## Gamification

I was playing a game on my Xbox the other day when I suddenly realised that I was not playing for fun. I was playing for work.

Let me explain.

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**August 2013**Monthly Archives

## Gamification

## Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories

## Recycled Assumptions

## TickTock Starters

## James Garfield Was the Only U.S. President to Prove a Math[s] Theorem

## Why teachers don't know best

## Chris Moyles' Quiz Night

Maths resources by Richard Tock

I was playing a game on my Xbox the other day when I suddenly realised that I was not playing for fun. I was playing for work.

Let me explain.

This is really cool. The graphs look like trig functions! Might be a way to introduce them.

Interesting article on the idea of ‘school reform’ as it’s presented in the press. Well worth reading.

So I made some starters. You can find them here. The file name says ’25 starters’ but there’s actually more than fifty of them. I got carried away.

There are some of the normal numeracy starters in this pack, but I’ve also tried to add unique and interesting ideas that can be used over and over agin. In this post I’ll talk you through some of the better ones.

(A quick note: the numbers are simply ordered by which I added to the slide show first. There’s no special numbering system)

**14. If this is the answer, what is the question?**

This is the best starter I’ve ever come up with. It’s simply a random number generator that gives you a number between 1 and 50. The range of questions that students come up with, and the creativity of those questions, will astound you. I really love doing this, as it allows students to be creative (there are infinite answers! How often do we have that in maths?) and challenge themselves. It’s also accessible to all.

**29. Bananas **

I found that a lot of my students like playing a game called Bananas. You get given a letter then have to fill as many categories as you can with words starting with that letter. I created a digital maths version, complete with random letter generator that means you can play the game in maths lessons. It hits literacy boxes and students absolutely love it as it’s gamey and allows them to be creative. You wouldn’t believe how much you can get out of this one slide, and as it’s got random generation aspects you can use it more than once. Give it a go.

**21. How many sweets in the jar**

This may seem a silly one, but it’s engaging (one thing I’ve tried to keep with the green coloured starters is the idea that all students, regardless of ability, can have a go) and estimation is one of the key tools students will need in their lives. There’s a link to a great video about the ‘wisdom of the crowd’, too.

Download the full PowerPoint for all fifty. I think some of them will be of great use on your first day back.

This is really cool!

The Pythagorean Theorem has been proved many times, and probably will be proven many more times. But only one proof was made by a United States President. Five years before James A Garfield was elected president, he came up with a proof that involves a simple sheet of paper and some scissors.

http://io9.com/james-garfield-was-the-only-u-s-president-to-prove-a-m-1037750658

This is a really interesting post and well worth a read.

I’m not sure I agree with all of it. I especially hate it when anyone refers to pupils as ‘customers’, but it really got me thinking, and that’s always a good thing.

A while ago, Chris Moyles had a TV show called ‘Quiz Night’. Part of the program was a maths quiz, done by various pop acts (including, *shudder*, One Direction).

A lot of these are available on YouTube, so I collected them all together to make a convenient playlist.

I’ve used these a lot. They’re fun and engaging.