The fast-approaching Christmas break is often a period of revision for students – some may be preparing for mock exams and others taking time to recap topics covered in their first term. At this point, I find myself asking what it is all for, and how revision might be transformed into learning for the longer […]

Read more# Fractions

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 more‘Practice makes perfect’ is a commonplace phrase, but like most commonplace phrases, it is an over simplification. Certainly an expert has to put in lots and lots of practice, but the psychology of successful exercising involves a particular flow of energy. The mathematics has, in some way, to inspire the learner to want to practice. […]

Read moreOne aside on fractional indices, from a friend. When teaching about expressions such as the one above he draws a picture of a flower. The roots go down below the ground (the line) and the 2 in the power is below the line so 2 represents the root. Then he spins a long tale about […]

Read moreRead Recurring Decimals – part 2 I wanted to give my Year 9s a problem solving activity to bed in their learning on recurring decimals. I gave them this question: ‘I divided two two-digit integers on my calculator and it gives the answer How many different possible pairs of integers are there?’ I expected the questions as to what integers […]

Read moreRead Recurring Decimals – Part 1 Once students can convert fractions to recurring decimals by division and convert straightforward recurring decimals to fractions, for example, they should try the more complex recurring decimals, such as, Exam papers tend to either ask these questions in a straightforward manner, Or a common approach is a two part question, Part (a) […]

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