Obviously I like using random question generators. I have a whole website built around a family of activities that make extensive use of random questions. But why do I like them? It all started with me trying to find questions to use in class. As a new teacher it took me time to come up with questions, so I had to plan them out before the lesson. This was fine, but I soon realised that sometimes I needed a few more questions, as students had not quite grasped the ideas from the number of questions I had planned. This left me trying to come up with new questions off the cuff, which I found quite a stressful experience (liking to always be in control). And this was the reason I started creating random question generators. Over the years I have moved from Excel to Flash to JavaScript, but they have all used the same basic ideas. Students need to practice the skills they learn in Maths lessons, and as teachers we need to provide them with enough questions for them to embed the new knowledge encountered in class. Designing questions one at a time is a timeconsuming process for this purpose, and randomising numbers is something easily done in maths to change the question. So a random question generator provides a quick way for teachers to create endless questions for students to practice a skill. So it started as a means to save teachers time in creating questions.
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Each year we have a Maths Week, where in class we do a variety of maths related activities not related to the curriculum. These include two fixed activities for every class: a treasure hunt round the school (there is a different version for each year group); sprint maths, which is a relay style activity we do in the school hall (groups answer a question, run round the room to get it checked and if right take the next question, if wrong, go back to their group to try again). The latter of these is a House competition. In the rest of the lessons we have choice as a teacher of what to do, and there is a folder on our system with a selection of ideas, games and activities for each year group. Some of these include: a giant outdoor Venn Diagram; School of Hard Sums clips; Origami instructions; Taboo cards; making a clinometer and measuring the height of the school; my NonTransitive Dice activity; a variety of murder mystery activities; and many more.

Dan RodriguezClark
I am a maths teacher looking to share good ideas for use in the classroom, with a current interest in integrating educational research into my practice. Categories
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July 2020
