Posts Tagged ‘classroom’


Real World Maths: Gotye and Some $$ that he got to know

November 12, 2020

Melbourne singer, songwriter, and geometrically inclined performer Gotye performing with Kimbra won 3 Grammy Awards for his song Somebody that I used to Know in 2013.

The Gotye youtube clip has had 1,535,344,012 or 1.5 Billion hits since it was first uploaded 5th July 2011. 

Mini Rates Exercise:

In 111 months Somebody that I used to know has scored 1.5 Billion hits. How many hits a. per month, b. per day, c. per minute? (Round off numbers)

Ans: a. 13.5 Million per month

         b. 450,000 per day (Assuming 30 days per month)

         c. 37,500 per hour and 625 per minute (for over 9 years non stop!)

Estimate of Youtube Earnings for this Song:

The Influencer Marketing Hub puts the rates an advertiser pays between $0.10 to $0.30 per view on Youtube, but averages out at $0.18 per view. Using the lower rate, how much has this song earnt in just over 7 years?

Earnings = 0.10 x 1.5 x 10 = 1.5 x 108     = $150,000,000  = $150 million*

*This calculation is based on a click per view of the video.  Gotye will not receive anything like $150M, however, because advertisers pay per click on their ad.

According to the Influencer Marketing Hub again ‘on average, the YouTube channel can receive $18 per 1,000 ad views. This equates to $3 – $5 per 1000 video views.’ Again, using the lower rate:

Video Hits =1.5 x 109

Divide by 1,000 = 1.5 x 10÷103    = 1.5 x 106

$3.00 per 1,000 video clicks earnings = 3.00 x 1.5 x 106   = 4.5 x 106

Realistic Earnings = 4.5 x 106    = $4,500,000  = $4.5 million

A Geometric Parody:

Here is Mathspig’s take on the song:

some-triangles-i-used-to-know 2

Somebody that I used to Know:

It’ll either help students do their exercises or work like Clockwork Orange and have them running screaming out of the room when they hear the first few notes.


JOKE like no one’s listening. DANCE like a Mathematician

August 14, 2019

It must be the off season. Or the heat in the Northern Summer. Or desperation. Reader’s Digest has just published 37 Math Jokes.  Mathematicians are not known for the jokes. But here are 3 goodish ones.

ANS: He’ll stop at nothing to avoid them.

ANS: A roamin’ numeral.

ANS: Probably.

Here is a classic MATHSPIG JOKE:

And while we are being crazy cool kids here is a TED Talk on Mathematicians Dancing. I would call this a Mathfail because these guys DO NOT look as though they are having fun. Or, maybe, just maybe, the success of a joke or a dance is all in the delivery.




Gadzooks! It’s a surd joke

March 15, 2019

And don’t for get the FAKE tan.


Why Math Teachers should, um, speak proper!

October 12, 2018

Students can misunderstand teachers.

If math teachers mumble this is the result:

So I’m helping a Year 7 student. Smart kid. This is her test paper. 

NOTE: Students must hear terms clearly pronounced to learn them.


Trick 6: Freaky Math Medium

May 27, 2018

Write the word carrot inside your math text book. Do not show students.

When Mathspig was a mathspiglet we used to play this trick. It doesn’t work on everyone, but it works  often enough.

Ask a student to say 15 times 15 fifteen times.

Then ask them to name a vegetable. Students say carrot 90% (I’m guessing) of the time.

To make this trick more dramatic send 10 students out of the class before you begin and tell the other half what you are about to do. Students return one at a time. How often do they say ‘carrot’? What % of students say carrot? 


2. I’ve got a BAD maths Teacher

November 4, 2017

The Complaint:  

I’ve got a BAD maths teacher………………


The Cause:………………………………………………………………….

Unfortunately, there are GOOD, BAD and CRAZY maths teachers out there. Ditto students.  It is what YOU do when reality hits that counts.


The Solution: ……………………………………………………….

Not exactly a solution. More a suggestion. But what are you? A GOOD, BAD or CRAZY student or teacher? Now Watch:


1.Maths Classroom:  THE MOVIE



For students who think they have a BAD maths teacher, watch the first video here.


Middle School Maths: WIFI challenge

February 23, 2017

Mathspig spends some time on trains looking at nearby phone HOTSPOT names, so she went out looking for some fun mathsy WIFI names.


IT = nerd behaviour = mathsy fun



Mathspig searched for days online. She only found 1, ONE, UNO, SINGULARITY, THE LONELIEST No., one vaguely mathsy WIFI funny (below).



Instead of showing WIFI maths funnies, Mathspig came up with a great MIDDLE SCHOOL  MATHS WIFI CHALLENGE.





1. Find a test/worksheet for your class.

eg. Mathcentre NZ have some fabulous Middle School Worksheets with answers. (eg. BELOW)

2. Change your phone name and HOTSPOT password.

3. Test Answer is your WIFI HOTSPOT password!


If you do not know how to rename your phone or change the password, GOOGLE it.

It is easy.

4. When students have worked out their answers and accessed your  HOTSPOT using the password, tell them to go this funny link  Use the Wifi Force, Luke! 

Here is a worksheet example:



Worksheet ANSWERS:





LINK: Use the WIFI Force, Luke!


Use the WIFI Force, Luke!

February 23, 2017

So you have cracked the WIFI password (above). It’s time for some Fun, Fun, Funnies.

Here are Mathspig’s favourite WIFI names:

Duracell Bunny Arrested

Charged With Battery

Get Your Own Damn Wi-Fi

FBI Surveillance Van 4

Go home tourists

And check the links at the end of this post for a little bit of weird.



Weird 1:

Google Image this number: 241543903

It leads to a meme of people posting ‘put your head in a refigerator’ selfies. Why? Dunno.

Weird 2:

Google: Definition (Defn will do) of ‘askew’.

The Google page is askew!!!! Really. What is the angle of the page below horizontal. You can work it out.


1. Funky, Fab and Fantastic. Yeah! That’s Middle School Maths

November 3, 2016


Funky, Fab and Fantastic INTRO

Building THINKING Classrooms


peter-liljedahlPeter Liljedahl , Assoc. Professor , Faculty of Edu, Simon Fraser Uni, Canada, has developed a revolutionary way of teaching maths.

He wants students of all levels to get the Aha! Experience in maths class. I met him at the ICME 13 congress in Hamburg.

His research, which extends across 600 Year 7 – 10 maths classrooms shows that his approach is very successful.You will find many examples of his recommendations at the Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces hashtag or VNPS Twitter feed here.

This is what he recommends:




Students stand around the walls working. Desks allow anonymity and this means students can avoid thinking. Some call this approach 360 maths, but that’s just the beginning.


In the 360 Math Classroom the desks aren’t needed.


More info on TEACH here. More on 360 Maths Classroom here.

But wait, there’s more to this.



White boards proved to be the best non-permanent surface. Students scribbled calculations on the boards and wiped them off. They worked across the surface.

Some teachers even stood tables on end to get enough white board surfaces.In the following youtube clip teacher Lindsay Chinn is piloting 360 degree maths on  whiteboards.



Frequent and visible random selection was very successful. Students accepted the fairness of this approach. And teachers devised all sorts of means of randomising groups. They gave students numbers and drew numbered marbles out of a bowl or pulled names out of a bag.

The groups should consist of 3 or 4 members to be effective.


Jacob, Morten, Philip and Shania attempt to calculate

where one of them should lie on the floor

to land an m&m from an m&m cannon in their mouth.

This is from fab Jes Jorgensen’s maths class in Denmark.

And here is the youtube clip in Danish.



Here is a numeracy task recommended by Peter Liljedahl.


Here are some students from Mylene Abi-Zeid’s 1P Math Class in Ottowa, Ontario, Canada

working in a decentred classroom on Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces. You will find Mylene’s Twitter feed here.


Students must pay for their own cell phone plans. There are three plans Pay As You Go, Basic Plan and Easy 4 U Plan. Costs are defined. Students must write an explanation that will convince their parents this is the best plan for them.

You’ll find open ended maths tasks for all levels here.

Plus some card tricks here.

And an excellent summary of Peter Liljedahl’s revolutionary ideas here.


Maths Mystery Box 2: CURIOUS

March 25, 2015

Maths Mystery BOX 2

Maths needs PR.

We need to talk it up. Spark their curiosity. Cafes, churches and libraries use chalkboards, billboards and prominent signs to get passersby thinking.

Why not maths?

Use a sandwich –style chalkboard ( if you are in a school where such a board wouldn’t be pinched or vandalised) or use a chalkboard or whiteboard in the maths room.


Mathspig chalkboard 1

monkey 1I’m the Maths Guru. Most people pick … Shhhh! … seven.


According to Alex Bellos, Favourite Number Survey, (The Observer, 12 Apr 2014) when asked to pick a number between 1 and 10 most people pick seven. This has a lot to do with our idea of randomness. One and ten do not seem random enough, nor do even numbers. This leaves three, five and seven as our choices. Forget nine. (Ooops! I did. You will too unless you have nine dogs or nine ex-wives/husbands or the like.) Five is in the middle and therefore does not seem random. We are left with two numbers and seven feels more random than three. According to Bellos

‘Seven “feels” more random. It feels different from the others, more special, because – arithmetically speaking – it is.’

Try it out!!!

Other PROMO signs you might put up in a maths room include:

2 chocolate chalk board

monkey 2aMaths Guru Answers here


3 Hunger games white borad

monkey 1

Maths Guru Answers here


4 Mass Murderer or maths teacher chalkboard

monkey 2aMaths Guru Answers here


5 Chewing gum white board

monkey 1Maths Guru Answers here


6 lava flow chalk board

monkey 2aMaths Guru Answers here


7 GPS whiteboard

monkey 1Maths Guru Answers here


1 Save the Planet chalk board

monkey 2aMaths Guru Answers here


8 Harry Potter chalk board

monkey 1

Maths Guru Answers here

9 bubbles chalkboard

monkey 2a

Maths Guru Answers here