Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Wacky Wednesday & Happy Holidays!

I was fortunate enough today to visit another primary school to attend a meeting. When I arrived  - the Principal apologised for her outfit and explained that it was 'Wacky Wednesday' (no explanation was needed really!). A day that had been organised by their Junior School Council as a dress up and fundraising day.
I considered all of the mathematics the students would be undertaking - probably without even realising it! Collecting donations, comparing outfits (colours, patterns, sizes etc), modified timetables for the day, investigating the fundraising theme - to build water wells in other countries (mapping, measurement, money etc).

 How lucky we are to teach and learn in such rich environments!

When we work so hard to provide amazing learning opportunities for our students - it is also important to have a break every now & then.
iSURF will be on holidays until Wednesday 16th July, when we will return to you with new ideas, maths tips and tricks, along with some new products to share.
Best wishes to all of our followers, friends and colleagues for a safe and restful break!
Kerry & Paula

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Sunday Night Games

Number Swat!

Number Swat is a quick, easy and fun game to play that will reinforce just about any Maths concept!

Equipment needed:

  • 2 Fly Swatters
  • Numbers 0 - 10 (on individual cards)

Aim of the game:

Swat the card that matches what the teacher (or student) says as quickly as possible.

How to play:

  • Number cards are spread out randomly on the floor
  • Students line up with a partner (make a line on the floor to stand behind)
  • Divide students into 2 teams (eg students lined up on the right are the green team, students that are lined up on the left are the blue team)
  • The teacher calls out a number and the first pair race to swat the matching number
  • The first person with their fly swat covering the number earns a point for their team
  • The pair then sit down around the edge of the number cards (not too close!)
  • After everyone has had a turn - the team with the most points at the end wins!


  • Increase the numbers used (eg 0 - 20)
  • Use a mixture of numbers (eg 20 cards with a variety of numbers from 0 - 100)
  • Give an addition/subtraction problem - first to swat the answer wins a point
  • Cards have mathematical language on them - teacher gives the definition - students swat the matching mathematical term
  • Select a counting pattern or times table to focus on (eg 5x tables) - put the answers on cards. Teacher asks a times tables question and students swat the answer
  • Play before recess - as students are successful - they can head outside to play (this gives students who need further practise a second chance)
Feel free to add to our variations - write your ideas in the comments box below.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Pause and reflect!

As we move towards the end of the school term... it is a great time to pause and reflect on the progress our students have made.
In Australia, at this time of year, our students are nearly half way through the curriculum they are expected to learn. We are currently writing, proof reading and publishing student reports that indicate the personal growth that each child has made. However, we recognise the different stages of learning that students go through, and we must take stock of where they have started from and celebrate how far they have come.
In Mathematics - student progress can be rapid and amazing gains can be made as children grasp a new concept or they are ready for the next step in a Mathematical sequence of learning.

This week, we are encouraging you to pause and reflect!

Make time to stop and consider the following...
  • What concepts have you explored in Mathematics over this half year?
  • What amazing gains have your students made?
  • Is there a student who has suprised you? Why?
  • What changes have you made to your Mathematics program?
  • What has stayed the same?
  • What will you do differently next semester?
  • Which child/children are ready for the 'next steps'?
  • How will your planning look?
  • How will you differentiate?
As teachers, we are constantly striving to improve.
Ask yourself one, some or all of the above and make a plan!
If there is anything that we here at iSURF can do to help...
then please let us know!
or comment below!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Sunday Night - Double, halve or stay

Welcome and here it is Sunday night again. Here is our game for the week.

Double, halve or stay 

Choose a target number between 5 and 122. 

Players take turns to roll the dice/flip 2 cards to make a two-digit number. 

The player then makes a decision to produce a number that is as close as possible to the target number. 

They can choose to: 
• double their number 
• halve their number 
• keep the number as is 
The player closest to the target is the winner. 

Depending on ability levels of your students - they may use 6 sided dice or 12 sided dice or dice of your choice.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Some photos to share

This is a great book to teach the language of location. 
The bears go out the window, down the tree, around the lake.....
These photos are of pairs of children trying to represent the book in a 3D model.

We put out lots of blocks, shapes, manipulatives or anything really. 
We brainstorm where the bears go and make a list - so they can refer back to it as an anchor chart. 
They are restricted to make their model on an A3 piece of card. 
At the end, it is a great sorting task. 

Here are some models. 

A great task for looking at language of location.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Sunday Night Game -Over the Hill

Over the Hill

Great for number sense and operations.

Group students into pairs; give each student a copy of  ‘Over the Hill' template and each pair get 3 dice. Right hand click the image to use this as your template or get the students to draw their own. 

Students take turns rolling all 3 dice. They are to add or subtract the amounts shown on the rolled dice and then cross off those sums or differences on their “hill” number line.

They must go in numerical order starting at 1 and will cross off as many as possible in that roll.
When they cannot create any more numbers from the rolled dice, it is their partners turn.

Each player’s turn starts at the end point from the previous turn. 
The first to reach 18 wins.

EXAMPLE: Player A rolls a 3,4,6. They can cross off 1 (because 4-3 = 1 ), 2 (because 6-4= 2 ), and 3 (because 6-3 = 3 ) from their worksheet. 

They cannot make a sum or difference of 4, so now it is player B’s turn to roll.
Each player’s turn starts at the end point from the previous turn. The first to reach 18 wins.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Assessment Bundles for all Year Levels

We have bundled our assessment packs for you, so you get three packs for the price of two

Click on these links to access each bundle.

See the images below for a sneak preview. 

You will be able to record what your students know whatever level they are performing at. 

Each bundle has all the Australian Curriculum Content Statements and Elaborations for every year level F-6.

Year 7 and 8 are next on our agenda, as we have many students performing at these levels. 



Sunday, 1 June 2014

Sunday Night Games

Continuing our addition theme...
Enjoy a game of Tower Roll
(particularly suitable for students in Year 1 & 2)
Tower Roll allows students to practice  a range of addition strategies they have been learning.
Players: 2 -4
Equipment: two 0-9 sided dice, a calculator & plenty of blocks/Lego/MAB etc
Students take turns to roll both dice and add the 2 numbers together. Another student in the group uses a calculator to check their answer. If they are correct – they take that number of blocks from the pile and begin to construct a tower. If the tower falls – you must start again in the next round. Play 10 rounds – tallest tower at the end of 10 rounds is the winner.
Enjoy this game that engages students - while allowing them to practice their essential addition skills.