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Archive for October, 2010

Quick reminder…

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Don’t forget our Halloween Maths Challenge remains open until this Sunday, 31st October.

Episode 3 of our Sherlock Holmes Maths competition: solve the mathematical clues and let us know where Holmes should go next to track down the thief of the world’s largest ruby!

Since many schools are on half-term this week, we actively encourage teachers to have a go on their own behalf – no need to enter on behalf of their class.  All details of the competition can be found here.

This episode’s winner will receive: a FREE Sherlock Holmes DVD (the 2009 Guy Ritchie movie) and a tin of Cadbury’s heroes.

November AQA GCSE Maths Unit Exams Approaching – Download a Free Practice Paper!

October 21, 2010 9 comments

Very soon after half-term, AQA GCSE Mathematics Unit 1 and 2 exams will be underway for the AQA new specification. 50% of the marks in the exams will come from AO2 and AO3 questions.

Watch a new 3-minute video about this ‘big change’ from Series Editor Glyn Payne:

3 minute video - Glyn Payne explains the problem-solving needed in the new AQA GCSE Maths spec. Click to play.

Longman AQA GCSE Mathematics provides plenty of practice for AO2 and AO3, as well as helping students secure the basic maths of AO1.

In particular, there are Practice Papers (for both modular and linear) in the  Practice Books that cover the full ability range: Foundation Sets, Middle Sets, Higher Sets plus the special ‘A to A*’  Book. In addition, the Assessment Pack includes even more Practice Papers.

Download a free Higher Unit 1 Practice PaperEnjoy even more now with the correct Mark Scheme!

EPISODE 3: Sherlock Holmes Maths Competition – FREE Halloween Maths challenge to download

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE MYSTERY OF THE DEVIL’S EYE

Episode 3 – “T H I N G S   T H A T   G O   B U M P   I N   T H E   N I G H T”

This Episode offers a combination of Halloween adventure, Unit 1 Maths, and AO3 problem-solving

The story so far… Called to investigate the disappearance from Harrods of the world’s largest ruby, the Devil’s Eye, Holmes and Watson are left a number of clues.  They solve these and rush to the London Eye, fearing a murder is about to take place.  They arrive only to discover the corpse is actually…  a shop’s dummy.  With a new clue attached.    This time assisted by YEAR 9 SET 1 FROM CANON PALMER SCHOOL, they work out they must now head… to the A N G E L   I S L I N G T O N!

Help Holmes through his Halloween labyrinth... before he ends up looking like a pumpkin. Click to download PDF.

And here’s the accompanying worksheet:

Watson's Worksheet. Click to download PDF.

DOWNLOAD THE PDFs, SOLVE THE CLUES, AND SUBMIT YOUR ANSWERS TO: SherlockH_221B@yahoo.co.uk 

BY H A L L O W E E N, SUNDAY 31st OCTOBER.

The winning entry will be drawn at random from all correct answers, and will receive a FREE Sherlock Holmes DVD and a tin of Cadbury’s Heroes. 

If you’re NEW to this competition…

The competition is free to enter, and you can join in any Round/Episode.  All the page references in the Episode point to maths support in our AQA GCSE Middle sets Student Book.  View this page of our blog to keep up to date with all the action.

GOT ANY QUESTIONS?  Just leave a comment on this post and we’ll get straight back to you.

20-10-2010… Anyone noticed the date today?

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Another memorable date today.  We blogged earlier in the year about the palindrome on 1st February (01-02 -2010), so we thought we’d highlight today as well.  Congrats to anyone who’s Birthday/wedding/job interview falls today!

We’ll get another one of these next year (20th November, 2011) and again the year after.  And then that’ll be our lot.

Click here for some mathematical palindromes.

Halloween Maths challenge! AQA Unit 1 Problem-solving for GCSE students

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

COMING TOMORROW: SHERLOCK HOLMES FACES A HALLOWEEN NIGHTMARE IN HIS TOUGHEST CHALLENGE YET…

Tune into the blog tomorrow, Wednesday 20th, to catch Episode 3 of Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Devil’s Eye.

We promise:

  • Halloween maths
  • AQA Unit 1 practice (basic number skills, codes, probability)
  • AO3 problem-solving practice 

Help and support for all of the puzzles is referenced in our Longman AQA Maths Middle sets Student Book – and a single FREE copy is available to all of our blog subscribers.  Sign up to the blog with your school email address, and we’ll post one out to you!

SHERLOCK HOLMES MATHS COMPETITION – Episode 2 Solution…

October 14, 2010 2 comments

Our congratulations to Episode 2’s winner of our Sherlock Holmes Maths Competition

YEAR 9 SET 1 FROM CANON PALMER SCHOOL IN REDBRIDGE…

…for successfully working out where Holmes and Watson must go next.

AND THE ANSWER IS:

Wherever next for Holmes and Watson? Click to download updated map.

ANGEL ISLINGTON!

We’ll be sending the winners a FREE Longman AQA Middle Sets ACTIVE-TEACH DVDour popular and highly rated resource for electronic whiteboards – and a tin of Cadbury’s Heroes.

Here’s their answer:

Reading the clue the pupils worked out that they needed to draw on the NW line from the London Eye. They measured an angle of 45° from the North line going towards the west. From there they measured a bearing of 060° and drew on a line which took them to ANGEL ISLINGTON

DISCOVER WHAT HAPPENS NEXT WHEN HOLMES AND WATSON ARRIVE AT ANGEL ISLINGTON IN EPISODE 3:

NEXT WEDNESDAY, 20th OCTOBER.

We know that half-term may get in the way for some of you, so we’ll be extending the deadline for solutions until 31st OCTOBER, HALLOWEEN!

Without giving anything away, we can promise a heady mix of HALLOWEEN adventure and Unit 1 Maths in Episode 3.  What more could anyone want from a Maths challenge at this time of year?!

RememberMaths teachers can join this competition at any time.  You can catch up on all the action in the earlier episodes on this dedicated page of our blog

If you’re not a subscriber to our blog, you’ll find it makes sense to sign up – subscribers receive every new post straight to their email (never more than 4 per week), including updates on this competition.  Just enter your school email address in the box top right of your screen – there’s no charge for this, and no spam. 

We’ll also post out a FREE copy of our AQA GCSE Middle Sets Student Book straight to your school.  Without giving too much away…  This book will be essential for solving clues in the later episodes of the competition!  Existing subscribers, who’ve not yet claimed their free copy, should leave a comment on this post, and we’ll send one out.

Do girls really not like maths?

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s taken a long time to cross the Atlantic, but the US bestseller “Maths Doesn’t Suck – how to survive Y6 through Y9 maths without losing your mind or breaking a nail” has recently been published by Penguin in the UK. 

If it works, why not?

First published in 2007, Danica McKellar (yes, that’s right: Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years) is an inspirational writer who can really relate to the barriers life throws up between young girls and maths:

  • Timesaving tips and tricks for homework and tests
  • Real-world examples of great maths in action – from smart shopping with percentages to becoming a better chef with ratios
  • Inspiring stories from Danica’s life as a terrified maths student and a confident actress
  • A Troubleshooting Guide to help you overcome your biggest maths challenges

The content covers basic number work up to simple algebra.

Here’s a typical passage from Chapter 20: Who’s the Cute New Foreign Exchange Student? (Introduction to ‘Solving for x’):

“Let’s say a new student comes into your classroom – a really cute guy from a foreign country. He sits down next to you, and tells you his name is Vakhtangi Levani Gachechiladze. Ohmigod he’s so cute. Wait – what was his name? Panic sets in. ‘How will I ever remember it? How will I introduce him to my friends? What if I forget it at the wrong time?’

Then he says, ‘But you can call me V.’

And you are breathing again. What a relief!

Let’s face it: if you can’t pronounce his real name and you can’t remember his real name – even if he’s super cute – you don’t know his real name.

Sometimes in maths, when we don’t know the real value of something, we give it a ‘nickname’… We could use ‘V’ or, heck – any letter we wanted! Algebra uses nicknaming all the time.”

One US reader review goes like this: “I have always struggled with math, so it wasn’t long before my daughter’s math homework started to outgrow me. It was embarrassing not to be able to help my preteen daughter with her math. Since she and I were both struggling, I decided to give this book a try. It is funny and interesting and puts math into terms that a girl can relate to. However, beyond that it makes math easier to understand.”

And there’s a website for UK readers.

But it rather begs the question “Where’s the equivalent product for maths-phobic boys?”