Posts Tagged ‘easy’


Learning Jump Strategy from a Young Mathematician

June 8, 2018

Mathpig just learnt this from a young Mathematician age 9.

It is a great way to do maths because you are thinking ‘Mmmm! How can I work these numbers.’

Getting maths students to think about what they are doing is so much better than just having them guess ‘ Arrrr!  Whatever. Click B.’

More jump strategy information here.

This will be very useful later when it comes to a similar method used to simplify long division:


Trick 5: Cool Math Trick

June 4, 2018

Requirements: A Pack of Cards and a willing assistant.

Take 10 cards from pack including the 10 Diamonds.

Lay out card in 3 columns in a pattern of 4 down, 2 down, 4 down.

Put the 10 Diamonds at the top of the  left hand column.

Group students around. You turn your head away and ask a student to point to a card.

You carry on, think allowed and then ask your assistant to point to cards asking:

Is it this one?


Is it this one?


When your assistant points to the 10 Diamonds he will show you the position using the diamonds. The cards are laid out on the table in the pattern of the diamonds on the 10 Diamonds.

Whenever your assistant asks is it this one? You will know.

See Mentalism Card Trick:


Trick 8: Spooky Maths Magic

May 4, 2018

Spooky Maths Magic

Requirements; Smart board/data projector.

 This is mental maths, but not hard maths. You can play this video by Marco Frezza  directly to the class.

It may not work on everybody, but it would be very interesting to see how many students are fooled by this spooky magic man.


8a. Calculate Your Daily Iron Intake

August 19, 2017

The Complaint

8a: When will I EVER use this maths?

The Cause:

Students doing repetitive text book exercises without using maths to solve REAL WORLD problems.

The Solution:

You are going to use this maths NOW.

Calculate Your Daily Iron Intake

TOPICS: Decimals, %, weight units (METRIC) 

Some information you need. 

Iron (Chemical symbol:Fe) content in food is recorded in mg because there are only small amounts of iron in food.

1 g = 1000 mg

eg. 1 paper clip = 0.5 g = 500 mg

     Iron in 2 teaspoon peanut butter = 0.19 mg

Full Page Worksheet PDF:Daily Iron Intake Calculation Work Sheet


More info here



1. Tube Cube

February 17, 2016

10 Amazing ways to see a cube

The Tube Cube is made from straws and hat elastic (Steps 1 – 9 below). The effect is quite amazing. The TUBE CUBE can then be used to make a CUBIC BUBBLE here.

Don’t show your Middle School students these instructions. Just give them access to some straws, hat elastic, rulers and scissors and ask them to make and then photograph their cube. That’s the challenge Mathspiggies. But the end result (See  Step 9) is awesome.

Mathspig Cube 1.1

Mathspig Cube 1.2

Mathspig Cube 1.3

Mathspig Cube 1.4

Mathspig Cube 1.5

Mathspig Cube 1.6

Mathspig Cube 1.7

Mathspig Cube 1.8

Step 8: The TUBE CUBE can be flatened into a hexagon.

Mathspig Cube 1.9

Step 9: The TUBE CUBE can be turned into an art work. This pic was taken in daylight.  The cube was positioned at an angle on a black sheet of paper with one corner set in Blu Tack. WOW!


1. Hokey Pokey Algorithm

November 25, 2015

1a Mathspig Hokey pokey
Here’s the Hokey Pokey:

You put your right foot in
You take your right foot out
You put your right foot in
And you shake it all about
You do the hokey pokey
And you turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about!

1b. Hokey Pokey

Why are algorithms as easy as the Hokey Pokey?

Because the Hokey Pokey is an algorithm or a set of steps that have to be taken to complete a task (see below) and the task is having fun and/or being really embarrassed by your parents in public. Whatever!

2. Algorithm 1
3. Algorithm 2
For more information about algorithms go to the Khan Academy here.

We are going to look at texts including a maths test to check their readability. Here are just a few songs with their age and Grade readability scores:
Hokey Pokey (above) = Grade 3 = 9 yo
Frosty the Snowman = Grade 5 = 11 yo
Hello by Adele = Grade 5 = 11 yo
Wildest Dream = Taylor Swift = Grade 3 = 9 yo
Russians* Sting = Grade 6 = 12 yo
* Most complicated lyrics I know. Any other suggestions?


4. The Harry Potter Algorithm

November 25, 2015

Here is the Harry Potter Text:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling

“Have you ever seen anything quite as pathetic?” said Malfoy. “And he’s supposed to be our teacher!”

Harry and Ron both made furious moves toward Malfoy, but Hermione got there first – SMACK!

She had slapped Malfoy across the face with all the strength she could muster. Malfoy staggered. Harry, Ron, Crabbe, and Goyle stood flabbergasted as Hermione raised her hand again.

“Don’t you dare call Hagrid pathetic you foul—you evil—”

“Hermione!” said Ron weakly and he tried to grab her hand as she swung it back.

“Get off Ron!”

Hermione pulled out her wand. Malfoy stepped backward. Crabbe and Goyle looked at him for instructions, thoroughly bewildered.

“C’mon,” Malfoy muttered, and in a moment, all three of them had disappeared into the passageway to the dungeons.

Hermione!” Ron said again, sounding both stunned and impressed.”


Readability Harry Potter: Method 1

Break the above text into sentences. Count the words, sentences and syllables.

You will find the text breakdown and syllable count here. Syllables in Harry Potter Text

Word Count =

Sentence Count =

Syllable count =

The syllable count is tricky. You will find my sentence-by-sentence count here.

10 Harry Potter Readability Method 1

Readability Harry Potter: Method 2

You will still have to do a sentence count, but you can cut and past the text into the following:

Word Counter


Syllable Counter


Word count = 138

Syllable count = 194

Sentence count = 14

11 Harry Potter readability Method 2

Readability Harry Potter: Method 3

You can calculate the Flesch Kincaid Score by cutting and pasting text here or here:

12 Harry Potter Readability Method 3