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One of my favourite fun and thought-provoking maths activities, as everyone knows if you have been on my NQT course, is the world dog balloon breaking record which I will show to whoever will watch! The concept has been dreamed up by the fabulous Dan Meyer in this TED talk.

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Act 1 shows the context for the enquiry and allows children to generate questions - what do they wonder? What extra information do they need? In act 2, more information is provided; children are then given the chance to speculate and calculate before the solution is revealed in act 3!

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Here are some the tasks and the link to the ingenious Graham Fletcher who dreamed them up.

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Reception

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On each 'ding' a new circle appears; count the sounds to work out the number of circles in the final pattern.

Y1/Y2

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Oh no - the egg box is knocked to the floor: how may eggs are broken?

Y2/3

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The cookie monster has found a packet of biscuits: how many does he eat? Act 2 shows how many left in the packet!

Y4/5

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How many ways can Zoolander be dressed? Think systematically to find the solution!

Y5/6

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It takes three people to get the gigantic Krispy Kreme box into a van: how many donuts?

My Favourite

World record Balloon Dog   - by Dan Meyer

This works every time, I mean who doesn't love a balloon popping dog?

I've tried this with Key Stage one and two and adapted it each time and its a real winner! KS2 children can examine in detail the frequency/time graph whilst the younger children love the prediction and real-life maths excitement and wonder that comes from the video.

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