Category Archives: Numeracy

My favourite prime

I will confess, I got a little excited over the Christmas break when I began hearing of youngsters discussing their favourite prime. For me, it has to be 2 – both the first prime, and also, uniquely, the only even prime. The word prime is derived from the Latin “primis” meaning first (the prime numbers […]

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Rice (& Jeff Bezos’ Billions)

In several of my recent posts, I’ve looked at some unusual units for measuring volume, area and mass, so I was delighted to stumble across these two short videos that illustrate BIG numbers using rice, and thinking about money, and Jeff Bezos’ billions in particular. They won’t take long to watch, but illustrate the point […]

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Powers, answer books and Mrs Krabapple moments

There is an episode of The Simpsons* when, frustrated with her teacher’s reliance on the answer book, Lisa steals all of the “Teacher’s Editions”, denying staff access to the answers and, soon, chaos, confusion and panic reigns in the staff room. Of course, we teachers can get by without the mark scheme, but,¬†for expediency of […]

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Strike one for the maths teachers …

… or how I (silently) cheered when the tables were turned. Many is the time in my classroom (and, I suspect, in classrooms up and down the land) that I’ve had to interject, and re-focus my students when their thoughts – and more importantly – their chat has turned to football. And so, the other […]

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Nick Gibb – a poor man’s George Osborne?

Back in 2014, I wrote “What a turnip” as the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, refused to answer the simple times table: “what is seven times eight?” Today it was the turn of the School’s Minister, Nick Gibb, who was on TV announcing his scheme for all eight and nine year old children […]

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