# World Book Day

Image – Klara Kim on flickr

It is World Book Day on Thursday, March 1st.

On the subject of books I have checked and updated the free books information; this includes new additions.

Colin Foster – Instant Maths Ideas

Note in particular Colin Foster’s KS3 Instant Maths Ideas (3 books) – a wealth of ideas you can try in the classroom and now freely available online. Colin Foster is a Reader in  Mathematics Education in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University.

Here’s some very nice World Book Day Maths Problems from Laura Rees-Hughes.

World Book Day Problems – Laura Rees-Hughes

I think that’s 71 pages.

For younger students, this revision resource was created for Year 6 (age 10-11) to use on World Book Day.

We could bring books and Mathematics together with some Statistics. UK readers who remember Statistics coursework may remember AQA’s coursework task ‘Read All About It’ where students considered various newspapers and magazines for readability. Similarly, we have Edexcel’s Newspaper Comparisons. A search for these old coursework tasks returned this Edexel document which has numerous investigations with mark schemes; Newspaper comparisons is on page 171. The document is a very useful source of problems and data handling activities.

We could consider the reading age of a text; consider these readability formulae; if you paste some text to this site, Readability Formulas you can easily check statistics for your chosen text and generate a reading age according to the various tests.

WolframAlpha can be used for Words and Linguistics, note the various examples given, including number names.and document length.

Alternatively, try Analyze My Writing. Simply paste in some text for a comprehensive analysis including basic statistics, word and sentence length and readability. It is also possible to create Cloze tests.   You can read more about this resource on Richard Byrne’s always impressive “Free Technology for Teachers”.

It seems appropriate to check some world records on books!

I tried the text of this post for readability – college level!

# For Valentine’s Day…

The excellent Maths Careers site is managed and maintained by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. If your students wonder where Mathematics is used they will find plenty of answers here. See for example Who employs mathematicians?

For Valentine’s day we have an appropriate article from Maths Careers, did you know that 6 is a kissing number?!

Also, see this post with instructions on how to make this wonderful pair of linked Möbius hearts.

If you wish to get creative and try this I advise watching the Numberphile video carefully; following the instructions worked as you can see from my creation here! I can verify that unless you follow the instruction to make sure the twist in each strip is in a different direction you will end up with a mess! Quite an interesting mess but certainly not two hearts!….

Note the Desmos graphs on my strips. I created a file in Word valentine-mobius-hearts (or pdf: valentine-mobius-hearts) with Desmos images in a table. Adding dotted borders to the table gives guidelines for cutting. I began each cut by using the end of a paperclip to pierce the paper. See Valentine’s Day for the Desmos details.

To create my strips I printed the document and then printed again on the reverse. I then cut out and trimmed the strips so there was no white space at the end – the picture here has been made using strips 10 cells long.

Save your money on cards and send your loved ones (or anybody!) a math-o-gram!

Desmos have provided you with the means to send a math-o-gram to the mathematicians in your life!

Valentine’s Day seems an appropriate time to express love for Desmos!
Geeky people, you could even use the Desmos API …

For an alternative source of Valentine’s cards, we can turn to NASA! Take your pick from this post or these fabulous NASA images. (And don’t forget that NASA provides us with many Mathematics resources.)

Remaining with the loving theme you can also express your feelings for WolframAlpha!

For those in school this week try some Valentine class activities.
Here’s a Valentine logic starter from Transum.

This Valentine Relay from Chris Smith is excellent as are all the other relays in this excellent set of resources. You can find more excellent resources from Chris on TES and follow him on Twitter here.

Chancing upon this tweet from Transum proved fortunate. Hidden gems indeed, I had not noticed the Advanced Starters before, some of which I think could be useful for students aiming at the highest GCSE grades as well as for Advanced Level students.
The problem, Find the Radius, illustrated in the tweet is very neat!

Looking at the Main Transum Starters page I see at the foot of the page we have various categories of starters including the Advanced Starters.

I recommend exploring!
The Custom Starter allows teachers to select the number questions and the topics to include; scroll down the page and choose the topics you want from the Concept Selection.

It is possible to save a particular selection of topics as the URL for your selection will be generated. It is also possible to drag the panels so your questions are displayed in the desired order. The beginning of a lesson can be an ideal time to review previous learning, starters like this can be ideal.

(The excellent MathsBot site also provides Starters which can be customised.)

Back with the Advanced Starters, Angle Thinking provides a good way to review Trigonometric graphs. To solve the given problem, students can experiment with their calculators. Hopefully, students should see just how useful graphs are to illustrate the problem.

To find exact solutions we could review trigonometric equations. A reminder here of the Quadratic Equation calculator from Math Warehouse, something I use regularly as full working is shown when using the quadratic formula.

Math Warehouse – Quadratic Equation Calculator

Some further problems which caught my eye, we could try Average Cycling speed with GCSE students aiming for the highest grades. I think I’ll try Algebraic Product with all my classes next week!