The problems of problem-solving

In my last blog I set a task, which was to find out and explain what happens in this situation: Given a set of consecutive natural numbers from 1 to 2n, choose any n of them. Arrange these n numbers in ascending order. Next to them, in one-to-one correspondence, arrange the remaining numbers in descending […]

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Now you see it; now you don’t

I presented some visual approaches in an earlier blog called ‘Finding Nemo’ and I am now going to elaborate one of the ideas to show the value of looking at a mathematical structure in different ways.  Each of these needs learners to ‘see’ the diagram or expression in one way, and then in another way. […]

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Eliminate the Negative

I have been thinking about negative integers and wondering how anyone I taught ever managed to understand them. Many did, but when I am asked, by KS2 and KS3 teachers, ‘Is there a good task for discovering the rules of negative numbers?’, I find it impossible to answer. There seem to be a few popular […]

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Square Removal

A select few of us gathered for a double session at the latest Mathematical Association conference. Attention was drawn to two actions involving squares. Action 1 Start with two or more squares drawn side by side in a line (on the left below).     Now use the long edge to form a square adjacent […]

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Short Summary Sheets

One of my Y13 students intends to resit Statistics 1 and Core 2 in summer this year, alongside Core 3, Core 4, and Mechanics 1.  I devised a 5 week plan to cover the entire course in an hour per week.  This centred on 5 one-page summary sheets for five broad areas.  For some reason […]

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