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Mapthematical November 4, 2009

Posted by IaninSheffield in Teaching Idea.
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During the last couple of days, I’ve seen something really quite impressive.  A teaching idea for an activity spanning several curriculum areas and exploiting the potential that ICT and the Internet can offer.  Moreover, it addresses one of those issues that teachers regularly face – “I just haven’t got the time.”

The credit for this superb idea belongs to Tom Barrett (@tombarrett) who has used Google Maps to deliver a series of Maths activities for KS1 & 2 students which are firmly rooted in the real world.  By using the satellite view and zooming in, the students can see the places where the activites are set.  The placemark tool allows mini problems to be attached to a feature in the landscape – click on the placemark and the pop-up balloon provides the student with instructions and the problem.  Ingenious!  But there’s more – by using the colour coding in placemarks, the problems can be differentiated by year group.

Where this venture really takes off for me is that Tom used his Twitter network to publicise the idea and invite folks to contribute by adding a placemark and a problem to the map (which anyone with a Google account can do).  All too soon, the bank of activities can swell as more people contribute.  Though Tom enjoys a wide network of educators, I wonder how quickly a group of Maths specialists could assemble a series of activities?  (Collective noun for a group of Maths specialists – ‘set‘ perhaps?)

More details about ‘Measures in Madrid’ and ‘Shape in Paris’ on the Maths Maps page on Tom’s blog. (If you haven’t seen any of Tom’s ‘Interesting Ways . . . ‘ crowd-sourced ideas, then they’re well worth checking out too)

Just wish I was a little better versed in the Primary Maths curriculum so I could join in!

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