Maths Plan

Week 3-4, Term 4, 2016

Overarching WALT

Follow and create instructions about directions and angles through coding.  


Give directions to locations using grid references, turns, and points of the compass.

Context: Coding; Whole class task, Group teaching

Strand & Achievement Outcome (NZ Curriculum)

Maths - Geometry & Measurement


Use linear scales and whole numbers of metric units for length, area, volume, and capacity, weight (mass), angle, temperature, and time.

Position and orientation

Use a co-ordinate system or the language of direction and distance to specify locations and describe paths.

Learning Experiences (see section in red)

This learning experience is following on from the previous week where, on reflection, there was a need to focus on geometry, in particular on maps and directions.

Day 1: Students work through slides 2-3 of the presentation, Directions and Angles. Once they get to slide 4, students need to work through courses 2-4 on [Before coding hands-on, we want students to be able to understand the basics of coding].

Animations/ Maths whizz are also being worked on.

Day 2:

Independent work: students working on animations/ maths whizz/

Students meet to work through slides 5-7.

  1. Bring out the ipad and demonstrate how to get the ipad connecting with the sphero.
  2. Create a new programme.
  3. Bring up slide 6 on the screen.
  4. Explain to students how our aim is to get the sphero to follow the instructions by coding.
  5. Introduce students to the panel of coding ‘puzzle pieces.’Explain the importance of setting the speed to a lower speed first until we know how fast we want it to go (don’t set it at high speed to begin with)!
  6. First task: finding where 0 degrees is and then working out which angle Spero will need to be set at to move where we want it to. Describe this simply by explaining that if Sphero goes in one direction while at 0 degrees, how many degrees will we need to set it at to get it to go in the correct direction?
  7. Second task - Demonstrate to students how we get the puzzle piece needed to get the sphero to move in a straight line.
  8. Students to problem solve how to get the sphero exactly to where we want it (i.e. through estimating and then using number knowledge (e.g. multiplication) and metre rulers to work out how far it needs to go).

Day 3: Leave students to work out how to complete the instructions using coding and sphero. Get students to take photos of the process and screenshots of the final coding.

Day 4: Meet with students to discuss angles, compasses, and grid references and the relationship between directions and points of the compass.

  • Students to work through presentation: Directions, in a group
  • Concepts to discuss: grid references, compass, what do the compass directions refer to? How might these compass directions change?
  • Point to North. Imagine you are standing on the road. Where is north, compared to where I am standing? [in front of me]. Turn to the left. I am now standing on the road facing this direction. Where is north, compared to where I am now standing? [To the right of me].
  • Look at tasks on presentation. Discuss how north may not always be ‘up’ on the page. Get students to collaborate in their problem solving.

  • Use iPad cast to the TV (could also use Maths whizz interactive whiteboard - protractor tool to demonstrate angles).

Day 5: In pairs or groups of 2, continue with slides 8-9 in the directions/angles presentation.

  • Meet with groups: Angles, compasses, and grid references.

Resources and Links Text

Directions and Angles 

Lightning Lab (iPad application)

Angles, compasses, and grid references

Youtube clip:


Compass; Bearing; Degrees; Protractor; Right angle; Straight line; Supplementary/ complementary angles


Through watching and editing the video footage of this lesson, I came to realise how this lesson could have been completed in a shorter time than what it was. Students were engaged, however by the end of the lesson, students had lost interest and were wanting to move onto something different. I need to be thinking about how I could better managed time of the lesson, and keep the students engaged right until the end. Bringing out the sphero could have assisted with this and given another purpose to the lesson. Students could then have been set the challenge to translate their directions from the presentation into coding of the sphero. I also felt that use of the ipad airplayed to the TV is not especially necessary throughout the entire lesson. There were a number of occasions when students were working out or talking to each other about their learning and I appeared to have missed it as I was trying to prepare the next slide on the iPad. This could be prevented by preparing the iPad slides prior to meeting with each group. This would save time while allowing me to observe students learning more.

Things to note

Consciously think about how I can complete lessons in shorter lengths of time (to hold student engagement).

Create lessons which are more interactive for the students.

Encourage more student discussion.

Prepare explain every slides prior to group teaching.