My Primary School’s Maths Week

by Jo Cayley (March 2020)

For the past 10 years I have organised an annual maths week at my school, a small village primary school with about 90 pupils in 4 classes.  Being a small school, the children are used to mixing up for various special days such as art days and book days.  We also have buddy systems which mean the Year 6s often help out their Reception and Year 1 buddies and the Year 5s act as play leaders at break times.  Maths week has become a highlight of the school calendar and is something the children and parents look forward to and comment on having a positive impact.

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Board Work: Speak Like a Mathematician

(February 2020)

This is the fourth in a series of posts about the visit made to Shanghai by Katie and Jo (primary school teachers) and Ruth (secondary maths teacher).

While we were in Shanghai, we were interested in the use of mathematical language in every lesson we saw, both at primary and secondary levels. Each key point had vocabulary associated with it, which all students were expected to know and use as part of their reasoning.

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General Impressions & Cultural Differences

by Katrina White, Jo Mills and Ruth Colenso (January 2020)

This post explains some of the things Katie, Jo (both primary school teachers) and Ruth (secondary maths teacher) experienced during their visit to Shanghai.  In March 2020 some teachers from Shanghai will come to England.  Some will be based at Saffron Walden County High School and others at Burrowmoor Primary School.  Do look out for the Shanghai Showcase events that are open to all and which will be advertised shortly.

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What is a vertex?

by Mark Dawes (January 2020)

For many people, maths is precise.  Mathematics is often exact.  Mathematical vocabulary however isn’t.

Years ago I was asked by a colleague “is a vertex where three or more faces meet?”.  I agreed that it was.  The next question was “what is the thing at the top of a cone called?”.  (My initial flippant response was “it depends which way up it is”, whereas the best answer is probably, “ice cream and a flake”).  It is, of course a vertex too.  We also use ‘vertex’ in lots of other mathematical situations, for example in graph theory, with intersecting lines, in 2D shapes and at the turning point of a quadratic graph.

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Shanghai Trip: Primary take-aways

by Katrina White, Jo Mills and Ruth Colenso (December 2019)

This is the second blog in a series about the recent trip that Ruth, Katie and Jo made to Shanghai, representing the Cambridge Maths Hub.  This post focuses on three primary ideas.

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Shanghai Trip: Secondary take-aways

by Ruth Colenso and Mark Dawes (November 2019)

In November 2019, three teachers from the Cambridge Maths Hub visited a school in Shanghai to observe mathematics lessons and to talk to teachers.  This is the first of a series of blogs that will explore some of the interesting things they encountered.  It focuses on some ideas that cropped up in secondary lessons, as recorded by Ruth Colenso.

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Using Desmos to draw a picture

by Mark Dawes (November 2019)

Desmos can be used to draw pictures that include straight lines and curves.  See www.desmos.com/art for some ideas.  Here are a few of the techniques that might be helpful.

Getting started

Go to www.desmos.com and click on ‘Start Graphing’.

It is worth signing in (it’s quick and easy to create an account – particularly if you already have Gmail) because then you can save your work.

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Mathsy Art

By Mark Dawes and Cate Middleton (September 2019)

Mark writes:

Cate Middleton, subject leader for mathematics at Littleport and East Cambs Academy is keen on mathsy art.  When I saw some of the things she has done with her pupils I was blown away by both the quality and the quantity of the ideas she had gathered from lots of different places.  With Cate’s permission, I share some of these here.

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Boardgame Maths – Kingdomino

By David Banham (June 2019)

I am not sure whether my love of maths was inspired by my love of games and puzzles or vice-versa. What I do know, is that I am always fascinated by the intersection of these two great things in the Venn diagram of my life.

A recent example is the game Kingdomino by Blue Orange games. The game, which won the Spiel des Jahres in 2017, is beautiful in its elegance and simplicity but has an intriguing mathematical coincidence at the heart of its design.

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