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Maths - May Updates

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Maths - May Updates



Maths May Updates

When planning for the next academic year, don’t forget the dates for Maths Week 14-22 October.

Welcome to May Newsletter. We have reports on recent events and listing of coming events along with news and the ever popular Maths beyond the Textbook with Douglas Buchanan which features garden maths for the Summer.  

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If you have any questions be sure sure to drop us an email at [email protected]

We’d love to hear from you,

Eoin Gill


In this issue:

  • Maths Anxiety Seminar

  • News

  • Summer Courses

  • Maths Eyes Awards Announced

  • What’s On: Coming Events

  • Atlas of Irish Mathematics

  • Summer Maths - Maths Beyond the Textbook with Douglas Buchanan.


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Developing Awareness of Maths Anxiety in Ireland - 12 June Cork

Learn More


Teacher’s Summer Courses

Post Primary Courses during Maths Week 2023

Navan AUT23-118 Conquering Section B: Teaching Problem Solving in LC HL Maths Online18-10-2023 19:00


Tralee23TRA338 Conquering Section B: Teaching Problem Solving in LC HL Mathsy Online18-10-2023 19:00


ClareConquering Section B: Teaching Problem Solving in LC HL Maths (PP)  Online via Zoom 18-10-2023 19:00

More Courses

Under 7 Winners

Ruairi Lynch, St. Mura's National School, Donegal

Tom Lynch, Parteen National School, Clare

Jack Reilly, St. Kilian's Junior National School, Dublin

Zoe Townsend, Kilternan Church of Ireland National School, Dublin

Under11 Winners

Aidan McNulty, Scoil Mhuire B&C, Donegal

George Greenwood, St. Cremin's National School, Westmeath

Conor Donohoe, The Downs National School, Westmeath

Ollie and Evie Mc Connellogue, St. Brigid's National School, Donegal

Under 14 Winners

Joe Sheahan, Killaloe Boys National School, Clare

James Kehoe, Alex Rudkovskij and Shane Rock, Father Cullen Memorial National School, Carlow

Katie Kelly, Tarmon National School, Roscommon

Cian Clarke, Sancta Maria College, Mayo

Ailidh Swann, Scoil Mhuire B&C, Donegal

Under 19 Winners

Tom Murphy, Borris Vocational School, Carlow

Brannan Jio, The King's Hospital School, Dublin

Leah O'Flaherty, St Patrick's College, Cork

Eleonora Jannelli, St Patrick's College, Cork

Family and Community Winners

1st Year Maths Class, Patrician Presentation Secondary School, Tipperary


Project Category Winners

4th Class École Euopéenne III Brussels

Mary Immaculate College After School Project Limerick

Lauren Powell The King’s Hospital School Dublin

Niadh Reilly, Loreto Secondary School, Meath


Overall Project Category Winners

Corpus Christi, Limerick



What’s On

The Heaventree of Stars

This beautiful summer evening of readings, discussions, and music will be held in the Meridian Room of Dunsink Observatory. This is a special year for the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the School of Cosmic Physics and our operation of Dunsink. 

The event will include a self-guided tour of the Observatory. “The clock is worked by an electric wire from Dunsink. Must go out there …”  

Tickets will be available very soon through Eventbrite!

Supported by DIAS, Maths Week Ireland, Joyceboro, and The James Joyce Centre.

Robert Boyle Summer School

The Mathematics Education for the Future Project

Call for abstracts: A Symposium on Innovative Teaching Practices

Oxford University, UK, Aug 14-18, 2023

The organisers welcome papers and workshops that deal with all aspects of innovation, especially those helping to make our subject more "alive", "realistic" and "accessible" to students. In line with the conference theme, they also welcome papers that show how prior work in the teaching and learning of mathematics has laid the foundation for future directions and innovations. They have an open policy to accept in the programme not only peer-refereed papers, but also workshops and contributions from teachers discussing their innovative work in the classroom.

Possible topics on the theme Innovative Teaching Practices: teaching/learning online and innovative internet apps | self-assessment |group learning | group/class projects |using real life themes for integrated and interdisciplinary teaching | the jigsaw/expert method | Solidarity Assimilation Groups (SAG - Roberto Baldino Brazil) |Exceptional school systems that create and support innovation

Learn More

Maths Education in Ireland Conference


Interesting Reading

Coming Soon: Mathematicians interred in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin.




April 2023

Douglas Buchanan ~ [email protected] ~ ~ @dcbeagle1

Learn to understand maths, not memorise it

On my travels around the UK with my maths challenges there is always talk about “completing the curriculum programme” all for the narrow-mindedness of assessment. Professor Jo Boaler from Stanford Graduate School of Education says


“Students learn math best when they approach the subject as something they enjoy. Speed pressure, timed testing and blind memorization pose high hurdles in the pursuit of math.

There is a common and damaging misconception in mathematics – the idea that strong math students are fast math students. While research shows that knowledge of math facts is important, the best way for students to know math facts is by using them regularly and developing understanding of numerical relations. Memorization, speed and test pressure can be damaging”.

Puzzle of the Month (a H E Dudeney infamous conundrum)

More fun with this puzzle because it is using imperial measurements.


 A milkman one morning was driving to his dairy with two 10-gallon cans full of milk, when he was stopped by two countrywomen, who implored him to sell them a quart of milk each. Mrs. Green had a jug holding exactly 5 pints, and Mrs. Brown a jug holding exactly 4 pints, but the milkman had no measure whatever.


How did he manage to put an exact quart into each of the jugs? It was the second quart that gave him all the difficulty. But he contrived to do it in as few as nine transactions-and by a "transaction" we mean the pouring from a can into a jug, or from one jug to another, or from a jug back to the can.

(note:1 gallon = 8 pints and 1 quart = 2 pints)


How did he do it?


Summer is here again


This period of the year is the start of life in the garden and what an ideal environment to teach maths. Great mathematical skills and concepts will develop without the constraints of terminology and structure. With these activities the pupils can develop new ideas to produce a personal booklet of mathematical activities for the future.




There are great ideas in a blog from Isabel Thomas from Oxford Owl

Developing maths skills with “Impossible questions”: The garden is a great place to ask questions that seem silly, before using simple maths to work out sensible answers. For example, how many blades of grass on a lawn? How many aphids on a plant? How many leaves on a tree? How many stones in a flowerbed?


Finding the answers is all about sampling. Show your child how to select a small area where counting is possible. Measure the size of this area to work out many times you need to multiply your answer to scale it up. This is a great way to introduce and develop estimation skills.


Maths in the Garden  This is a 17-page document from Leaf Education) giving many activities the young mathematicians can do (7 to 11 Year old). Simple activities is identifying shapes, counting and estimating, leading onto finding the circumference of a wheels. Steve Humble (Dr Maths) is a friend of mine and I know he champions this type of maths teaching. His greatest success is street maths.


10 Maths Skills to practise in the garden (Peanutbutterfishlessons) – more ideas for the 5 – 7 years old but some of the later exercises will accommodate older pupils.




Before we know it the summer holidays will be in the horizon but before that, planning is required to organise a holiday. I am sure not many pupils realise the amount of work is required by their families before they travel to their destinations.


Become a holiday planner – I saw this booklet at Light Hall School’s website. The booklet itemises all the expenses expected on a holiday and the pupils have a budget to keep to. Ideal for 9 – 12year olds. It could be ideal to introduce a basic spreadsheet.


Planning a holiday – this is a comprehensive lesson plan where you can take “pickings” to plan your own project.  From skillsworkhop, the home of free adult literacy, numeracy and Functional Skills resources since 2001.



Puzzle: DELIVERING THE MILK solution


The simplest way of showing the solution is as follows: At the top we have four vessels, in the second line their contents at the start, and in every subsequent line the contents after a transaction. (remember 1 gallon = 8 pints (pts) and 1 quart = 2 pints)



Thus we first fill the 5-pint jug from one of the cans, then fill the 4-pint jug from the 5-pint, then empty the 4-pint back into the can, and so on. It can be followed quite easily this way. Note the ingenuity of the last two transactions-filling the 4-pint jug from the second can and then filling up the first can to the brim.


Isn’t maths exciting Beyond the Textbook!!!



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