Saturday, 14 February 2015

Valentine's Day Mathematics Activities

Yesterday, on the eve of Valentine's Day, I used one of my recently created resources with a few of my classes to celebrate Valentine's Day. Any excuse to run a themed lesson and I'm happy! With my Y7, Y9s and Y11 class I used a number of Mathematical activities as outlined below...

Firstly, I set the tone to the lesson by having some love songs playing in the background as they entered - I chose The Pointer Sisters -Jump (For My Love) and then Michael Jackson's 'The Way You Make Me Feel'. Other love songs are available! :)
I also had my PowerPoint on the board to create some discussion as to what they had to do for the first find their 'true love'.

Here's a link to my newly created resource on the TES:

(save it for after half-term or next year, perhaps?)

The first task involved them finding their 'love percentage' by finding the number of vowels in their name (first name and surname) as a percentage of the total number of letters in their name. Then, by going round the class and comparing each others' love percentages we found some 'true love' matches! (If the percentages matched it was clearly meant to be)!

N.B. I did just clarify to my classes that this was just meant to be a bit of fun and that no actual relationships should be based on the task!

Next, after they had found a love match, they had a task where they looked at a Valentine's Day Menu for my fictional restaurant 'Cupid's Arrow'. They had to work out how many possible combinations of meals they could choose from the menu if they picked 1 starter, 1 main and 1 dessert (there were 3 of each to choose from). We discussed how to best record the information and other questions were asked throughout the task such as what would happen if there were 4 of each meal to choose from, etc.

When the answer of 27 different possible combinations was revealed I then gave the classes a short task of, for the number they love, writing down as many possible questions to which it was the answer. I obviously did the number 27 to provide some examples. What I found with this task is that the different ability classes were able to apply different aspects of what we had been learning to the task. My Y11 set 1s were using laws of indices, equations, surds etc, whereas my lower Y9 class were just using the basic four operations.

Then, with some classes where we had more time, I allowed them a choice of tasks to look into to develop the menu problem further. For other classes I gave them an alternative way of finding their 'true love' by getting them to find values for their names based on the position of the letters in the alphabet. i.e. a=1, b=2, ..., z=26 etc.

The lessons went really well, I had love songs playing in the background throughout the lessons, which went down really well with the kids. The students loved finding their love percentages and values for their names to find their love matches and there was a lot of Ooooooos and Aaaaahhhhhs when certain students were matched up! All done in the spirit of V Day!

A great way to end the half term (even when suffering from man flu)! :)

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