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Monkeys, Kittens and Dogs

Wednesday 1st May 2019

It is an old joke but this newsletter is being written just before Star Wars Day  'May The Fourth Be With You!' But the other interesting thing about this month is that 1st May is the only first day of the month in 2019 which falls on a Wednesday.

Enough of The May Trivia. Let's get on with the puzzle of the month which is more of a riddle:

You walk into a room with a monkey holding a banana, a kitten drinking milk and a dog chasing a stick. Who is most likely to be able to work out the square root of 121?

Monkey, Kitten and Dog

While you think about that and before reading the answer at the end of this newsletter here are some of the key resources added to the Transum website during the last month.

Even though the Transum website does not have a themed Easter collection there is one activity that could conceivably be considered suitable. It is called Egg Box Investigation and challenges pupils to arrange eggs in boxes in some sort of logical way so that they can eventually work out how many different arrangements there are. This activity has a number of levels with an increasing sized egg boxes and a varying number of eggs that must be arranged in these boxes. It is hoped that this online simulation will complement a practical session (with mini chocolate eggs?) and inspire pupils to go on and investigate this situation fully.

Egg Box Investigation

I create new activities for the website when a need arises. Some of my students have recently begun calculus and integration was the theme of the week so I created the Integration online exercise. It has a number of levels which include definite and indefinite integration and will be further developed after some initial feedback has been received.

This interactive exercise uses a new active input feature. Fractions and exponents look like they are supposed to with the use of the forward slash and circumflex keys. I am quite please how this system works and will probably be rolling it out to other online exercises in the near future. Let me know what you think.

Superfluous was inspire by a question I saw on a previous year’s National Curriculum test paper. I suppose technically the puzzles in this exercise are simultaneous equations but they are designed for pupils who are many years away from learning formal methods of solution. They make a great problem solving challenge.

Four Sum provides are more accessible version of the digits 1 to 9 number placing puzzles. There are only four digits that need to be arranged into an addition calculation to produce the given sum.

Sorting Units is also brand new. Order the ten containers according to their value (money, length and weight). The difficulty is provided by values written in different units. Have a go yourself and let me know if you have any comments.

Geometry Toolbox is a truly amazing online tool. It is dynamic geometry at its best and should be in every teacher's repertoire of visual aids. I cannot claim any credit for this however as it has been generously shared by GeoGebra.

The last new activity to have been added to the website in April is Logarithms. Older teachers will remember their school days, before calculators were widely available, using logarithms to perform difficult multiplication and division calculations. This activity though is designed to meet the objectives of the A level and IB courses.

This month I would like to welcome new or returning subscribers from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, United States, Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea.

Don't forget you can listen to this month's podcast which is the audio version of this Newsletter. You can find it on Stitcher or Apple Podcasts. You can follow Transum on Twitter and 'like' Transum on Facebook

Finally the answer to this month's puzzle riddle is you. Yes you are in the room as well as the animals and out of the four, you are more likely to know that the square root of 121 is eleven!

That's all for now,


P.S. I love Maths but what seems odd to me are integers not divisible by two.


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