## Saturday, 21 March 2015

### Concrete approaches to abstract mathematics

Did my session today for about 38 teachers entitled "Concrete approaches to abstract mathematics"; basically hands on Maths approaches. Informal feedback seemed positive and was a great opportunity  to catch up with some people that I hadn't seen in a long time. The link to the prezi I used is here http://goo.gl/UvUx3R and I thought I would share one of my favourite activities from the session - the positive and negative mood cards.

It works a bit like this - each pupil has two cards in front of them, one something they like or something they don't like (for the teachers I did pictures of a £10 note and a pile of marking on the cards, for kids I usually use a ferrari or something) and they work in pairs with a mini-whiteboard with an arrow drawn on it. The activity then goes as follows:

1) Get one person to give the other person their positive picture, and the person who receives hold the mini-whiteboard up to say if their happiness goes up or down (hopefully it will go up because they are getting something positive). This shows that when you give somebody something nice, their happiness goes up (++ = +).

2) Get one person to give the other person their negative picture and again the person who receives hold up the mini-whiteboard to say if their happiness goes up or down. This time it should go down because they are are getting something negative. This shows that when you give somebody something horrible, their happiness goes down (+- = -).

3) Get one person to take away the other person's positive picture and have the person who was taken from hold up the mini-whiteboard. The arrow should be down showing that when somebody takes away something nice your happiness goes down (-+ = -).

4) Finally get one person to take away the other person's negative picture and again the person who was taken from holds up the mini-whiteboard, which should point up showing that when somebody takes away something horrible your happiness goes up (-- = +).

I find it just a nice little gimmick to help people remember (not understand, but at least remember) how signs combine.