29 May 2008

What to do with a classroom full of hot, fidgety children.....

There are some times when you just have to abandon even the most carefully made plans.  Such a time was this afternoon.  It was hot.  We had worked hard all morning and (well, present company excepted) been racing about all lunchtime.  And now, back inside, we began to steam.  Damp hair stuck up in sticky spikes.  An interesting aroma began to rise ominously.  Not a good time, then for too much mental strain.

OK.  How about a bit of creative fun (with a smidgeon of maths and PE thrown in for good measure)?

  • Take a rectangle of card


  • Choose some lovely bright coloured markers


  • Make a bold design on your card - back and front


  • Have a grown-up (no severed fingers, thank you!) score one or two lines across the card, using sharp scissors and a ruler, to make it easier to fold

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  • Find scissors and string

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  • Measure (carefully) exactly one metre of string (ask a friend to help is you like)

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  • Poke a tiny hole in your card and thread the string through.  Make a little loop and push the end through to tie it securely

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  • Go outside (where at least there was a bit of a breeze) and test out your spinner.  Hold the string at arm's length and.......run like the wind

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and watch

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as it spins

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round and round.


OK - so we all got hot and bothered again - by at least by now it was home time!

And now that we have cooled down somewhat, a bit of science to think about.  Whose spinners spun the fastest?  Were they the fastest runners?  What was it about their design that made them spin faster than yours?  Where did they have their lines scored?  How many folds did they have?  Whereabouts did they tie their string? 

How would you improve your design to make a new one spin even faster? 

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