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?

No.

Is it this one?

No.…………………………………………………………………………………

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.

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?

Requirements: A coin for each student & smart board or data projector.

First ask your students to toss a coin 10 times each.

Ask each student how many heads in a row they threw.

Now ask students ‘Do you think it is possible to throw 10 heads in a row?

It can be done. Here is how you do it.

Derren Brown is a UK mentalist, magician, hypnotist and maths guru. He’s awesome. He shows audiences how a lack of understanding maths, especially probability, leads to misinterpreting the facts.

The maths that proves that the 45 degree angle is the angle that produces the maximum distance travelled is quite tricky and involves trigonometry. But this just shows how cool maths can be. See the full calculations here.