Archive for the ‘Arithmetic’ Category


Why do so many students HATE MATH? … um, you know, BOREDOM

September 28, 2019

According to ‘Bored Out of Their Minds’, an article by ZACHARY JASON in The Harvard Ed Magazine (2017):

Boredom accounts for nearly a third of the variation in student achievement. 

Half of high school dropouts cite boredom as their primary motivator for leaving.

Boredom begins for Math students at Grade 6 when students (Common Core Standards, USA) tackle more abstract concepts such as linear eqns, exponents, probability, geometry and so on.

Math curriculums in the USA, UK & Australia all demand students solve REAL LIFE problems. Too often these are of the type:

Q. Ronaldo has tethered his goat on a 12ft rein in the corner of a 20ft square field. What area can the goat graze?

THE ANS: Who cares?


Ask students maths questions which have answers they want to know.

Students really don’t care about Ronaldo’s goat, but here are some questions which involve intriguing answers they might want to work out. And many of these questions involve funny or age-relevant activities, which also helps engagement.

1. Mean, Median STATS: Mean, Median and Coffee: Busting an Urban Myth

2. Parabolas: Can you beat the 12-14 yo World Record for a Watermelon Pip spit?

3. Geometry: Build a Freestanding Tower

Rates (Speed) & Units:

4a. The Terrifying Math of Running from a bear

USA Units


4b. How old is your hair?

5. Decimals, %, Volume: What Volume of alcohol is lethal for teens?

6. Decimals, Algebra, Weight Units

How much blood can a kid lose and survive?


Metric Units

Graph Hunger Game Math

7. GEOMETRY. Angles

Why killer heels can kill!

Any Topic:

8. Middle School Math Photo Scavenger Hunt

9. Write Your Own Math Song

Space Math Song here

10. Make a Math Poster


The average time it takes an audience at a conference to switch off is 11 minutes. Keep in mind this audience is, at least, being paid to be bored witless.


Outdoor Math Adventures: Grade 3 – 5

September 12, 2019

It’s Autumn in UK & FALL in the USA so it’s the perfect time for a little bit of outdoor math for Grade 3-5 with AUTUMN leaves. Of course, you don’t need FALL LEAVES for this exercise, but it is colorful.
Outdoor Maths 1 Mathspig 2

This fab idea comes from Juliet Robertson, an outdoor education consultant in Scotland. Her blog Creative star learning is one of the most inspiring outdoor maths blogs you will find.

Outdoor Maths 2 Mathspig

Outdoor Maths 3 mathspig

Outdoor Maths 4 Mathspig

Outdoor Maths 5 Mathspig

Outdoor Maths 6 Mathspig

Outdoor Maths 7 Mathspig

Outdoor Maths 8 Mathspig

Check out Mathpig’s protractor joke here.

Outdoor Maths 9 Mathspig

Outdoor Maths 10 Mathspig

Another fab idea from Juliet Robertson.



MATH JOKE 9: Seriously Funny

January 18, 2019


1. You can duck a bullet

January 15, 2019

You will find all the ballistics stats you need here:


Trick 1: The Great MATHoudini

September 18, 2018

The Great MATHoudini

Requirements: 1 phone book, Great showmanship

Start by handing one member of the class a sealed envelope. It contains a name that you have seen in your mathematical mind.

All will be revealed at the end of the performance.

Ask one student to write a 3-digit number on the board.

Ask a second student to turn this number around and subtract the smallest number from the largest number.

Ask a third student to turn that number around and add the last two numbers.

Example: N1 = 371.

N2 = 173

N1 – N2 = N3 = 371 – 173 = 198

N4 = 891

N4 – N3 = 891 + 198 = 1089

Give a fourth student a phone book. Ask them to go to page 108 and count down 9 places on the first column and read out the name.

Now open the envelope.

Da! Da!


How does it work? The numbers ALWAYS add up to 1089 so you had plenty of time to check out the name in the phone book.

Source: Magic/Menatalism Tips and Tricks


Trick 2: The Math Teacher Knows

August 4, 2018


The Math Teacher Knows Everything

Requirements: 1 die, a fanfare would be nice.

You will find a fanfare here.

Ask a student to roll the die, double the number and add 5.  He can show the class the number, but not you.

Ask the student to multiply this number by 5.

Ask the student to roll the die again and add this number to the total.

Now you can tell them the numbers they rolled.


N1 = 3

Double: 2N1 = 6

Add 5: 2N1 + 5 = 11

x5:   5(2N1 + 5) = 55

Roll dice:

N2 = 4

Add 4:

55 + 4 = 59

The Math Teacher Knows:

Secretly subtracts 25 from this number:

59 – 25 = 34

Da! Da! There are the two numbers rolled.

Source: Magic/Menatalism Tips and Tricks


Awesome Lego Maths and a Giant Lego Tree

July 28, 2018

You may not want Lego brick blossoms falling on your head,

but the Giant Lego Cherry Blossom tree has some awesome maths

to explore. See the tree built in fast forward below.