This is a project based on Benford's law. I had this idea after watching the Numberphile series on YouTube. This is a project based activity that involves many skills including working with large numbers, using percentages, representing data and probability.
The investigation is introduced to learners using the PPT (and optional YouTube links). Learners then split into four groups - each is given a random set of share prices [see Excel file]. Each group investigates the occurrence of numbers starting with each digit from 1 to 9.
FM Complex multi-step problem(s)
FM L1.1 Read, write, order and compare large numbers (up to one million)
FM L1.14 Calculate percentages of quantities, including simple percentage increases and decreases by 5% and multiples thereof
L1.15 Estimate answers to calculations using fractions and decimals
L1.27 Represent discrete data in tables, diagrams and charts including pie charts, bar charts and line graphs
L1.28 Group discrete data and represent grouped data graphically
L1.30 Understand probability on a scale from 0 (impossible) to 1 (certain) and use probabilities to compare the likelihood of events
L1.31 Use equally likely outcomes to find the probabilities of simple events and express them as fractions
An ESOL lesson embedding numeracy, diversity and British values, centred on the Spring Equinox and three festivals which happen around / on this day - Purim, Holi and Shunbun No Hi. Learners collect unfamiliar words on a vocabulary sheet and ask and answer questions to elicit meaning / explanation. There is a powerpoint to introduce the topic, using acronyms eg 7DIAW - Seven Days In A Week to elicit key words, and lead to an explanation of what the Vernal Equinox is and when it is.
FM E3.4 Multiply two-digit whole numbers by single and double digit whole numbers
E1.7 Know the number of days in a week, months, and seasons in a year. Be able to name and sequence
E2.7 Know the number of hours in a day and weeks in a year.
Generic resources for literacy, numeracy and beyond
This is an Excel file with a basic odd/even activity. I took inspiration from Jean Thomas’ “Reveal the hidden shapes!” activity from 2005.
With this activity, the tutor can design a picture (or one learner can design a picture for another learner) and it produces a printable sheet. The learner then shades all the odd numbers on the sheet in one colour, and all the even numbers in a different colour – revealing a picture or a message.
There are no macros, so cross-compatibility with Excel shouldn’t be a problem.
FM Context free underpinning
FM E2.3 Recognise and sequence odd and even numbers up to 100
Functional skills maths.
Extract information from mileage and distance (network) diagrams. Complete a mileage chart. Editor’s note
With worked solutions, pop up help and a final challenge question.
Ideal as an introduction or for revision.
This aural check was used to assess learners before they attended my intensive 1:1 support / revision sessions for the Level 1 Functional Maths exam. These were generally students that I had not met or taught before.
Students regularly tell me they cannot read bus timetables and just wait for the next one to come along! This activity asks learners to find the most appropriate bus for my journey.
I print the timetables (pages 2-8) out enlarged to A3 and stick them to walls of my classroom.
Update (June 2016)
Answer sheet (and error report for one question) kindly provided by Ray Sheerin and Jay Hall, Aylesbury, Bucks, Adult Learning.
An interesting meld of description, investigation, paired discussion and tasks.
Ideal introduction to L1 averages – also useful at high E3.
Adapted from one page of Nikki Gilbey’sData Collection and Averages – functional tasks (listed below under See also).
A topical and challenging series of differentiated questions for upper E3 to Level 2. Based on a news report about the May 2015 relief effort and a table of statistics about the world’s largest earthquakes.