questions on the quiz and new topic we were starting - I tried to cover here the misconceptions they had previously with some of the questions.

So, the lesson itself turned into a whole period of assessing prior knowledge and covering the misconceptions and gaps they may have had. This was more than I had wanted to spend, but in hindsight it actually allowed me to consider more what they had learnt before and it helped refresh their memories. Plus, I was then able to build on this in out next lesson.

For our next lesson I had analysed the results from the Socrative quiz and found some common areas of weakness - nearly all students were unaware of parallel lines and that the gradient of parallel lines being the same and therefore the equation only different by the y-intercept. Also, the students seemed to lack knowledge of equations of lines parallel to the axes, namely lines like x = 1 and y = -3 etc. The common misconception here was that they believed that horizontal lines had an equation x = c and vertical lines had an equation y = c. So, for our next lesson I chose to do some group work with the students moving around desks in a carousel format. There were 5 different tasks (5 tables of 6/7 students) all linked to the learning objectives in the students topic trackers and based on the questions that were commonly poor from the quiz. Task 2 was with me at the IWB going through equations of lines parallel to the axes as this was the main misconception from the previous lesson.

What I found was that I was much clearer on what I needed the students to do having spent a focused amount of time assessing their prior knowledge and having analysed the results properly. It then allowed me to cover the specific topics that needed work and has now set us up for our lesson on shaded regions and inequalities after half term. Students were fully motivated in both lessons and I feel this was a) down to them being able to use their mobiles to do the Socrative quiz and b) due to the group work lesson (I feel I'm pretty good at managing and facilitating group work lessons) but also down to the fact that students were at that point in their learning where they were (unaided) trying to remember their previous learning and then using my input to then put this into practice in the group tasks I had designed for them in the following lesson.

The one improvement I would possibly make when using Socrative quizzes again is to get the students, in a flipped classroom style, to complete the quiz at home prior to the lesson. This way the class have got some h/w to do to set them up for the next lesson/topic, I could analyse the results and then go from there. The only disadvantage of this is that students are obviously able to look up answers online and so the results may not reflect a completely honest version of my students knowledge?

Lesson A2 - Year 10 - Stem & Leaf Diagrams
(ABCD Fans - quiz) see for my post about my ABCD Fans (and the hassle I've gone through with them [well worth it though])

This lesson with Year 10 was a lesson in which I was asked to teach a class that I do not regularly teach and so the only information I was given is that they needed to be taught stem and leaf diagrams and that they may have done it in the past, but I'd need to make my own mind up as to how much they already knew and how much to start from scratch.
So, with this in mind I thought about how I could check what they already knew and then move on from here. I decided to use my ABCD Fans and a brief 10 question quiz. I also ended up planning a lesson or series of lessons for the aftermath of the quiz depending on where the students would be at. This included me planning a lesson essentially teaching stem and leaf diagrams for the 1st time, a lesson where the students had some prior knowledge but needed to go over a few things (working out the median, mode, range etc) and then a lesson where they were absolutely fine and needed moving on to back-to-back stem and leafs and comparing data sets. I found this useful in terms of my planning and for future use but also very time consuming. I think, naturally, with more experience, I'd be able to do a certain amount of this off the top of my head based on teaching the topic a few times but as I'm a NQT I needed to spend a bit more time planning resources and routes based on what the class would need.

Now, I mentioned the quiz had 10 questions. The first 4-5 questions were just on averages and working out the median, mode and range of sets of data. These questions were completed with relatively little difficulty and I only needed to just check a few things, provide 1 further example with one question and then write some key information on the board for the students to use at a later data. Question 5 or 6 was simply a picture of a stem and leaf diagram, multiple choice answers and the question...'what is this diagram?' They all knew what it was. Next question - how do I work out the median from this diagram - same picture of the stem and leaf diagram with a purposefully tricky set of multiple choice answers whereby 2 of them were just the leaf part of the most common numbers, one was the correct answer with the actual number and one was the amount of the number that appeared the most. All students were slow with answering this one and barely any of the ABCD Fans moved, let alone were held in the air above their heads indicating to me an answer of some sort. So, rather than go through the remaining questions I stopped them there and then got up my ppt on stem and leaf diagrams.
I reminded the students how the data gets put into the stem and leaf and then how you could work out the various averages. I then, as you can see in my previous post [] got them to create a stem and leaf diagram themselves.

The advantage my quick quiz had was that I was able to see quickly where the students knowledge stopped and then was able to build on it and work with what they did know. You could argue that I could have continued with the quiz as they may have known the last few questions but these were checked and covered in what followed in the lesson.

The lesson went fantastically well, and rather than before with the year 9 class where I went over the answers in greater length I was able to stop the activity as soon as I had a judgement on where I needed the lesson to go and then went there. I feel with the Socrative quiz there needed to be a greater analysis of results where as with this approach I could easily see when the students where getting the answers right and when they were 'stumped'.

Lesson A3 - Year 10 - Ratio & Proportion
(DfE Standards Unit - exam questions and sample answers [with mistakes])

The last example of having assessed my students prior knowledge and looking to build on it was with my regular year 10 class when covering ratio and proportion.

Now, this is a topic, that having taught KS3 classes a lot more than KS4 over the past few years, I have a good idea of what is covered prior to students entering year 10. However, I wouldn't want to assume that this knowledge had been assimilated and so used the DfE Standards Unit lesson on proportion with the intention of taking from it the bits that my students needed and then moving them on to looking at direct/inverse proportion and the constant of proportionality.
I chose the standards unit task as the lesson is based on students being initially given 4 exam style questions involving proportion, answering these with their partner and then being given some sample answers (with mistakes and correct answers included) and then marking this work just as if they were a teacher.
The advantage this had is that as the pairs were working on the 4 questions I was able to make my way around the room and ask the students questions as to how they were going about answering the questions. This, in itself, highlighted some prior knowledge and equally a good amount of missing knowledge. However, from when the students got the sample answers to correct, the missing knowledge was partially sorted as the students were able to see methods of working and were able to correct them or just tick them. I think for a lot of them it was a case of knowing how to get started with the questions and understanding what it was they were being asked to do. Once they saw the initial workings they were able to correct the mistakes the sample material had made (adding denominators of fractions for example).

After this initial paired work I asked the class questions as to how they went about completing the questions and then covered all of the mistakes in the answers before moving on. I used the flow diagrams part of the lesson to link proportion to multiplication and checking the students new the unitary method. We didn't quite have enough time to get on to looking at direct/inverse proportion in the lesson for the amount of time I felt we needed on this. So, without moving on too fast I got students, again in their pairs, to finish off the last part of the lesson which was to come up with their own proportional problems for their partner to solve using the flow charts we had discussed.

What I have learnt from focusing more heavily on students prior knowledge is that my students are challenged more so than what they may have been had I assumed some sort of prior knowledge and decided personally on where I thought the class would be. I have also learnt from this that I need to continue to do this at the start of each topic and come up with new ways of checking what my students already know. I think that in subsequent years I will naturally have a better idea of what my students will already know, especially if I am to keep certain classes over the next few years etc. However, the experience I have now gained from doing this #blogsync and reflecting on what it has meant for the motivation of my students and the impact on their learning, even if I don't teach the same classes I will have a much better idea of how to effectively assess their prior knowledge and adapt to it.

Thank you to those of you that have taken the time to read this - I know it's been a bit of a long one and thanks to those of you that may suggest other ways in which I can go about assessing students prior knowledge.

Remember...go and check out the other posts on

Monday, 18 February 2013

Mathematics Taboo and Mathematics Pictionary

Here are two sets of games that I've created based around popular board games Pictionary and Taboo.

The first is a Mathematics Taboo - great for getting students to explain a concept without using certain 'taboo' words. I have used this activity for a starter or plenary to a topic before
You can download some of these cards from my TES resources here... and this is easily adaptable for the topic you are teaching.
Display a certain card on the board and invite students to explain the concept/topic to their partner without saying any of the 'taboo' words

Alternatively, you could just give the cards out in groups for students to play the game for a given time. Perhaps as an end of term activity or even as a tutor time activity!?

The second is a Mathematics version of Pictionary. This activity is great for mini whiteboard work in groups of 4 with pairs competing against one another. Can be used in lessons for a starter activity to get students settled, or even as a tutor time activity?!

You can download this from my TES resources at...

Here's how my cards look (once laminated)...

There are 'category cards' and then 'topic cards' included

'Your New Flat' Scheme of Work

This year I have been teaching a year 10 class (set 5) that have proved, for a number of different reasons, a bit tricky to teach. Sometimes we can have fantastic lessons, other times Mathematics is the last thing they want to be doing and not much is achieved. I have found it difficult to continue to plough through the SoW we have to get the class through their METHODS in Mathematics examination and so needed a fresh perspective on things.
As the class won't be sitting the examination until November 2013 we have some time to come away from the SoW and do something a bit different. So, here's what I've come up with...

I wanted to give the class a more 'functional' project to complete whilst still learning as much as they possibly could throughout it. I started to look around the TES for resources I could use, or incorporate into my teaching, and one resource/idea stood out. The resource was uploaded by TES user 'kyliew52' and was centred around students getting a £1000 budget to kit out a new (and hypothetical) flat. The resource can be viewed and downloaded here -->

This is the front page of 'kyliew52's' ppt:

This was exactly the type of thing I was looking for. I saw this resource before Christmas and was very keen to implement it straight after the new year. However, the Argos catalogues were no longer available due to the fact that they had a new one coming out on the 26th January 2013. So, I waited until then and eventually the day came and I was able to pick up about 12 catalogues from the local Argos to use in class. Where the Argos catalogues come in is that the students use these to find the items they will kit out their flats with. Now, obviously, this can be done via the use of the Internet to find certain items etc, but I wanted to restrict where the students would get the products from, due to certain behavioural problems that might develop if given free access to the Internet. It would also help focus them on the task at hand.

However, I didn't just want them to budget £1000 and then stop here with the project and so, around 'kyliew52's' original resource I have developed a mini scheme of work for my class.

The scheme of work is based on the 'your new flat' idea but I have carefully tried to incorporate as much of the Edexcel METHODS in Mathematics criteria as I possibly could at the same time. These links are highlighted throughout my new scheme of work. The scheme of work document itself is in line with our KS3 and KS4 SoW layouts and I thank Miss A for allowing me to use her template to create my scheme of work.

Here's a view of some of the pages of my SoW:

So, the scheme of work starts with the class kitting out their new flat using the Argos catalogues and this provided a really engaging start to the 'project' I was giving them. I told the class in the 'introductory' lesson that the reason I was giving them this project was that I wanted them to come across a 'real-life' problem they would/could be faced with in their near future and to give them as much of an idea as possible as to what is involved when they are looking for their own place and having to pay for everything that comes with it.
The introductory lesson was split over 2 lessons with students using the Argos catalogues to kit out their flats. After this I got the students to think about saving some money on their expenditures. We went through a lot of percentages work in order to find percentage savings, percentage decreases, writing one amount as a percentage of another etc. I used, for this, real deals from the Argos website/catalogue. After this session we looked at them getting a hypothetical job and salary. Using this yearly salary we then calculated their monthly salary (after tax - more percentages work here) has been taken into account and then deduct from this all of their monthly outgoings, including their rent which they found using and taking real monthly rent for a flat of their choosing in the local area.

The next session after this would look at store cards, loans and savings and these sessions looked heavily at the Natwest website ( and the tools available on their for individuals to work out their monthly budgets/savings as well as loans, interest rates and monthly repayments.

Throughout each session, I have planned in some starter activities that link to the lesson. Some of these resources have come from (the settler activities), some have come from @mathschallenge's tweets, which Mr Taylor (@tayorda01) has kindly created on his blog; you can view and download these here. Other resources have come from past papers or from tarsia activities found on the TES. I have also planned a lot of AfL activities for the students to constantly reflect on what they have achieved, what they have learnt, what they may need to consider when doing certain things and what they might want to know next.

After the students have considered their wages, kitted out their flats and looked at ways of spreading costs or saving money I then move them on to looking at hosting their own dinner 'parties' to save money eating out etc. These sessions are based around the C4 series 'Come Dine with Me' and involve students using ratio and proportion to work out the amount of ingredients they need for a certain amount of people and how to make certain drinks with ingredients in given ratios. There is an opportunity to get the food department involved here and do a really practical lesson in the food rooms!?

Finally, the last few sessions (which I'm yet to create the resources for), will focus on the students sharing the costs of their flat with a flatmate (to save money) - again this session will focus on ratios and them sharing the costs respective to their relevant earnings (not everything 50/50). The last session will look at students re-tiling the bathroom or kitchen using tessellations.

As I mentioned earlier I wanted to try and build in as much of the Edexcel METHODS (Unit 2) SoW as possible whilst keeping my students engaged in the 'project' set. The SoW covers: percentages, calculator work, ratio, proportion, fractions, tessellations and basic number work; all references to the original METHODS SoW are included in each session's plan.

I have put ALL of the resources for my scheme of work into the following Dropbox folder for others to use and tweak as they feel necessary...

...I have shared this with my department at school and some are intending to use this with KS3 classes as an end of year project.

All of the resources, unless otherwise mentioned above, have been created by me (mainly all the notebook files, the SoW itself and the worksheets provided). It is still a work in progress as I'm just about to start the 'Come Dine with You' sessions, so if something is missing it's because it hasn't been created yet!
If you use this it'd be great to hear how it has gone down and if you have created any other areas of development of it it'd be great to see these too. I have included an image of a flat's floor plan and so there is the possibility of doing metric - imperial conversions, working out areas of rooms to work out how much floorspace you have etc, you could get the students to paint/wallpaper the rooms and then work out the costs of doing so etc etc.
There are many things that could be added to what I have done already and I suppose it could last as long as the class are motivated towards it.

I have recently split up the 'project' by getting the class into the ICT room to use Manga High to consolidate their knowledge of some of the topics we have covered so far in the SoW, including doing the 'money management' task and other similar tasks on the website.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed in some way to the resources used in this - especially kyliew52.

Whole Class Stem & Leaf Diagrams

On Friday I was teaching stem and leaf diagrams to a year 10 class.

Prior to the lesson, when thinking about how I would teach them the topic, I was looking over the class' details and then something dawned on me...the seating layout looked like a back-to-back stem and leaf diagram.
The room was laid out with 4 rows of 4 tables, 2 either side of a central walkway. This then got me thinking that I could make a stem and leaf diagram out of the class themselves, with the students being the leaves and the stem being the gap between the desks in the centre of the room. However, as I didn't know how much the class had done on stem and leaf diagrams I couldn't be sure that we'd naturally get to back-to-back stem and leaf diagrams in that lesson. So, as a back up I decided I could still create a single stem and leaf diagram using the windows on one side of the room to be the stems and then the rows of desks being the leaves.

So, in order to prepare for this, I created a set of laminated numbers for each of the students. Having discussed the idea with my colleagues one of them suggested having the actual number on one side of the laminate and then the leaf part of that number on the other. This was a great addition as it then allowed the students to not only recognise what their actual number was, but also how to relate the leaf part of their number to the number itself. So, having created the number/leaf laminates I then just simply wrote each stem (0-4) onto a piece of paper and blutacked these to the windows in line with the 4 rows of desks.
I gave out the laminated numbers/leaves to the students randomly and then asked them to create the ordered stem and leaf diagram. I had the question on the IWB too for the students to refer to. The numbers all represented the ages of members of a swimming club.

What happened was great, all of the students were organising themselves (and each other) into the relevant row (stem) and then ordering themselves (the leaves). After the diagram was complete I then, to get a better view of things, stood on one of the tables and then asked the class questions about the stem and leaf. This included calculating the median, mode and range. When it got to the median I decided to take away students 1 by 1, highest and lowest until there were only 2 students left in the middle of the diagram; I linked this to when we cross off from a list of ordered numbers until you get to the middle number/s. We then discussed what the median would be of the two numbers left over; there were some misconceptions here that we were then able to cover.

The activity worked really well and I will do a similar thing in the future when we look at back-to-back stem and leaf diagrams.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Mr Collins Table Sheets...MATCH!!

2 years ago, whilst working as a cover supervisor and waiting to start my GTP in Mathematics I was doing a lot of private tutoring. I was doing this private tuition to a) keep my subject knowledge fresh and keep up-to-date with examination specs etc and b) to earn a bit of extra money to make up my salary.
Whilst I was tutoring I saw the need to create some revision resources for my tutees and indeed the Year 11s at the school where I was covering lessons. So, over the course of a couple of months I created my Mr Collins Table Sheets. Each of the sheets took me about 20-30 mins to create and I made 34 in total (enough for a whole class set). I blogged initially about the sheets last year at and have uploaded all of them to the TES where they have been put into their own collection. You can download all of the sheets here. The sheets have received a bit of a mixed response on the TES due to some users not liking that they are hand-written and quite packed full of information. However, regardless I love them and recently got them out at my new school to try something new with them with my set 1 year 9 class and my set 2 year 10 class.
I gave the sheets to my set 1 year 9 class after we had our yearly parents' consultation evening. At the evening I spoke to the parents of all 32 of my year 9 students about their progress in Mathematics and told them about their GCSE years briefly having had the year 9 options evening the week before; many parents wanted to know about the 'additional Mathematics' GCSE that our top set students will be doing.
So, in order to give the class an insight into the types of questions they'd be seeing over the next few years I decided to, for one lesson, get out the Table Sheets.
How I did the lesson was as follows:

I gave out to each student one of the sheets and briefly explained the layout of the sheets and how they work in terms of some sheets having useful information/formulae that another person may need to answer a question on their sheet. I gave the class half of our lesson to then, working together, try to answer as many of the 10 questions on their sheets. They were allowed to consult with others if there was a question they weren't sure about or if there was someone else in the room that had something  on their sheet that they could use to help answer their question. Naturally some of the questions were too difficult for them as there were topics on the sheets they'd never seen before - this just added to their intrigue and I had a whole host of questions as to what was a reciprocal, what's the sine rule, how do I work out the volume of a cone etc.
After the initial part of the lesson I then bought out my newly created Mr Collins Table Sheets MATCH resource...

When creating the sheets I always had in mind the ability to use them as a sort of match between the two teams on the sheets: Raymond's Rovers and Collins City. On each sheet I have put a team shirt of one of the teams and these are numbered from 1-16. So, in order for me to run this team activity I have created a new IWB resource where we can have the 'match' between the two teams.

The resource can be found on the TES at:

Here is a print screen of the match screen...

 This is the main screen where you can see the interactive score and the starting 11 team shirts
 On this screen you can see the substitutes and the match ball, which is set as an infinite cloner allowing me to move the ball around the screen and attach a football image to each person that scores a goal
In order to make the resource usable for other subjects and for those that don't want to use the Table Sheets I have set up a slide where you can print out a team shirt to randomly give out to students (to determine which player they are and what team they are on).

How the match worked was as follows...

I started the MATCH by using my class' random name generator to select a student to have possession of the ball (oh yeah - you may need an inflatable football to throw around the room - they loved this aspect of it). If that student was in the starting 11 I would then drag the ball from the bottom left of the screen to that player's position. If they were a sub I'd ask them what player that wanted to sub off so they were on the pitch. Then they had the option to either pass the ball to another player on their team, or to shoot. If they passed then that player would then have the same option to pass or shoot, or even sub themselves off for another player! If they chose to shoot they would then choose one of the questions on their table sheet to answer (or, as I did with other classes choose one of the questions we had answered in class). If they got the question correct their shot would have been made and the goalkeeper from the other team would have to answer a similarly difficult question to save the shot. At this point I'd mention that I had purposefully given the #1 shirts to the G&T students in the class. If the goalkeeper got their question correct and it was the same difficulty the player would score, getting the advantage. If they answered a harder question however they would have saved the shot.
This worked well with goals being scored if both answered their questions correctly, however some students were saying their was no point in the keeper answering them as they'd score anyway - at this point I stressed that it was more about me seeing that both students had answered the questions correctly than it was about the scoring/not scoring -plus there was plenty of time for teams to equalise etc.
I then would go to the relevant part of the scoreboard and add a goal on. The great thing about the scoreboard is that you can add and deduct goals from a team's score and so it also becomes (if needed) a behaviour management tool as you can take goals off a team for poor behaviour.
The match then progressed by using the random name generator to chose the next student to gain possession after the goal had been scored. It it was saved the keeper just passed the ball to a member of their team, giving them possession.

The amount of fun that was had using this activity, with the inflatable ball being passed around the room, students decided as a team who should 'shoot' to give them the best chance of scoring and therefore bringing certain students off the bench or sharing formulae etc to enable others to answer their harder questions (the questions from 1-10 increase in difficulty). There are tweaks needed I feel in terms of the goal scoring/saving. But nonetheless it allows me to check students understanding whilst having an immense amount of fun.

Here's how my room looked prior to one of the lessons I used the sheets in...the amout of intrigue this created was amazing...

I have also used this activity as a plenary task WITHOUT using the sheets. Instead of the sheets I use the questions I give my students in the lesson as those that they answer when 'shooting'. When two students have answered the same question that question is then taken out of the game and students have to chose another question to answer when 'shooting'. The advantage this has had is that now students are used to the format (having done the activity in other lessons) they are motivated to answer as many questions as they can in the question answering section of the lesson as they know they'll need these for the match!

I'd love to hear any thoughts on how you think the activity would be bettered or if you'd like any further information as to how I run this in class!
I plan on doing a running league table pitting Raymond's Rovers against Collins City to introduce even more competition to the activity.