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The following resource has been kindly shared on the TES Maths website. It is available to download for free by registering. And to access all the lovely Resource of the Week (ROTW) resources, just click here

What is it?
As I wrote about in this blog piece, I am not a fan of show-horning real life scenarios into maths topics when they simply do not belong. However, here is an example that is definitely worthwhile. Given only a limited set of information, students must use their knowledge of circles to estimate the circumference of the earth. Solving this question requires use of the speed, distance time, formula, calculating a radius and a circumference and converting between different units of measure – exactly the same multi-skill questions that will dominate the new GCSE. There is a full solution provided, together with tons of suggested extensions and adaptations. Lovely stuff.

How can it be used?
This activity would work well either at the end of a series of lesson on area and circumference of circles, or perhaps better still as a way of introducing the topic to students who have met it before but not for a long time. I could imagine something like this giving my Year 11s a much-needed jolt! The task may appear too unstructured for some students, so it is a good idea to have a few prompts on standby, such as “can you draw a diagram to help?” or “how might we go about calculating the radius?”. Less structured questions like this, covering several different topics, will be far more common in the new GCSE, so it is important that students are exposed to them as soon as possible, and allowed to try – and quite possibly fail – in order to build up their levels of grit!

Thanks for sharing!
Craig Barton

Download Percentage: ISS Earth Circumference

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