Maths Week Ireland 2022 – a great success
It was so good to be able to travel from England to take part in the annual maths festival covering both countries. Dublin – Letterkenny – Derry – Feeny – Donaghmore – Cavan – Dublin tour allowed me to meet so many young mathematicians and their tutors. The aim of the Maths Week is to show that maths lessons are not just sums from a textbook and a series of assessments.
My favourite activity in my presentation is getting 10-year-olds, and above, to visualise and then draw an angle of 225o. Standing and rotating, always clockwise, with a directional compass on the screen. Naturally the surprises of cutting Mobius strips brings the presentations to a close.
Is puzzling maths?
Following on from the above text I have found an interesting website which makes interesting and formative reading:
“When we think of math, we often think of numbers. When are asked, “where is there math in everyday life?”, we mull over simple tasks that involve using numbers in some way: spending money, telling time, or measuring ingredients in cooking. But what about fun and engaging activities - like strategic games or logic puzzles - that have no numbers in them. Does math have anything to do them? If we rethink the way we perceive mathematics, it becomes immediately clear – absolutely.
Mathematics isn’t just about numbers – rather, it’s a language. The numbers are only part of the tool set we use to communicate absolute ideas of our world. Like learning vocabulary words of our verbal language, only learning how to spell and define words without learning how to creatively use them in communication does not enhance our ability to fully comprehend their potential power, nor our ability to share ideas with others.
Puzzles allow students to use combine their hands and minds to explore the challenges. There are no F’s for failure or A’s for success; only more opportunities to try new strategies towards solving the puzzle. Students engaging in puzzles can explore for themselves about what information matters, how to break the solution down into smaller steps, and how to reason in favor of certain strategies over others. These skills are mathematical skills.
Puzzles have a myriad of other benefits as well for young, growing minds. Not only do puzzles allow us to become more patient and effective problem solvers, but puzzles also support the development of:
The extracts are from the website Durland Alternatives Library
In this website, sister of the one above, there are a variety activities involve playing cards (9 of them), various puzzles using manipulatives, single player logic puzzles and multiply player logic activities.
Importantly these activities can be done at home. Formal maths homework is a disaster – “…… well done, Mum! You got them all right …..” However, the activities described in this website would be most effective if all the family are involved.
Happy Christmas – not quite!
Maths Christmas Activities Booklet – many puzzles and activities. It has come from TES Resources where you have to register but there is no cost involved.
Christmas resources – a wide range of activities for 7 – 14 year olds from stem.org.uk. Some interesting and novel approaches
I have found several websites offering maths activities related to the Christmas Theme. These can be found at the bottom of the Maths Links page of my website.
The worst comment a presenter of mathematic activities receives from a member of the audience, “….. will this presentation help me pass my next assignment?” Maths is more than tests!!