Friday, 28 December 2018
On the @TES Blog: Top Children's Books of 2018
I had the immense pleasure and privilege of putting together a list of some of the best primary children's books of 2018. I ended up selecting 25 out of a huge number of excellent books that I'd read out of an even huger number of books actually published. I'm absolutely certain that all of my choices rank among the best, but there may be some that I didn't get a chance to read that should be there too.
A couple of such books which I read after submitting the piece were The Boy At The Back Of The Class by Onjali Q. Raúf and A Darkness of Dragons by SA Patrick.
Follow the link to find out what I chose as my favourite books of 2018: https://www.tes.com/news/topchildrensbooks2018
Friday, 21 December 2018
A Model For Teaching The Wider Curriculum
After two half terms in my new school, and since curriculum planning and delivery is a hot topic, I thought I'd share a document I put together to help us visualise and explain the logistics of how we teach the wider curriculum.
The purpose of organising the delivery of the curriculum this way is to achieve the following, which we consider to be aspects of the school's culture which help us to deliver on our vision and values:
Units of Work
Each unit of work runs for one half term. The length of the half term will dictate the number of Apprentice Tasks set and the number of Masterclasses that take place.
Each unit of work is based on a book. Units of work cover National Curriculum objectives as well as objectives taken from the school’s own skills continuums for painting, drawing, clay work, woodwork etc. Long Term Planning documents ensure coverage of all objectives.
Each unit of work is also centres around a question which should be answered by the end of the unit using information learned during the half term.
Units of work usually cover a range of national curriculum subjects although there is often a predominant subject e.g. Space covers mainly Science but also some History and Geography, Castles covers mainly History but also some Geography. Currently most Science is taught discretely by a cover teacher during teachers’ PPA.
Key Fact Sheets
Knowledge teaching is supported by Key Fact Sheets which contain 10 key facts for the topic and 10 key pieces of vocabulary. This information is learned by heart supported by various retrieval practice activities. A Key Fact Sheet is produced per unit of work prior to the planning of the unit to ensure teachers know what it is they want children to know by the end.
Facts on the Key Fact Sheets should spark intrigue and should be a gateway to further learning. They should provoke children to ask questions and to want to find out more.
Key vocabulary words should be linked to the theme of the unit and should be words that will be used regularly in both spoken and written language during the unit. Childfriendly definitions should be written by teachers.
Diagrams and useful images may be included on the Key Fact Sheet.
The Showcase
The Showcase event provides an audience and purpose to all the apprentice tasks. It might be in the form of an exhibition, gallery, exposition or a screening. Alternative audiences/purposes might be a website, a tea party (e.g if the unit is formed around Alice in Wonderland) or a show. This event is decided upon before planning the Apprentice Tasks to ensure all tasks feed into this final event.
Apprentice Tasks and Masterclasses
Apprentice Tasks are openended tasks which allow children to operate with some freedom and creativity. However, each task has a set of objectives that should be demonstrated in the final piece. The expectation is that each child produces unique and original pieces of work.
Each Apprentice Task, or sequence of Masterclasses, is typically controlled by one member of staff: they source or make exemplars, research information further to the core information contained on the Key Fact Sheets, deliver the masterclasses and support children during the independent application stage.
One Apprentice Task might require more than one sequence of Masterclasses running consecutively. For example, an Apprentice Task which requires children to produce a painting might have two sequences of Masterclasses: drawing skills and painting skills.
During a Masterclass focusing on creative skills such as woodwork, painting, drawing or clay work, children will create studies which will help them to practise the skills they will need to complete the Apprentice Task.
Not all Masterclasses focus on skills teaching. There are also regular Masterclasses focusing on knowledge teaching, particularly linked to Science, Geography and History. These Masterclasses expand on the Key Facts from the Key Facts Sheets.
Some Masterclasses may focus on producing a final piece for an Apprentice Task – this would occur when children need more adult input, for example if it is too soon to expect independent application of the skills.
Some Apprentice Tasks may be group tasks, most are individual tasks.
Some Apprentice Tasks may be worked on as part of the English lessons, particularly where writing is a major component e.g. a script for a documentary, a poem, a story, a report. In this case, the Masterclasses become the whole class/half class teaching inputs.
Logistics and Organisation
Although a detailed Medium Term Plan is produced, logistical and organisational planning takes place weekly to ensure best use of time and adults. This might sometimes making decisions to provide whole class inputs rather than repeated group inputs, making decisions about length of time needed to complete a Masterclass carousel and so on. No two weeks look exactly the same where timetabling is concerned.
Most of this work takes place in afternoons once Maths and English has been taught. However, English is sometimes taught in halfclass (or smaller) groups whilst some children complete a Masterclass or work on their Apprentice tasks.
Materials needed to complete Apprentice Tasks are readily available either in classrooms or in shared areas. Most of them are displayed in sight and not kept in cupboards – children can access what they need when they need it without needing to ask for it.
The Environment
As well as the Apprentice Tasks and the Masterclasses there are also further activities (linked to prior teaching in all subjects) which children can access (usually independently) during the time set aside for work on the wider curriculum. These will be set up in classrooms in the same way that Early Years classrooms have activities set up in areas of provision.
Equipment for all subjects is available to the children at all times enabling them to continue to practise skills learnt in Masterclasses.
The following are some images of the studio area we have developed outside of the classroom as an additional learning environment. The classrooms in year 5 are set up as fairly traditional classrooms with a bank of 5 computers each  the size of the rooms and the size of the children meant that to provide the aforementioned items in our environment we had to use some other space.
The purpose of organising the delivery of the curriculum this way is to achieve the following, which we consider to be aspects of the school's culture which help us to deliver on our vision and values:
 Responding to misconceptions through same day intervention
 Setting children learning challenges (Apprentice Tasks) that are openended and encourage decision making (and time management)
 Setting up inspirational areas of provision within the environment
 Providing frequent masterclasses which communicate ageappropriate skills in all areas of the curriculum
 Supporting children to critique their own work and that of others
By delivering the curriculum this way we hope to ensure that all areas of the curriculum are covered and that they aren't being squeezed out by Maths and English. We also hope that as a result of taking this approach children will not produce nearidentical pieces of work. As well as this we aim to provide children with less structured time which gives them opportunities to engage in decision making and time management. Because there is less structured time than in a more traditional timetable teachers are also freed up to spend time on same day interventions based on feedback gained during all lessons, including Maths and English.
The green sequence shows what the adults are doing during the sessions; the turquoise sequence shows how children are grouped. 
Each unit of work runs for one half term. The length of the half term will dictate the number of Apprentice Tasks set and the number of Masterclasses that take place.
Each unit of work is based on a book. Units of work cover National Curriculum objectives as well as objectives taken from the school’s own skills continuums for painting, drawing, clay work, woodwork etc. Long Term Planning documents ensure coverage of all objectives.
Each unit of work is also centres around a question which should be answered by the end of the unit using information learned during the half term.
Units of work usually cover a range of national curriculum subjects although there is often a predominant subject e.g. Space covers mainly Science but also some History and Geography, Castles covers mainly History but also some Geography. Currently most Science is taught discretely by a cover teacher during teachers’ PPA.
Key Fact Sheets
Knowledge teaching is supported by Key Fact Sheets which contain 10 key facts for the topic and 10 key pieces of vocabulary. This information is learned by heart supported by various retrieval practice activities. A Key Fact Sheet is produced per unit of work prior to the planning of the unit to ensure teachers know what it is they want children to know by the end.
Facts on the Key Fact Sheets should spark intrigue and should be a gateway to further learning. They should provoke children to ask questions and to want to find out more.
Key vocabulary words should be linked to the theme of the unit and should be words that will be used regularly in both spoken and written language during the unit. Childfriendly definitions should be written by teachers.
Diagrams and useful images may be included on the Key Fact Sheet.
The Showcase
The Showcase event provides an audience and purpose to all the apprentice tasks. It might be in the form of an exhibition, gallery, exposition or a screening. Alternative audiences/purposes might be a website, a tea party (e.g if the unit is formed around Alice in Wonderland) or a show. This event is decided upon before planning the Apprentice Tasks to ensure all tasks feed into this final event.
Apprentice Tasks and Masterclasses
Apprentice Tasks are openended tasks which allow children to operate with some freedom and creativity. However, each task has a set of objectives that should be demonstrated in the final piece. The expectation is that each child produces unique and original pieces of work.
Each Apprentice Task, or sequence of Masterclasses, is typically controlled by one member of staff: they source or make exemplars, research information further to the core information contained on the Key Fact Sheets, deliver the masterclasses and support children during the independent application stage.
One Apprentice Task might require more than one sequence of Masterclasses running consecutively. For example, an Apprentice Task which requires children to produce a painting might have two sequences of Masterclasses: drawing skills and painting skills.
During a Masterclass focusing on creative skills such as woodwork, painting, drawing or clay work, children will create studies which will help them to practise the skills they will need to complete the Apprentice Task.
Not all Masterclasses focus on skills teaching. There are also regular Masterclasses focusing on knowledge teaching, particularly linked to Science, Geography and History. These Masterclasses expand on the Key Facts from the Key Facts Sheets.
Some Masterclasses may focus on producing a final piece for an Apprentice Task – this would occur when children need more adult input, for example if it is too soon to expect independent application of the skills.
Some Apprentice Tasks may be group tasks, most are individual tasks.
Some Apprentice Tasks may be worked on as part of the English lessons, particularly where writing is a major component e.g. a script for a documentary, a poem, a story, a report. In this case, the Masterclasses become the whole class/half class teaching inputs.
Logistics and Organisation
Although a detailed Medium Term Plan is produced, logistical and organisational planning takes place weekly to ensure best use of time and adults. This might sometimes making decisions to provide whole class inputs rather than repeated group inputs, making decisions about length of time needed to complete a Masterclass carousel and so on. No two weeks look exactly the same where timetabling is concerned.
Most of this work takes place in afternoons once Maths and English has been taught. However, English is sometimes taught in halfclass (or smaller) groups whilst some children complete a Masterclass or work on their Apprentice tasks.
Materials needed to complete Apprentice Tasks are readily available either in classrooms or in shared areas. Most of them are displayed in sight and not kept in cupboards – children can access what they need when they need it without needing to ask for it.
The Environment
As well as the Apprentice Tasks and the Masterclasses there are also further activities (linked to prior teaching in all subjects) which children can access (usually independently) during the time set aside for work on the wider curriculum. These will be set up in classrooms in the same way that Early Years classrooms have activities set up in areas of provision.
Equipment for all subjects is available to the children at all times enabling them to continue to practise skills learnt in Masterclasses.
The following are some images of the studio area we have developed outside of the classroom as an additional learning environment. The classrooms in year 5 are set up as fairly traditional classrooms with a bank of 5 computers each  the size of the rooms and the size of the children meant that to provide the aforementioned items in our environment we had to use some other space.
If you would like Aidan to work with you on developing curriculum and pedagogy at your school, please visit his website at https://www.aidansevers.com/services and get in touch via the contact details that can be found there.
Labels:
curriculum,
education,
national curriculum,
planning,
teaching
Monday, 10 December 2018
On the @TES Blog: Saying No To The NonEssentials (or Why Tweeting and Blogging is Bad for Me)
Perhaps the phrase "worklife balance" is a misnomer. Or at least it was rather too simple a term to help me to get things in check.
I’d always been very careful to attempt to preserve a good balance between work and life. Naturally, some weeks are fuller with work than others, but then the balance can instead be found longer term; when a quieter week presented itself, I made the most of it. But what I had been less cautious about was the "life" category.
Read the rest: https://www.tes.com/news/howilearnedsaynononessentials
Saturday, 8 December 2018
What You're Forgetting When You Teach Writing
Time in a primary classroom is at a premium: there are so many things to try to fit in. Even under the umbrella of English there is handwriting, spelling, grammar, punctuation, composition, reading, and more. It’s so difficult to make sure that everything is covered. And there are certain parts of the writing process which are either misunderstood or don’t always get a look in because of time constraints.
The 7 stages of the writing process
The writing process, according to the EEF’s ‘Improving Literacy In Key Stage 2’ guidance report, can be broken down into 7 stages: Planning, Drafting, Sharing, Evaluating,Revising, Editing and Publishing.
In a recent training session, when I asked a group of school leaders and teachers to write down elements of current practice in their own schools for the teaching of writing, we found that most of the time was spent on planning, drafting and editing. In fact, there were very few examples of how the other stages were being taught.
Click here to read more: https://bradford.researchschool.org.uk/2018/12/08/895/
In summary
 Set a clear purpose and audience before beginning the writing process;
 Teachers complete the task themselves;
 Allow children to work at each of the seven stages of the writing process as they work towards a final piece;
 Model each of the seven stages to the children using the I/We/You approach at each stage; and
 Evaluate,share and revise by checking the writing fulfils its purpose.
Sunday, 2 December 2018
Making Geometric Stars: An Investigative Christmas Maths Teaching Sequence
So Christmas is upon us and, as a conscientious teacher, you don't want the learning to stop (or the craziness to begin), but you also want to make the most of the Christmas context/the kids are pestering you for a 'fun' lesson. You've got something for writing (please don't let it be letters to Santa  so much wrong with that  go with writing a list of presents they'd like to give others, preferably not bought ones either) and RE is sorted  so's reading as there are so many Christmasthemed texts out there.
But what've you got for maths? Some Christmasthemed word problems? If I eat 24 mince pies over the Christmas season and mince pies come in boxes of 6, how many boxes of mince pies have I eaten? Bit tenuous. Let not mighty dread seize your troubled mind. Try this investigative teaching sequence which culminates in making some lovely geometric stars:
Step 1: Investigate the size of internal angles in regular polygons
Begin with triangles, discussing what they already know about the sum of the internal angles in any triangle. A tangent here could be to check a number of different triangles, not just equilateral ones, to see if indeed all the angles add to 180 degrees  doing this will also provide important protractor use practice for later on. It might be worth pointing out that the halfcircle protractor also measures 180 degrees.
Move onto squares, rectangles and other quadrilaterals. Again, call on prior knowledge: all of a square's internal angles are right angles, right angles are all 90 degrees and that multiplying 90 by 4 is 360 so a square, and a rectangle, has interior angles which add up to 360 degrees. You could mention at this point that circles also contain 360 degrees. You could also get them to check a range of different quadrilaterals, reinforcing their names and other important shape
vocabulary.
Although probably too early, you could ask children to make conjectures about what the internal angles of a 5sided shape  a pentagon  might total. Some may point out that from the triangle to the square the number doubled so may predict that a pentagon's internal angles might add to 720 degrees. Others may point out that from the 3sided shape to the 4sided shape the number of degrees increased by 180 and therefore predict that the pentagon might have internal angles totalling 540 degrees. If both of these conjectures are brought up you can discuss how it is too early to be sure of any pattern and that it is important to continue testing the hypotheses.
Provide a printed sheet containing at least a pentagon  it's also worth including a hexagon, a heptagon and an octogon (you could even include a nonagon and a decagon). Allow the children to further investigate the sum of the internal angles in these shapes. At the same time ask them to create a table to record their findings.
_{}^{}
After measuring and totalling (this could be by multiplication or repeated addition  discuss efficient methods) the internal angles of each shape they should make further conjectures about what the next one will total  before moving onto the hexagon they should be almost certain that each time a side is added to a shape another 180 degrees are added to the sum of its internal angles.
It should be noted that some of their measuring almost certainly won't be accurate and that some mathematical reasoning will have to be applied, for example:
"If I measured one angle as 107, another at 109 and another at 108, which is most likely to be?"
"I've predicted the sum of the internal angles to be 720 degrees but it is coming out as 723 degrees  which is wrong, my prediction or my angle measuring?"
Once findings are recorded in a table it becomes easier for children to begin to find a way of expressing a rule for finding the sum of the internal angles of a shape with any number of sides. I have worked with year 6 children who have managed to generate a formula for this. Even if they cannot yet write it down, some will be able to verbalise the rule:
"Number of sides subtract 2, then multiply that by 180"
To get to this point it helps to talk about the triangle being the first shape, the quadrilateral being the second shape, the pentagon being the third shape, and so on. With this as a starting point they can generate something like this:
_{}^{}
Now that they have the shape number next to the number of sides in the shape they will much more easily be able to see that the difference is two therefore subtracting two from the number of sides results in the number that 180 must be divided by to find the sum of the internal angles.
If children don't have prior experience of writing this as a formula they can be shown how to record this:
Sum of interior angles = (n2) × 180° (where n = number of sides)
And that each angle (of a regular polygon) = (n2) × 180° / n
Step 2: Investigate drawing stars within circles
Nrich has a couple of great activities for this:
Path to the Stars: https://nrich.maths.org/1097 (their printable resources page has circles with preprinted dots on it for this ativity: https://nrich.maths.org/8506)
Stars: https://nrich.maths.org/2669 (this is an interactive resource)
Round and Round the Circle: https://nrich.maths.org/86
In these activities it is worth drawing out rules such as:
You could also experiment with Nrich's Mystic Rose activity (another great interactive resource: https://nrich.maths.org/6703) which does more than just create star shapes.
Step 3: Practise drawing regular shapes using a protractor
Model to children how to draw the shapes from step 1 using the angles they discovered and by deciding on a particular side length. Impress upon them the importance of accuracy in measurements  perhaps demonstrate how even being a few degrees/millimetres off once or twice will result in an irregular shape.
Children should mark a starting point and draw a line of the side length they have decided. Then they should measure the internal angle according to their findings in step 1 and draw a second side of the same length to the shape. This should be repeated until they reach their starting point again.
It will be best to do this exercise on scrap (and/or large) paper as often the children will find that their chosen side lengths lead to their shape becoming too big for the paper! In this case they will have to readjust and start again.
Step 4: Make stars!
Once children have mastered the drawing of regular shapes in step 3 they can move onto making their stars. Give children coloured/decorated card in festive hues/patterns to draw their regular shapes out onto.
Once they have drawn out their shapes they can use what they experimented with in step 2 to join the vertices of their shape in different patterns to form stars.
If you carried out the Mystic Rose activity in step 2 you will need to ensure the children can identify a regular pattern where they will cut (there will be many options). It is a good idea to give them a pen to go over the lines that they want to cut before they take their scissors to their carefully drawn out shape. The mystic rose patterns that they have drawn will provide interesting decoration to their finished stars.
Alternatives:
If you don't have time to follow the whole sequence, or teach children too young to be able to do all aspects of it, there are alternatives to the above sequence which avoid the lengthier steps 1 and 3:
But what've you got for maths? Some Christmasthemed word problems? If I eat 24 mince pies over the Christmas season and mince pies come in boxes of 6, how many boxes of mince pies have I eaten? Bit tenuous. Let not mighty dread seize your troubled mind. Try this investigative teaching sequence which culminates in making some lovely geometric stars:
Step 1: Investigate the size of internal angles in regular polygons
Begin with triangles, discussing what they already know about the sum of the internal angles in any triangle. A tangent here could be to check a number of different triangles, not just equilateral ones, to see if indeed all the angles add to 180 degrees  doing this will also provide important protractor use practice for later on. It might be worth pointing out that the halfcircle protractor also measures 180 degrees.
Move onto squares, rectangles and other quadrilaterals. Again, call on prior knowledge: all of a square's internal angles are right angles, right angles are all 90 degrees and that multiplying 90 by 4 is 360 so a square, and a rectangle, has interior angles which add up to 360 degrees. You could mention at this point that circles also contain 360 degrees. You could also get them to check a range of different quadrilaterals, reinforcing their names and other important shape
vocabulary.
Although probably too early, you could ask children to make conjectures about what the internal angles of a 5sided shape  a pentagon  might total. Some may point out that from the triangle to the square the number doubled so may predict that a pentagon's internal angles might add to 720 degrees. Others may point out that from the 3sided shape to the 4sided shape the number of degrees increased by 180 and therefore predict that the pentagon might have internal angles totalling 540 degrees. If both of these conjectures are brought up you can discuss how it is too early to be sure of any pattern and that it is important to continue testing the hypotheses.
Provide a printed sheet containing at least a pentagon  it's also worth including a hexagon, a heptagon and an octogon (you could even include a nonagon and a decagon). Allow the children to further investigate the sum of the internal angles in these shapes. At the same time ask them to create a table to record their findings.
Shape

Number of sides

Each angle (in a regular shape)

Sum of internal angles

Triangle

3

60^{ o}

180^{o}

Quadrilateral

4

90^{ o}

360^{o}

Pentagon

5

108^{ o}

540^{o}

Hexagon

6

120^{ o}

720^{o}

Heptagon

7

128.57…^{ o}

900^{o}

Octagon

8

135^{ o}

1020^{o}

After measuring and totalling (this could be by multiplication or repeated addition  discuss efficient methods) the internal angles of each shape they should make further conjectures about what the next one will total  before moving onto the hexagon they should be almost certain that each time a side is added to a shape another 180 degrees are added to the sum of its internal angles.
It should be noted that some of their measuring almost certainly won't be accurate and that some mathematical reasoning will have to be applied, for example:
"If I measured one angle as 107, another at 109 and another at 108, which is most likely to be?"
"I've predicted the sum of the internal angles to be 720 degrees but it is coming out as 723 degrees  which is wrong, my prediction or my angle measuring?"
Once findings are recorded in a table it becomes easier for children to begin to find a way of expressing a rule for finding the sum of the internal angles of a shape with any number of sides. I have worked with year 6 children who have managed to generate a formula for this. Even if they cannot yet write it down, some will be able to verbalise the rule:
"Number of sides subtract 2, then multiply that by 180"
To get to this point it helps to talk about the triangle being the first shape, the quadrilateral being the second shape, the pentagon being the third shape, and so on. With this as a starting point they can generate something like this:
Shape

Shape Number

Number of sides

Sum of internal angles

Triangle

1

3

180^{o}

Quadrilateral

2

4

360^{o}

Pentagon

3

5

540^{o}

Hexagon

4

6

720^{o}

Heptagon

5

7

900^{o}

Octagon

6

8

1020^{o}

Now that they have the shape number next to the number of sides in the shape they will much more easily be able to see that the difference is two therefore subtracting two from the number of sides results in the number that 180 must be divided by to find the sum of the internal angles.
If children don't have prior experience of writing this as a formula they can be shown how to record this:
Sum of interior angles = (n2) × 180° (where n = number of sides)
And that each angle (of a regular polygon) = (n2) × 180° / n
Step 2: Investigate drawing stars within circles
Nrich has a couple of great activities for this:
Path to the Stars: https://nrich.maths.org/1097 (their printable resources page has circles with preprinted dots on it for this ativity: https://nrich.maths.org/8506)
Stars: https://nrich.maths.org/2669 (this is an interactive resource)
Round and Round the Circle: https://nrich.maths.org/86
In these activities it is worth drawing out rules such as:
 if you draw a line straight to the next dot you get a regular polygon
 with an odd number of dots, if you a draw a line which skips a dot you get a star shape
 with an odd number of dots which isn't a mulitple of 3, if you draw a line which skips two dots you get a star shape with longer points than when you just skip one dot (doesn't work for 5 dots as there aren't enough dots  skipping two is the same as skipping one in the opposite direction)
 if you skip just one dot when there are an even number of dots you get a regular polygon with have the number of sides and vertices as the the original number of dots
You could also experiment with Nrich's Mystic Rose activity (another great interactive resource: https://nrich.maths.org/6703) which does more than just create star shapes.
Step 3: Practise drawing regular shapes using a protractor
Model to children how to draw the shapes from step 1 using the angles they discovered and by deciding on a particular side length. Impress upon them the importance of accuracy in measurements  perhaps demonstrate how even being a few degrees/millimetres off once or twice will result in an irregular shape.
Children should mark a starting point and draw a line of the side length they have decided. Then they should measure the internal angle according to their findings in step 1 and draw a second side of the same length to the shape. This should be repeated until they reach their starting point again.
It will be best to do this exercise on scrap (and/or large) paper as often the children will find that their chosen side lengths lead to their shape becoming too big for the paper! In this case they will have to readjust and start again.
Step 4: Make stars!
Once children have mastered the drawing of regular shapes in step 3 they can move onto making their stars. Give children coloured/decorated card in festive hues/patterns to draw their regular shapes out onto.
From protractor to tree! 
Once they have drawn out their shapes they can use what they experimented with in step 2 to join the vertices of their shape in different patterns to form stars.
If you carried out the Mystic Rose activity in step 2 you will need to ensure the children can identify a regular pattern where they will cut (there will be many options). It is a good idea to give them a pen to go over the lines that they want to cut before they take their scissors to their carefully drawn out shape. The mystic rose patterns that they have drawn will provide interesting decoration to their finished stars.
Alternatives:
If you don't have time to follow the whole sequence, or teach children too young to be able to do all aspects of it, there are alternatives to the above sequence which avoid the lengthier steps 1 and 3:
 Just do one of the activities from step 2 then make large print outs of the Nrich templates on coloured card so that children can make their stars.
 Teach children to use a pair of compasses to draw their own circles then teach them to use a protractor to divide the circle into equal sections by dividing 360 by the number of points they want ( 5 points = 72°; 6 points = 60°; 7 points = 51.42...°; 8 points = 45°; 9 points = 40°; 10 points = 36°). They can then use these to create star or Mystic Rose patterns on coloured card to cut out.
A colourful hexagonal mystic rose pattern  the green part will have been cut off to form a star. 
A welldrawn nonagon with mystic rose pattern and a heptagon with mystic rose pattern that has already been transformed into a star. 
If completed on plain card children can decorate their stars  perhaps in more festive colours than this one! 
If children can draw a perfect hexagon then they can also make and fold shapes which can be cut into snowflake shapes which will have a realistic six lines of symmetry. 
Labels:
mathematics,
Maths,
maths investigation,
teaching,
teaching ideas
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