Hell’s Angles | A Maths Teacher

I stumbled across the above the other day (source) and it made me chuckle, reminding me a little of of this post about cute angels and other mathematical bloopers.

The cartoon above was drawn by Dan Piraro and can be found on his Bizaro website – well worth a visit. By virtue of the fact that you are reading my blog, I’m guessing you are of a mathematical bent (but whether that bend forms an acute or obtuse angle, who knows!) and therefore may particularly enjoy this cartoon of his.

Related posts:Estimate the angle Part II
The Joy of X
A marathon, not a sprint

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Nick Gibb – a poor man’s George Osborne? | A Maths Teacher

Back in 2014, I wrote “What a turnip” as the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, refused to answer the simple times table: “what is seven times eight?”

Today it was the turn of the School’s Minister, Nick Gibb, who was on TV announcing his scheme for all eight and nine year old children to sit a compulsory times tables test.

Of course, the inevitable happened: he, himself, was asked a times tables question (what is 8 x 9?) and he, like Osborne before him, refused to answer.

I get why he (and other politicians) choose not to answer – what is in it for them? Nothing.  Get it…

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Come the revolution! | A Maths Teacher

Anyone walking past my classroom of late might have come to the conclusion that I was fomenting a revolution, hearing me inciting my students to

Bring down the power!

The Head can sleep easy in his bed – I am not encouraging the students to rise up, burn their books and storm the staff room. I am merely teaching the arcane (to some, but not me) rules of logarithms, and the power rule in particular.  You will, of course, be familiar with the rule:

log xn = n log x

but students need to be taught this, so I constantly find myself telling them to “bring down the power.”

When I do,…

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Large Data Sets – Activities | A Maths Teacher

A year ago, I wrote this blog post, introducing Large Data Sets, a new feature to be taught on the “reformed” new AS and A level specification. Back then, it was a lot of guess work as to how best to use this new element on the syllabus, and how they will be examined in the exams.

One year on, and I must confess, I’m not much the wiser, but time waits for no man and, with much of the “pure” content having been taught the elephant in the room that are large data sets can no longer be ignored.

Helpfully, OCR have published some teaching activities for use with large data sets. They can be…

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University Admissions | A Maths Teacher

A little over a year ago I completed my collection of 15 works of fiction.

As a tutor to fifteen Upper Sixth students I was obliged to write a glowing UCAS reference for each one, to support their application for university. My line, above, is of course, a joke – every word that I penned was factually correct, 4,000 characters painting an accurate – if positive – picture of the hopeful applicant. I did joke with my students that what I had written may well be the best thing anyone ever writes about them – my aim was to make each and everyone one of them appear an attractive prospect for the…

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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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