Time for a story?

This week in Maths Melissa and David took over the lesson on time and made up their own story about their activities throughout the day – beginning at 7am in the morning. Each pupil had to come up with the next part of the story including a time for each event and then show this time on a clock face to everyone else in the group (who would then decide whether they agreed with the time shown – or not).

Everyone had great fun and our story was not only interesting and imaginative but allowed us to practise really important times like the start of school, period change over and lunch time. We then typed up our story on the computer and saved it so that we can show other people or let other classmates try and work out the times involved in the tale…

Do you know what might have happened in our story at this time?

Easter Egg Survey Eggstravaganza!


Today in ICT we undertook a special Easter related task that enabled us to practise our social skills, collect simple raw data and record it. Our mission was to conduct a simple survey in the school to find out which Easter egg is Preston Lodge’s favourite…

We used Google Image to find photos of different types of eggs that we thought would appeal to a range of people. They included:

  • a Buttons Egg
  • a Creme Egg
  • a Lindt Egg with bunnies
  • an Easter Cake Egg
  • a chocolate rabbit

We put a picture of each type of egg onto an A4 sheet by copying and pasting each one into Word. Then we used word to make a simple table to record our data in. We printed off both sheets and put them on a clipboard.

Our survey involved approaching random members of staff and students ensuring we didnt ask too many men, too many women, too many young people or too many old people. We also made sure we asked people with different types of jobs so that our survey would be “fair”.

We were surprised by our results!

  • Not one person wanted the chocolate bunny (awww!)
  • Only Mandy wanted the cake
  • Mrs Pike was alone in wanting a Creme Egg
  • Everyone else chose the Lindt egg or the Buttons Egg
  • All the people who chose Lindt eggs were women
  • All the people who chose Buttons eggs were men

We are going to use some of this information when we come back to show this information in different ways – simple charts with pictorial keys will be used to represent this. However, in the meantime as promised, we can exclusively reveal that Preston Lodge’s top Easter Egg choice would be…

A LINDT EASTER EGG (with lots of little eggs and a bunny thrown in for good measure…)


Mad as a March Hare…about calendars!

The March Hare was certainly mad but not as excited as we get when it comes to the 1st of the month and our chance to go round school keeping our favourite teachers right with their class calendars.

The ELP Calendar Police tour of duty today took in no fewer than 7 members of staff – all of whom needed the expert guiding hand of Amy and Steven to ensure that they were operating in an up to date manner. We can’t have PL staff being behind the times.

This monthly ritual is proving to be an important reinforcement of the concepts learned in maths for our ELP pupils. Understanding the importance of the calendar and its daily use is all well and good but meaningless if nobody presents the opportunity to our pupils to get hands on experience of working them – and remembering when to change them.  We are always grateful to mainstream staff who offer up their time voluntarily to support this kind of lifeskills work around the school, whether it be giving the pupils a simple shopping list and some money, letting them change your calendars or having them help deliver your veggie bag. Thank you!

Dr Voge, we have to report, has in his usual inimitable style taken things to extremes. 7 calendars later (one for each ELP pupil) his classroom is now in March 2010 officially. We should point out that only 3 of them had choo choos(sorry locomotive engines)  on them.

Visit to the Post Office…

In the last week we have been practising aspects of our everyday maths by taking a trip to the Post Office.

Our task was to establish how much a First Class stamp would cost in addition to posting a parcel to another town.

Finding out the cost of the stamp was easy. We simply asked the lady behind the counter for the price and she told us it was “39p”  for a normal size card or letter.

Finding out the cost of posting a parcel took a lot more initiative. We needed to help the lady work out the cost by placing our parcel on a set of scales and having it weighed. She told us it weighed 1kg and that 1kg of parcel costs a lot more than a First Class stamp! It is £4.41 to send a 1kg box somewhere in the UK by First Class ordinary mail.

Now we had to work out how much money we would need to give the lady. This wasn’t so easy. So we broke the sum down with a bit of help from our teacher.

A stamp is 39p. If you forget the £4 bit of the £4.41 then the parcel could be 41p.

    39 + 41 was a sum Dale  could do quite quickly and he told us it would be 80p. We then added the £4 back on to the 80p and came up with the answer £4.80.

We had come to the shop with £5 in our bag. Did we have enough? We soon realised that £5 is more than £4  something…so yes we did!

We are still working hard on change and this was a very difficult thing to work out. But we do know that the 20p given back to us by the lady in the Post Office was the correct amount. We will need to spend some time in school practising working change out so some day soon we might be sure of that for ourselves too…

In the meantime our teacher still thinks we are


12 days of Christmas and having fun in ICT!

This week in ICT we have been using our internet and Microsoft Word skills to make a presentation on The Twelve Days of Christmas for our classroom wall. In planning how we were going to approach this mission, we had FAR TOO MUCH FUN singing the lyrics to the song 😉

We divided the 12 days into 3 bundles of 4 and allocated each bundle to one team. Team Dale had the task of finding suitable illustrations for days 1 to 4, Team Amy had to find lovely pictures to show off days 5 through to 8 and Team Steven were given the job of coming up with images for days 9 to 12. With great vigour we set about finding Lords a leaping, geese a laying and golden rings.


We used Word to capture our images and arrange them into an order – a numerical order but without the numbers. Instead of a number one, we had a partridge in a pear tree, instead of number seven we had the swans swimming…and created a fabulously festive number line for our younger ELP colleagues to use in maths throughout the month of December.

Oh and we sung for Scotland along the way…

Counting on Christmas for calendar work…

cathy_old_calendar1.jpg Original advent calendar showing ornaments image by lucy_edward

In ELP Maths we always use this time of year to help us work on counting forwards AND backwards.

We have discovered that Advent Calendars are not the same as normal calendars as they have no months or days on them – simply numbers. We have two kinds of advent calendar in our maths class. We have a counting up calendar where we open the number one door on the 1st December and then so on until the end of term. However, we also have a wooden block advent calendar that counts down the days till Christmas – and on the 1st December it always tells us we have 24 days to go. We then count backwards by one number every day until we get to 1 day to go…

These different kinds of calendars are a fun way to practise taking turns, counting forwards and backwards – and comparing the different kinds of calendars and clocks we use to measure date and time.

We’re not so sure about THIS ONE though!

What is health?

In S3 Science this year we will be looking to undertake work that is linked in with key units from Access Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Leading on from last year’s successful work on The Human Body we have made an early start on some related work from the Health and Technology Unit in Biology Access.

Over the next few weeks we will be asking ourselves “What is health?”

To do this, we will be requiring the services of the above sprinting legend, Usain Bolt (well some footage of him in action to be precise).

We will be asking WHY we think Usain Bolt must be a healthy person. What does he do to help him run so quickly? We will consider the following:

  • balanced diet
  • exercise
  • sleep
  • relaxation
  • mental health

Many people might not stop to think that being “happy” is an important part of being healthy. One of our students told us we need “good attitude” to be healthy and we reckon being “happy” comes into that category. So how do we know Usain Bolt is happy? What clues are there that this very fast athlete has a “good attitude”…

We will also be using Usain and some of his fellow sporting superstars to help us will a little number work whilst we’re considering what they do and how good they are at doing it… super athletes are perfect for helping us practise a little time and distance work.

Usain Bolt ran his 100 metres in 9.58 seconds.

How far is 100m? How could we measure this? How fast is 9.58 seconds? How would we measure that? Could we do this with a ruler and wall clock – or do we need something else?

British Triple Jumper Philips Idowu won the Gold Medal at the World Championships. He jumped more than 17 metres. What does that distance look like? Could we measure it? Could we imagine jumping it? We will be heading out into a school corridor near you to work it out for ourselves…

We will also be concentrating on mental health aspects and the things that help each of us relax or make us happy. Maybe not quite as exciteable as Lightning Bolt but enough to help us have “good attitude” on a daily basis. This could be walking or patting your dog, hugging your husband (like Mrs A) or having a soak in some bubblebath. It could be reading a book or watching some sport or even a good film.

The ELP Blog Gossip Columnist may well be coming to a classroom near you to find out what helps different people in school relax and will report back here in due course…



On the money…


This week we will be continuing to look as shopping money activities. On Monday we paid a visit to the local Scotmid, armed with a worksheet (see above link) that asked us to find the prices of a range of items – and find out what foodstuffs or household goods were on offer as a BOGOF…

(That’s buy one get one free for the uninitiated who believe we really ARE rude 😉  )

We had a very busy lesson writing down the price of apples (not forgetting the pound sign £ or the decimal point), tin foil, crisps and toothpaste amongst other things. We discovered that you could BOGOF with Pringles, Easter Eggs, Choc Ices, Coca Cola, Cif Cleaning Fluid and Jammie Dodgers…

Later on this week we will also continue to practise telling the time, counting in twos and tens and sequencing our numbers (backwards and forwards).

Time for counting…

Can you spot the missing numbers in this sequence?

What numbers fit between 4 and 7? And in what order do they come?

These are the sorts of questions we have been asking ourselves in maths of late, using Ms Balsillies number “washing line” to help us. Sometimes finding the missing number is easy, other times we need to think a bit longer – or even “phone a friend” for some advice.

Using the numbers 1-10 we are increasingly confident of completing a number sequence like this, though we sometimes need a bit more time if the number sequence runs from 10-1. Like walking backwards, counting backwards takes a bit more effort and thought.

Using numbers 10-20 we are making progress although the counting backwards sequences can sometimes be a bit more daunting. Our hope is that we will soon have enough confidence that some of us could tackle a sequence like the one below…

Some of us have also been practising our time an awful lot recently. We are getting pretty cool at doing the o’clock times – you won’t catch us out with those unless you get up very early in the morning!

We still need a bit more practise with our half pasts – but we are getting there! Card games that rely on us telling the time to win, really make a big difference to our enjoyment of learning the time. Ms Balsillie has some really good ones – one of them was even shown on Waterloo Road recently :o)

Practising the time at home is going to be very important for the children retaining and gaining confidence in using times. They may need a little more time than adults, or even other siblings (young and old) but they will get there with a bit of support and thinking time.