Sharing: 5 Favourites

The power of Twitter still amazes me. On Friday at 4.43pm I tweeted these two tweets about a starter I had used with my S2 class on Friday morning:

Then at 9.21pm, these tweets appeared:

A link that I had shared as part of #mathsrockedtoday had allowed another teacher to find a new resource and use it within a lesson that same day. So cool! Continue reading

Maths Teachers At Play Blog Carnival 102

Here is the 102nd edition of the Maths Teachers At Play Blog Carnival (MTaP). It is a collection of blogs submitted by teachers. If you’ve never heard about MTaP then check this out from Denise Gaskins.

The last carnival was hosted by Arithmophobia No More – do take a look.

I am very pleased to host the 102nd edition. So here it is!


Here are some interesting facts about the number 102:

  • it is the sum of four consecutive prime numbers (19, 23, 29 and 31)
  • 102 is the smallest number with three different digits
  • 102 is a Harshad number – a Harshad number is an integer which is divisible by the sum of its digit

Let’s start the carnival. Thanks for all your submissions.

 Robot Function: First up is a great post by Nora Oswald. This post describes a game Nora has created for her Algebra classes. It teaches the concept of Composition of Functions. The game objective is to collect the most victory tokens by winning bot fights. I don’t think I’ve ever quite seen a game like it. Can’t wait to try it.

AP Calculus Curve Sketching Tips & Tricks: This is a collection of strategies for AP Calculus about Curve Sketching by Caitlyn Gironda. In the post Caitlyn describes some of her favourite conversations to have with students about curve sketching.

I’s so confused!!! Lovely post here from Lori Martensen. In it Lori describes how she uses learning menus to help planning for purposeful differentiation. These menus are used for scaffolding learning and enriching learning in order to make learning accessible to all. Really useful tool to use when planning to consider the needs of all.

Doodling With: heading now to the artistic side of mathematics. In this post Dan M explains all about nineteenth century Froebelian textbooks. Take a look at what you can do when faced with a blank piece of paper.

Coin Counting: here Erick Lee describes a situation when he tried to take coins to the bank to be counted and the machines had been removed. Interesting look at if a coin counting machine can ever really be 100% accurate.

Midsegments in Triangles Paper Folding Activity: in this post Mrs E. shows how she uses paper folding to help student understanding of midsegments in triangles in a clear visual way. I love anything visual and involves a bit of folding!  And if singing is more your thing, check out this post by Mrs E. which talks about a lesson using songs to learn about functions.

Holes: Simon Gregg explores the use of pattern blocks. Some fascinating diagrams looking at area of shapes and holes. Excellent for discussions about geometry and patterns. Here’s a little peek – “A dodecagon like this

can be made a lot of different ways (try it!) but they will all have an area equivalent to six squares and twelve triangles.”
There seems to be some problem in Table of 15…. : this blog post by Rupesh Gesota details a problem that a pupil had multiplying by 15 and the type of questioning used to fix the error. Really great to read about how a teacher can, through proper facilitation, not steal away the pupil’s credit of finding and correcting his mistake,… thus enabling him to be an independent problem solver…

I come before you: Joshua Greene sent a link to a blog by A.O. Fradkin talking about a simple and fun activity involving organised thinking. Take a read about using building blocks to discover why order matters.

And finally, a post from Denise Gaskins entitled Prof. Triangleman’s Abbreviated List of Standards for Mathematical Practice. As Denise says herself “I loved Christopher Danielson’s list when he first published it, so I asked to quote it in my Multiplication & Fractions book. To my joy, he offered this expanded version, with permission to post it on my blog as well.” Make sure you have a look to see how can we help children learn to think mathematically.

Well that’s all from me. Hope you have enjoyed this selection of blog posts. Thanks for reading.


It’s the middle of the school holidays but I am writing this post in response to the article today by the Secret Teacher in the Guardian. I read a great post by Miss B Lilley about spreading the positive message of teaching instead of all the negativity. Here’s the invitation:

I invite you to become the Not So Secret Teacher, send me through your positive experiences of teaching, just focus on one particular thing that you love about teaching, or that makes your day, or that reminds you of how lucky you are to spend your days teaching young people, let’s inspire people to take on (and keep) a career that is more rewarding than so many others.


Before I write about why I love teaching I want to share three things:

  1. there is a lovely website One Good Thing where teachers all over the world share one good thing from their day. Make sure to check it out here.
  2. teaching is a challenging profession but through debate, discussion, sharing and support it can be the most wonderful job.
  3. Some maths teachers back in August started using the hashtag #mathsrockedtoday as a way to highlight positivity in the classroom. I would love to see others joining in.

Continue reading

Find Someone Who …

I’ve used this activity before but can’t quite remember when. Sometimes I get caught up in new activities that I forget about the great ones I’ve used before.

This is “Find Someone Who”

It’s a pretty simple concept that I’m sure most people have seen before. I love that this activity gets everyone up and moving and talking to each other.

I used it this week with a Types of Number review. Continue reading

A little bit of logic

At the start of this term I have been working on Logic and Reasoning with my S1 class. The aim is to focus on strategies, thinking, discussion, problem solving and perseverance.

As a class we have looked at two way tables, Venn diagrams and logic problems. But I also wanted to throw in a few strategy games and puzzles.

Firstly, we played the Traffic Light Game, which I wrote about previously. It was so much fun. I still love that it is a game that everyone can play no matter of mathematical ability and can develop strategies to win.

Then we looked at how to solve Futoshiki puzzles. Futoshiki puzzles are from Japan and the name means “inequality”. Continue reading

0 to 49 Cards

Here is a little task that the new S1 pupils will be completing in their Numeracy lessons this week. There will be three different sets of these cards so pupils will not be able to see the answers at another table.

The concept is simple – the statements on the cards all give an answer from 0 to 49. The task of each group is to put the statements in numerical order from 0 to 49.

Here are some of the statements: Continue reading

My Classroom

I spent a few days last week trying to sort out my classroom so it was ready for the new term. It is not perfect but it is so much better than it was before the holidays and it is a good starting point for the coming year.

I’m sure you will recognise many of the decorations as I have acquired them from many people across the Internet – mostly @mathequalslove – no surprises there. Apologies for the poor pictures – the Sun was actually shining today! Continue reading