Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Making Maths Move: Maths Busking

I love maths, always have done. I find numbers come naturally to me and I adore mathematical puzzles. I know I'm lucky and I know that my skills and passion are NOT all about my genetics; they're mostly about having a fabulous teacher at school who made maths fun.

There are many of these teachers around, Rachel has one right now, but we have to be clear that we live in a society which tends to demonise maths and make it appear much harder than it needs to be.

Enter stage left Maths Busking; a fantastic way of engaging with maths in a fun, almost magical, performance stream.

This is absolute Gold, I love it and hope to see some live very soon
Well done Maths Busking.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Africa United

I recorded this for Rachel before checking what it was all about. I then decided to watch it in advance, to check it out and I'm pleased I did because I'm not yet ready for her to watch films with issues this big. The film is truly fabulous though and I'm sure in a couple of years I will watch it with Rachel.

The film is about three african boys who decide they want to go to the World Cup in South Africa. There's a middle class boy, an ex-child soldier and an ex-sex worker. This unlikely trio team up and decide to walk 3000 miles across Africa, with no idea what's in front of them. There is sadness, moments of fear, times of hope and lessons galore. It's not exactly a feel good movie, but it has lots to tell us about life, friendship, illness and Africa.


Making Paper Chains

Here's a simple and really effective craft activity for the kids.  I have been making paper chains with Rachel since she was two and now she makes them on her own.

She takes scrap paper, cuts it into strips, decorates them in whatever design she fancies and uses sellotape to make the rings. 

Easy peasy lemon squeezy is her assessment of the level of difficulty.

These two she made in 20 minutes this morning before school.  Rachel is obsessed with repeating patterns so she made the one on the right with blue then red then blue then red etc.  Where as the one on the left is more complicated, red hearts, pink stripes, red kisses, pink stripes etc

Give it a go, they are cheap, simple and fabulous at this time of the year for decorating your house.

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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Disney's Christmas Carol

This film is so much more than I expected; truly impressive.
The animation is beautiful.
The voices are fabulous.
The story is a true likeness to Dickens' book.

Every generation needs their own Christmas Carol; to know Scrooge and to learn the lessons of hope and charity. This one is perfect for the kids of today and it might even become my version of choice.

9/10 especially around Christmas time.

Silent Sunday sunrise

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Monday, 7 November 2011

London 2012 fun

You can hardly move without seeing some more fabulous news from the London 2012 organisers; but today I've been struck by the artwork around the festival. 

There are a series of posters produced by artists especially for London 2012, such as the one by Rachel Whiteread which can be seen here.  These will no doubt be all over the buses, tubes and billboards of London and the rest of the UK, all good.  But I would rather have seen posters by real people, rather than artists, portraying their feelings about the Games.  After all the version that Rachel and I have produced with just 10 minutes on the computer is not far removed from those produced by the 'artists' themselves.

What art can you produce in line with the posters for the London 2012 Festival?

Oh and if you fancy creating your own mascot that's a lot of artistic fun; just go to the Mascot website and select the mascot, their colour and all aspects of their clothing; here's ours.

We'd love to see those you create