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 day I smiled inwardly, and gave a silent cheer when, whilst stood behind a group of students watching the school’s first team footballers play an important cup tie, I heard them talking about maths. The tables had turned, and I was delighted.

The conversation began with them discussing formations: were the opposition playing 4-4-2, or 3-5-1-1? One wag (not WAG!) commented that they were playing 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.

Ah, you mean 110?

replied his mate, and so the conversation moved on from playing styles and onto indices and laws of powers.

Reader, I must confess that, on this occasion, I did not “re-focus” them (although I did interject to settle an argument as to whether anything to power 0 really does always equal 1. I didn’t want any trouble on the terraces.)

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