maths 02/06/2010

  • 8 Ways to Make Math Magical at School

    Practical and creative activities that will promote the excitement of math in school. Effective, easy and inexpensive to implement!

    by Steve Sherman
    New contributor to the Gazette
    May 1, 2008

    Weekly Math Challenge – run by a group of learners. A brainteaser is read out each week in assembly. The brainteaser is then placed on a designated notice board with a post-box underneath. The Brainteaser ‘committee’ then goes through the entries and picks one lucky correct entry. The following assembly, the ‘genius of the week’ is called up and they come to receive their “certificate” or chocolate and the next brainteaser is read out. This will get the whole school discussing the teaser all week. Feel free to pick entries from children who do not do so well in math – a little boost never hurt anyone’s self esteem. Don’t forget to put the previous week’s solution on the board.
    Enter more math competitions and Olympiads – not only do you have the material as a resource afterwards but you also get new ideas and fun problems to present to your learners in class. We run an annual International Olympiad for students (grade K-9) and you can register via our website ( and we will mail you our Olympiad CD every year FREE. Please note that our Olympiad CD has ALL our past papers, worked solutions as well as loads of additional teaching resources.
    Start a math club at school. Erect a math notice board in a prominent place in the school. It is the club’s mandate to maintain the math notice board by placing relevant articles, brainteasers, competitions, math advice, great new math books, news of Bursaries [scholarships, grants], Olympiads, Web sites, etc.

    If you send out school notices, feel free to include little brainteasers or problems for the parents to think about and this will filter down to their children. We like to stick them in empty spaces or along the sides.
    Arrange family math evenings – develop a fun worksheet that involves lateral thinking b

    tags: maths, stevesherman, brainteasers, ideas, activities

  • Brainteasers: Mathematical Thinking

    NEW monthly feature! from
    Printable math brainteasers sure to engage students of all ages!

    by Steve Sherman
    New contributor to the Gazette
    May 1, 2008

    Problem One – A: Mission Possible
    A “Shift 3” code is determined by placing an alphabet sequence above another set and shifting the bottom set three places to the right. Letters at the end of the bottom sequence are wrapped around to the front as indicated in the example below.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Top
    X Y Z A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Bottom
    EG. Using the above code QBXZEBOP KBQà TEACHERS NET


    Boy: While walking along the road I found a pencost !

    Girl: What’s a pencost ?

    Boy: Vwjpo adqz xzion

    [The boy’s coded answer to the joke above is in “Shift 5″code – can you translate it?]

    Problem Two: Number Cruncher
    You need to fill in the blank blocks. The sum of each row, column and diagonal must equal the totals revealed in the outer layer of blocks.

    For example, the first row on top must add up to a total of 147, the first column on the left must add up to a total of 171 and the diagonal starting in the top left hand corner must add up to 214.

    Problem Three: Riddle me this?
    Come up with creative solutions to the following Brain Crunching riddles. Read the questions carefully!

    Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain on Earth?
    Captain Frank and some of the boys were exchanging old war stories. Art Bragg offered one about how his grandfather led a battalion against a German division during World War I. Through brilliant manoeuvres he defeated them and captured valuable territory. A week after the battle he was presented with a sword bearing the inscription “To Captain Bragg for Bravery, Daring and leadership. World War I. From the Men of Battalion 8.” Captain Frank looked at Art and said, “You really don’t expect anyone to believe that yarn, do you?” What’s wrong with the story?

    A woman from New York married

    tags: maths, stevesherman, brainteasers, ideas, activities

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Well, I knew it…

I thought the only thing I might have problems with with teaching is classroom and behaviour management and that’s how it has turned out. I am also a bit annoyed at myself that I wasn’t more prepared with a plan and approach.

I appreciate that it is hard for casual teachers to turn up and be able to create or continue an environment where everyone knows how things should go. However, last week I didn’t have any plans for classroom management. It is a lesson for me and has prompted me to do a lot of reading. I will come up with a “casual teacher classroom management plan” in the next couple of days and try and put it out there. Also, it needs to be something I can carry out.

More to follow…