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# Maths Boyond the Textbook

### Douglas BuchananMay 2017

Many say to me why do I continue travelling around the British Isles, Ireland and Kenya and the answer comes in this recent email I have just received:

My son did the Year 4 maths challenge at Old Hall last week and was part of the winning Prestfelde pair. He came home so excited and then spent the weekend ploughing through the book (Kjartan Poskitt’s “Murderous Maths”) he won. He has now decided he wants to do a presentation to his class on famous ancient Greek mathematicians, based on the first chapter (and all this is without any extra prompting or pushing from me!)
I have always loved being involved with your events at year 4 and 5 from a professional point of view seeing a room full of children being inspired and loving maths is a wonderful thing - I am now seeing it from a parental viewpoint as well.
Thank you for the opportunities you create for the "young mathematicians" and long may it continue.”

This month’s puzzle
Robinson’s age
“How old are you Robinson?”
“My brother is two years older than I, my sister is four years older than he, my mother was 20 when I was born, and I was told yesterday that the average of four of us is 39 years.”
What is Robinson’s age?

Making maths homework meaningful
This is always a contentious area of education and an article by Janelie Cox on the TeachHUb.com website throws out several pointers:
• Keep the homework a short exercise and do not give repetitive examples.
• Make sure the pupils know the strategies to complete the work.
• Differentiate the assignments.
• Review the previous day’s work including the homework.

I believe homework should not be an extension of the work done in the classroom. It is an opportunity to enthuse them about maths by giving them puzzling tasks and mini directed projects. Encourage the parents and family to get involved. The internet is your oyster for such material.
TeachHub.com

Board games galore!
What a wonderful summer maths project in getting the pupils to produce a board game and then play it with their peers or visit the younger pupils in their classrooms. Maths Board Games is a PDF booklet with over 25 board games including the templates of the apparatus and the instructions. The pupils could be responsible in choosing their game, work out the rules and maybe adapt it once they have played it a few times.

The mathematics shed
This website has got such an array of activities to suit all ages and many of the “sheds” have unusual activities and maths related videos. There is so much material you may have to work as a team in school to discover all the golden treasures.
http://www.mathematicshed.com/

Maths in the Kitchen
Mini-projects involving maths in the kitchen and this includes measuring, geometry, time, finance.
http://mathandmultimedia.com/2012/05/02/guest-post-10-simple-ways-to-teach-kids-math-in-the-kitchen/

Puzzle solution
Robinson’s age
He was 32, brother 34, sister 38, mother 52.

And finally …
Why did the girl wear glasses during math class?
Because it improves di-vison.

Why did the math book look so sad?
Because it had so many problems.

What geometric figure is like a lost parrot?
A polygon.