Monthly Archive: July 2012


The Music of the Primes- Marcus Du Sautoy

The summer holidays have given me a chance to spend some time tackling my reading list. I have long been fascinated by the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic and the quest to find order in the primes, so was excited to get the chance to read Marcus du Sautoy’s The Music of the Primes. The book tracks the historic journey of...


Build a geodesic dome!

As a fun summer activity with the kids we decided to construct a geodesic dome! We got the instructions from at this link. Our first attempt was a failure as the newspaper struts were too weak and flexible and the suggested joint method of using masking tape just didn’t hold the struts in place under sustained load. We realised...


Volume of a pyramid is a third of the corresponding prism…

I have seen lovely demonstrations using coloured water and perspex containers that the volume of a pyramid is one third the volume of a prism with the same base area and height. There are lots of videos on YouTube showing this; here’s one: However, here is an alternative activity for showing the same result from the excellent website: Nets...


Rubik’s Challenge 2012- be there or be square…

On Wednesday 21st November 2012 Depaul UK are going to attempt to break the World Record for number of people solving a Rubik’s Cube! They aim to get over 2000 people in to the O2 Arena each solving their own Rubik’s Cube between 12-1pm. If they can get over 2500 people Rubik’s are going to donate over £250,000 to the...


NRich July 2012 Poster

The monthly NRich puzzle poster is out. This month it is a nice number investigation into the sum of consecutive whole numbers. Click here to download the poster. You can view and download more of the monthly posters from the archive here.


4 in a line on a 100 square

Here’s a fantastic activity to help pupils improve their times tables. It can also be used when looking at factors and prime numbers. Give a pair of pupils a large 100 square like above. Each player has their own coloured counters. They then take it in turns to identify a square that they want to place a counter on and...


Buffon’s Needle- a mysterious probability activity

Buffon’s Needle is a wonderful probability experiment you can do with a class that has a most surprising result. Out of a seemingly ordinary, unspectacular experiment involving dropping a pencil between a pair of parallel lines, the relative frequency is related to pi! Here is a superb website that explains the experiment and gives a derivation of why the results tend towards...


End of year summer maths lessons

The TES Maths Panel have put together a collection of resources for end of year lessons. If you’re looking for something engaging, fun and mathematical to do with your classes check out the: Secondary Maths Collection- Summer Maths Lessons Craig Barton has done a Web Whizz video showcasing the collection:


Sum Products- preparation for factorising quadratic expressions

A nice starter for a lesson on factorising quadratic expressions is to get pupils finding pairs of numbers whose sum and products are already given. Here’s a worksheet that does just that! From here it’s an easier progression when they see the quadratics. Answers are included on the second page.