Suppose you want students to gain facility in factorising the difference of two squares, and make use of this when expanding a product of the sum and difference of two quantities. A direct approach might be to invite learners to expand products of sums and differences of quantities, varying the complexity and format of those […]

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Even now I remember how odd it felt when, at A-level, we had to find partial fractions. Instead of solving for x, we had to solve for the numerators of the partial fractions. I don’t remember it ever being explained that we were finding coefficients, the parameters of an equivalent way to write the given […]

Read moreEveryone is immersed in algebra because algebra is the expression and manipulation of generality. Whenever a generality is present, algebra is present too; wherever a generality is manipulated or varied, algebra is taking place. Whenever you purchase something, you are immersed in algebra. As a customer, you are interested in the final price, whereas the […]

Read moreWhen I meet people for the first time and they discover that I am a maths teacher/author I usually receive one of two reactions: ‘I hated maths at school and was never any good at it!’ or ‘I loved maths’. It is rare to find anyone in between these two extremes. Of those that hated […]

Read moreIn 2016, children will sit the new national tests for the first time. We’ve taken a look at the sample tests and frameworks to see what’s in store for them (and for you). Arithmetic Paper The introduction of the arithmetic paper is a key change for the Key Stage 2 National Tests (the mental maths test is no […]

Read moreLast time we were talking about subtraction, among other things. Let’s continue with this, and then discuss addition and multiplication. We’ll save division for another day – young people, unless they’re very well trained, find sharing difficult! I’ve suggested that subtraction may well involve partitioning the number which is being subtracted. That’s OK, but I’m not sure […]

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