Was at “Building motivation and attainment in mathematics” meeting at King’s College today. The best idea of the day was John Smith’s IBH; basically it is a broom handle marked off in 10cm with insulating tape bands… a stripy pole.
On one of the stripes he places a zero and then takes a card, say 8 and puts it on one of the other stripes and encourages counting. He used it to generate fractional counting (…,0, , , 8…) and counting up using algebraic expressions, (0, 2a+b, 4a+2b,…) It was a simple but powerful tool.
John Smith is Senior Mathematics Advisoy, Bury LA.