Archive for the ‘Maths blogging’ Category

Here’s what you told us

Last month we conducted a survey of our subscribers to find out what you really think!  After 18 months of blogging, we were curious…

Q. If the blog stopped tomorrow, which of these statements would best describe your attitude? (Tick only one)


Well, that was a relief.  No-one ticked the “Happy – all the email updates annoy me” box.  We’ll do our best to keep it that way.  Thank you for your support.

Q. How long did you read the blog before you subscribed to it? (Tick only one)


This result took us by surprise.  We had no idea the decision to subscribe was taken so quickly.

Q. Before you started this survey, who did you think writes and produces the blog? (Tick all that apply)

This response made us smile.  We can say definitively that we are Longman, which is part of Pearson Education.  Either of those would have been correct, so a majority of you were on the right track.  We are not part of AQA and definitely not Nelson Thornes (greatly though we esteem those organisations)!

Q. If we were to cut down the types of activities we were going to provide on the blog to just four, which of the following types would you want to keep? (Tick four only)

Harder to read this slide, so here’s a summary: the most votes went to “GCSE new-style practice questions and papers”.  We hear you – we’ll keep them coming and make sure we offer all the support we can through the Summer exam season. 

Our topical resources came in as next most popular.  Collectively, there were 42 votes for our topical lesson plans and activities relating to:

  • “…major sporting events” – for example, our World Cup posters last year – 16 votes
  • “…major non-sporting events”, for example our General Election activity last year – 15 votes 
  • “…annual festivals, e.g. Christmas, Halloween, Bonfire Night”, for example our Sherlock Holmes competition last Autumn, episodes of which related to these festivals – 11 votes 

We’ll keep this stuff coming as far as time and tide allow.  For example, to mark the passing of the 500 day milestone and the availability of tickets for sale, we’ll shortly be publishing an Olympics poster.

There was also enthusiasm for the sample pages from our published resources, with 12 votes.  Again, we’ll keep these coming.  The least votes went to our video resources and news updates on AQA specifications and policy.

We asked you to tell us what other kinds of resources you would like to see.  Your answers centred around three types: (i) more exam questions/papers/feedback, (ii) more puzzles, (iii) interactives. 

We hear you.  We’ll do our best.

Q. What are your other sources of topical resources for use in school? (Tick all that apply)

Space doesn’t allow for all the questions, and we promised to keep all individual responses confidential.  But we do want to say a  big  T H A N K   Y O U  to everyone who took part.  Some of your additional feedback was very encouraging: you made especially kind comments about our Middle sets Student Book, about our Sherlock Holmes competition, and about our other free resources.  

Finally, some of you expressed concern that we might start charging for the content on the blog (we asked a few hypothetical question around this).  Don’t be, because we won’t.

With best wishes,

The Maths Team at Longman


A very Merry Christmas to all our Subscribers and Readers!

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Season's Greetings from the Maths team at Longman! (Picture shows Broad Street, Oxford. Click to enlarge.)

Here’s a photo we took last Saturday on Broad Street, Oxford, in the midst of a heavy snowfall. Our offices are not (sadly) in this shot – we’re a couple of miles up the road.

Thanks for being part of our blog through 2010.  We’ll be back with you, and blogging again, in early January. Until then, have a lovely Christmas break and our very best wishes for 2011!

The Maths Publishing team at Longman

Fibonacci Sequences – the Golden Rule about the Golden Ratio, which we just found out…

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

We just found out something new….

It turns out that if you take the first ten terms of any Fibonacci sequence, the sum of those 10 terms is equal to the 7th term multiplied by 11.  Got it?

OK, let’s unpack that.  Here’s the most basic Fibonacci sequence:


If you plug these into your head/calculator, you will find that the sum of these 10 terms is 143.

Much quicker: take the 7th term (in this case 13), multiply that by 11 and you get, as if by magic… 143.

And it works for any Fibonacci sequence.  Let’s imagine one with bigger numbers starting with (to pick a number completely at random) 42:

42, 42, 84, 126, 210, 336, 546, 882, 1428, 2310

So we add all the terms up on a calculator and get 6,006.

Now, much quicker, jot down the 7th term (here: 546), multiply it by 11 and, hey presto: 546×11=6,006

It’s a trick you can cheerfully teach to your maths students – get them to take it home and impress their parents.  Something along the lines: “hey, dad/mum, I bet I can add up a Fibonacci sequence faster in my head than you can using a calculator”. 

Our thanks to the Republic of Maths blog that brought this to our attention, via this video link.

One final note: the covers on our (as in: Longman’s) AQA GCSE Maths Student Books this year were inspired by spirals.  A spiral galaxy on our Foundation sets book, a spiral staircase on our Higher sets book, and a chameleon’s tail on our Middle sets book (someone must’ve been wondering what this image was?) –

Latest Prize Draw Winners!

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Congratulations to five lucky teacher-subscribers to this blog who’ve won in the October prize draw. Amazon vouchers for £20 each are on the way to five teachers in a swathe from Wales across the Midlands.

Well worth subscribing!

To subscribe, you just need to enter your school email address in the box, top right of the screen.  Subscription is free, and you will receive each of our posts by email: 2-4 per week during term time, 1-2 per week during the holidays.  You will not receive any spam, and we will not share your details with any 3rd parties.

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.

More winners for AQA GCSE Maths!

September 3, 2010 Leave a comment

All teacher-subscribers to this blog are entered in a monthly prize draw. August’s £20 Amazon vouchers have gone to 5 lucky teachers from across the country – we’re delighted that AQA interest continues to be widespread. And our Longman AQA GCSE Maths resources are proving very popular too!

To subscribe, you just need to enter your school email address in the box, top right of the screen.  Subscription is free, and you will receive each of our posts by email: 2-4 per week during term time, 1-2 per week during the holidays.  You will not receive any spam, and we will not share your details with any 3rd parties.

A new school year, a new qualification… Last chance to receive FREE Functional Maths Student Book!

August 25, 2010 1 comment

Our offer closes next Tuesday, 31st August.

Enter your school email address in the box top right of your screen, and you will receive a FREE AQA Functional Maths Student Book! 

Existing subscribers can claim their free copy by leaving a message below this post (which we won’t publish, unless you want us to).