Adding and Subtracting Fractions | A Maths Teacher

Over on Twitter, @missradders has sparked a really interesting discussion on subtracting fractions by offering the above method to subtract two fractions.  (see the Twitter thread here)

I must admit, it is a method new to me and, from reading the replies to her tweet, it was unfamiliar to many other teachers, to.

But is it a valid method?

Again, reading through the comments on the thread, its taking a bit of a kicking. Before we come to a conclusion, perhaps its worth asking why, in the age of the scientific calculator, do we even bother to add or subtract fractions?

Beside me on my…

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Holy Venn Diagram | A Maths Teacher

Possibly the best Venn Diagram, ever.

Two words – absolute genius.

Witty, visually appealing but, most importantly, mathematically correct.

Sets and Venn Diagrams have been on the IGCSE syllabus for some time, and made it onto the new GCSE syllabus, so we’ve all got to teach them. Project this image onto your whiteboard, sit back and put your feet up – job done. You could spend hours telling your classes about intersections and unions, or you could just show them this and they’ll grasp it in a moment.

The image is just one of many great diagrams, charts and infographics to be found in…

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9 – 1 Grade Boundaries | A Maths Teacher

As most readers will know, this year sees GCSE maths grading change from A* to E to 9 – 1.  There has been much speculation as to what the grade boundaries will be for each new level.

The first (that I have found) to publish the grade boundaries are Cambridge, for their IGCSE and can be seen above.  Below, I have converted them into percentage scores (easier for all – and pupils & parents in particular to understand)

Higher Tier:

9 – 80%, 8 – 68%, 7 – 58%, 6 – 47%, 5 – 36%, 4 – 27%, 3 – 22%

Foundation Tier:

5 – 73%, 4 – 58%, 3 – 43%, 2 – 29%, 1 – 14%

The official table from…

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Trust me, I’m a maths teacher | A Maths Teacher

There are two types of mathematicians (or 10 if you are into binary) – pure mathematicians and applied mathematicians.  I am firmly in the latter camp. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy solving a tricky trig problem, just for the sake of it, but it is applying maths to the real world that really floats my boat.

And so it was with great delight that I stumbled across The Game of Trust , an interactive insight into game theory, and how it can be applied to building trust, whether that be in negotiations, the first world war trenches or pretty much any situation where risk and reward depends on…

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The Sausage Sandwich Game | A Maths Teacher

Red sauce, brown sauce or no sauce at all – checking for bias at the BBC

One of the great pleasures of a Saturday morning is being able to linger over your breakfast whilst listening to the wit and whimsy of Danny Baker on Radio 5. A highlight of his show is the sausage sandwich game in which two listeners compete to answer questions that only that day’s celebrity guest could possible know.

Today’s guest was Wayne Bridge, who will soon be moving house, and one question was how many letters separate the first letter of his new street and the first letter of the last foreign country he…

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One in Eight (thousand) | A Maths Teacher

A warm Sunday morning in May. I’m up (too) early and heading off to my local football ground. Its cup-final day for the local youth leagues and I shall be officiating in a couple of games, first as an assistant referee, then I shall swap with the man in the middle who will be my “Lino” as I referee the game.

I arrive early, park up and, as I step out of my car, another vehicle pulls up and a young man, also clad in black, hops out – my fellow referee. There is a glimmer of recognition as we shake hands and I begin to quiz him about his background so I can work out where I have encountered…

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