Our Blog

25 09, 2014

3 Dimensional Drawing

By |September 25th, 2014|Activities, Middle School, Primary, Secondary|0 Comments

I was teaching volume of prisms to my Year 7 students the other day, and they were amazed at my ability to draw three-dimensional shapes. They were more impressed by my drawings on my PC tablet than on the content!

Earlier this year when teaching my Year 10 Extension class topics on Measurement, they asked, half-jokingly, whether maths teachers had to attend a special class at university to learn to draw prisms and pyramids.
It occurred to me that perhaps we don’t spend enough time teaching kids to draw in three dimensions, and that’s such a pity because it’s so much […]

19 09, 2014

The Art of Counting Backwards

By |September 19th, 2014|Activities, Inspiration, Mathematical Confidence, Primary, Secondary, Stories|0 Comments

In my younger, student years I remember excitedly landing a great casual job for new years day. For those youngsters who are happy not to have a big night on New Year’s Eve and happy to work on New Year’s Day, a job at the Perth Cup behind the bar is an awesome way to make some good money. The catch was, I arrived, had a quick orientation, no training and was then thrown behind the bar and the crowd of people screaming to be served was about four rows deep. Then the real clincher was that the tills […]

9 09, 2014

Great Expectations

By |September 9th, 2014|Educational Philosophy, Inspiration|0 Comments

The one thing that works really well for me in the classroom is that I hold high expectations of my students each and every lesson.
My Year 7 and 8 students come to class each day knowing what the general tone of the lesson will be and they come prepared and willing to apply their best effort. They know that I’m not interested in telling stories, gossiping, playing games, watching videos or just generally wasting time. They know that I always have a lesson I want them to engage in and something I want them to learn.
Along with this I […]

3 09, 2014

Dinner Time Maths – Ice Bucket Challenge

By |September 3rd, 2014|Activities, Dinner Time Maths, Middle School, Primary, Secondary|0 Comments

How many people do you know who’ve been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge? Have you yourself been nominated and taped yourself being soaked by a freezing cold bucket of water? Are your kids talking about it?
How about bringing the following question up during your next Dinner Time Maths chat and seeing where it leads?

How many days will it take for all the adults of Australia to be nominated for and take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge fundraiser for ALS?

16 days.
No, I’m not missing a zero and my calculator isn’t broken. Based on a mathematical model, it will […]

28 08, 2014

Does the Flipped Classroom work for maths?

By |August 28th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Have you heard about the “flipped classroom” idea?
In a nutshell the idea goes something like this:

Technology is now at a level that we can individualise student learning more successfully and no longer need a one-size fits all style of teaching in the classroom. So far, so good.
We still can’t afford to improve staff to student ratios and thus one teacher for every 30 students will still be the model used in most schooling situations. However, if we “flipped” the way in which we utilised teachers, we could come closer to a more individualised learning program for each student.
Instead of […]

19 08, 2014

Why Mastering Maths at a Young Age is Important

By |August 19th, 2014|Educational Philosophy, Inspiration, Mathematical Confidence|0 Comments

It’s subject selection time in most schools and students in Year 10 are making decisions about what subjects they want to study in their senior and final years of school.
It’s a much more involved process than it was when you and I were at school. Students attend numerous information sessions and there are the usual information sessions for parents. Universities host Open Days at around this time so that students can find a possible future pathway and learn what they might like to study and the prerequisites to get there. They undergo counselling sessions with course and career advisors […]

13 08, 2014

Addictive Spatial Maths Games

By |August 13th, 2014|Activities, Middle School, Primary, Secondary|0 Comments

At least once a year, per class, I get asked “But when are we actually going to use this?”
Sometimes I’m asked politely with genuine curiosity, and at other times the question is asked from a place of boredom and frustration. Either way, I mostly answer this question in the same way.
Maths trains our brains in ways that no other subject can. In no other subject in school do we get the same opportunity to deal with abstract and spatial concepts using only the power of our minds. Other subjects teach us how to explore and discuss ideas and to […]

9 08, 2014

The Power of Algebra through Mind Reading Tricks

By |August 9th, 2014|Activities, Dinner Time Maths, Middle School, Secondary|0 Comments

A great way to get your children interested and curious about the power of algebra is through fun and freely available activities involving what first appears to be mind reading.
Let’s have a go!

Think of a number.

Add one to your answer.

Double it.

Take away 3.

Add the number you first thought of.

Add 7.

Divide by 3.

Now take away the number you first thought of.

I’m now reading your mind………

Your final result is 2!
Are you intrigued? You might be wondering how this works. Try it with your kids. Try it as a family or even with friends.
Here is a great website to try heaps more: […]

6 08, 2014

An Irish Maths Joke

By |August 6th, 2014|Activities, Dinner Time Maths, Inspiration, Stories|0 Comments

This is an oldie but a goodie! And it will make young and old chuckle!
An Irishman applied for a job on a construction site, but the foreman wouldn’t hire him until he passed a simple maths test.

Here is your first question, the foreman said.  “Without using numbers, represent the number 9.”

“Without numbers?”  The Irishman says, “Dat is easy,” and proceeded to draw three trees.

“What’s this?” the boss asked.

“Ave you got no brain? Tree and tree and tree make nine,” said the Irishman.

“Fair enough,” said the boss.  “Here’s your second question.  Use the same rules, but this time the number […]

5 08, 2014

Maths Anxiety – Even Celebrities Suffer From It

By |August 5th, 2014|Inspiration, Mathematical Confidence|0 Comments

Maths anxiety comes to all of us at one time, but imagine being frozen by the anxiety live on TV for a charity event!

Well that’s the situation Patricia Heaton faced and it is wonderful to see how with the support of those around her she overcame her anxiety and gained her confidence.