• Time for a bit of Romance
February 03, 2016

This is an idea that can be used at many age-levels., You might need to explain that all the digits have to be used, but they can be combined to make other numbers. Also brackets can be used if needed. OUr example is (hopefully) quite easy becuase 1400 + 1262 uses all the digits and gives the palindrome 2662. But there are many more possibilities., We suggest using a step-by-step approach, such as:, , 62 = 36, 36 x 4 = 144, 144 x 10 = 1440, 1440 + (2 - 1 - 0) = 1441, , And there is the...

• Puzzles in a Pear Tree
December 01, 2015

Naturally Mathematical Challenge for Xmas 2015, Last term, I received an email from Alana Dunn (Riverton Primary School) in which she told me of her students who were pining for more Naturally Mathematical Challenges. The feedback is that the two challenges that I have sent have been a life-saver, as the groups of very talented young students that Alana teaches have really enjoyed having something special to get their 'mathemtmatical' teeth into. , I promised her that a set of Xmas...

• 1s and 2s
March 04, 2015

A 1s and 2s Challenge, It is hardly surprizing that a question about two numbers can approached at an elementary level. But this challenge goes further and will keep the older students going for quite a while. The aim is simple:, ,  Arrange the digits 1 and 2 in a three by three grid to make six numbers that are all different., , The accompanying notes suggest that two maths problem solving strategies can be used to help solve the problem as well as posing further challenges based on the...

• Lollies at the Party
February 17, 2015

Introducing Problem Solving Strategies,  Over the next month or so, I thought it would be good to post some examples of mathematical problems that are:, , accessible - which means that most Primary students can engage with them, strategic - which means that you should be able to find the solution using on of the standard mathematical problem solving strategies., , So, here goes with a problem that most grades should be able to get going on if they decide to "act it out"...

• Helping Students Shine At Mathematical Problem Solving
August 27, 2014

The other force behind Natural Maths, Johnny Baker has been tucked away developing a series of maths challenges aimed at helping students become better at maths but equally important, excited about maths, which is fundamental in every day life., Attention All Maths Coordinators, If you're looking for a fun and engaging way to help students appreciate and understand maths batter, and a way to help you take maths teaching to a higher level - keep ready! The Natural Maths Challenges are for you if...

• Posing the Problem
March 16, 2014

Little did we realise that, by asking students to take the responsibility of determining what was the property that linked that arrangement of the digits 1 – 9, we would open a treasure chest of ideas and inventiveness. In this blog we offer these ideas as evidence that at times we limit the mathematical creativity of students by too clearly posing the problem as well as having too well-defined an expectation of what the answer should be...

• A Context for Maths
March 05, 2014

Ann spotted these price tickets in a variety store and just had to get a set. "I think there is a problematised siutation inside this packet!" she thought. This blog shows how the price tickets were used and asks you to reflect of the importance of using money as a context for maths...

• Mathematical Insight
March 03, 2014

This story is based on a moment of mathematical discovery made by a group of students from Shijiahuang in the Hebei Province of China. Not only did the group make a mathematical discovery that no one had made before them, but their insight became the starting point for my own investigations of magic hexagons, a topic that has led to many fascinating results...

• How interesting
February 24, 2014

Ann and I find it hard to pass by a book of mathematical, puzzles or challenges. Our most recent acquisition is Math-e-Magic, a, pocket-sized book from Stirling Publishing, a company that has published many, great maths puzzle titles., , On page 33 there is a Mathbit as shown in the picture. It, doesn’t take a mathematical mind to see why this addition and corresponding, multiplication could be described as interesting, but is there more to this, than meets the eye? Could this be a result that...

• Rebecca's Puzzle
February 18, 2014

Ann and I were staying with our son Anson and his wife Rebecca when I spied a puzzle made of wooden pieces and a baseboard. I asked if I could have a go at it while we waited for the rain to stop and could go out on a much-anticipated shopping spree., To my delight, I found that the puzzle has a very elegant answer, one that which can be applied to similar shapes of different sizes...