The whole school has been celebrating Maths Week 2023 through a number of mathematical activities and investigations. To start the week, a special bag was delivered to each classroom and the children had to solve the quiz to find the number to unlock the padlock. Once the children unlocked the padlock, they were excited to find a soft cuddly penguin with the book ‘365 Penguins.’
The children particularly enjoyed using the wind-up penguins to estimate how far the penguins travelled and then measured the actual distance the penguin travelled. Children focused on measuring lengths using a ruler, with a specific focus on measuring in centimetres.
Year 2 to Year 6 children participated in a friendly TT Rock Stars ‘London Rocks’ competition involving schools in the United Kingdom. 14, 836, 287 questions were answered collectively by 54, 552 children from more than 329 schools and 8, 566 classes around the country!
The top three classes at St Catherine’s were 4B, 4S and 6M.
Please see below a brief description of what all year groups have been learning about in their Maths lessons this week:
In Nursery, we painted penguins using only two colours, we made penguins using black and white paper in the shape of different sized circles, squares, and triangles. As the week progressed, we read more of the story, talked about days of the week and which month our birthdays fall in. We had lots of little penguins in our class so we created a game whereby we had to predict how many penguins we could fit into a small cube and cuboid shaped box.
In Reception, we have been building houses for the penguins, and seeing how many we can fit into one house. We explored making the houses larger and smaller to see how that changed the number of penguins that we could fit inside. We also explored different ways that we could sort our penguins, such as by colour, in groups of five and ten, and in different shapes and patterns. We wrote a shared story about animals arriving each day in Reception Class, and then we had a go at writing our own mathematical stories.
In Year 1, children were excited to participate in the Maths quiz and solve all the quiz questions to reveal a code to unlock a mystery bag. The children were incredibly happy to meet Pongo the penguin and listened to the story ‘365 Penguins’. Afterwards, the children drew their own penguins, compared sizes, and estimated the distance of wind-up penguins.
In Year 2, children explored the number of penguins across the months using the text to support their knowledge and understanding of addition. They used a formal method to write the calculation and made arrays using penguins. Children took part in a Maths investigation involving their knowledge and understanding of fractions. They were asked to find a unit fraction, e.g., 1/2, 1/4 and 1/3 of the total amount of penguins. The children then moved onto recognising a non-unit fraction, where the numerator is greater than 1. They were asked to identify 2/3, 2/4 and 3/4 of the total amount of penguins and looked at fractions equivalent to 1 whole.
Year 3 enjoyed listening to the story ‘365 Penguins’. After reading the first part, each pair was given a set of 24 penguins which they had to arrange in different ways. Many children realised they could quickly do this by using their prior knowledge of their times tables facts and created arrays. Following this, the children spent some time working out the quickest ways to calculate how many penguins would have arrived in one month, six months, eleven months and so on. During the week we used multiplication, addition and subtraction.
We focussed on various concepts such as numbers, place value, as well as multiplications and divisions. After reading the book, we chose our own numbers of penguins and investigated different ways to order them. We used arrays and applied known multiplication and division facts. We demonstrated how grouping is an efficient way to organise our thinking and to work with larger numbers.
In Year 5, children were very keen to solve the clues to the mystery quiz and unlock the padlock. Some of the questions were quite tricky but the children were determined to find the answers! Children participated in ‘Scrabble Maths’ where they had to find words that can make the score exactly 15 points. Children learnt about triangular numbers, that a number can be shown using a pattern of dots (penguins) in an equilateral triangle.
We started the week with a fun treasure hunt. As part of this, the children had to solve various Maths problem-solving questions. Each question led us closer to solving the missing padlock number. The answer to each question was either a useful or useless number. A useful number formed part of the missing padlock number which revealed the book we were going to read: 365 Penguins! The children in Year 6 had to explore different ways we could arrange the penguins and how many we would have on different days of the year.
Years 5 and 6 children have been learning to say, read and write numbers to 69 and many have been using the four operations to find answers to questions using the French words, rather than numerals.
Year 4 learnt about French currency, as part of their work on the theme of Au Salon de Thé (At the Tea Room). They calculated a simple bill and looked at pounds and pence compared to euros and centimes.
Year 3 learnt numbers from 12 to 31 in French and learnt a song about these numbers.
Year 2 learnt how to read and say the time on the hour and sing a song about telling the time, providing plenty of opportunity to revise and consolidate numbers to 12.
Year 1 learnt the words of five shapes in French.
Year 2 were given six pictures of penguins; they rolled the dice and added the score of the two dice together. If the answer was greater than ten, they chose one of the three penguin pictures from group A, if the answer was less than ten, they choose from group B. Children then produced a caption for the penguin picture and created a rhythm by following the word pattern.
Year 6 are focusing on minimalism music and the children had to create a simple ostinato. To do this the children did a maths calculation of 2 x 2 digits, divided by a single digit then saw if the answer was within a parameter given. This then gave the note they needed to use to create a very minimalistic phrase of music. Children will continue with this next week adding in a penguin spin on the music.
Maths Art competition
As mentioned last week, we would like children to participate in a Maths/Art competition linked to our story of ‘365 Penguins’. All entries to be handed in by Monday 10th July and can be created on A4 or A3. There will be a winner in each phase, i.e., one winner in EYFS, one winner in KS1, one winner in LKS2 and one winner in UKS2.
EYFS – Children to design their own Mathematical penguin, with an emphasis on numbers and/or shapes
KS1 – Children to design their own Mathematical penguin, with an emphasis on calculations (+, -, x, ÷)
KS2 – Children to design a new front cover for the book and explain some of the maths concepts that they have learnt from the story.
Penguin Day – Strictly Come Dancing Penguins competition
What is black and white and counts???? A dancing penguin during Maths Week!
To accompany our Maths work through the book, ‘365 Penguins’, we hosted ‘Strictly Come Dancing Penguins’ last Thursday afternoon! It was a remarkable sight. Each class practised the penguin dance during the week and performed it to the rest of their Key Stage – dressed as penguins (or in black and white). The children and adults had lots of fun!
Our panel of judges decided which class gave the most ‘authentic’ performance. They gave each class a score out of 10 and the class with the highest total score was the winner. It was a wonderful celebration to end a busy week of Maths.
Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2:
The winning class was Nursery. Nursery received a certificate, a soft penguin teddy and a copy of the penguin story book.
Year 3 to Year 6:
The winning class was 4S. 4S received a certificate and a copy of the penguin story book.