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This is the Transum Newsletter for the month of April 2020. A newsletter to take your mind off the C word!
The month began with April Fool's Day. Have you caught your pupils out yet? Set them today's Lesson Starter then sit back and wait for the reaction!
And now I present the puzzle of the month:
Obadiah Sloop has seven horses in his stable and enough feed to keep them for twelve days. After three days he sells four of the horses. How long will the remaining feed last the horses left?
The answer will be at the end of this newsletter.
While you think about that here are some of the key resources added to the Transum website during the last month.
Dr Tim's Indices Challenge came from a Twitter post I spotted in which Dr Tim Honeywill posted a set of indices questions that I took a liking to. They make a great supplementary exercise for those learning the laws of indices. Thanks to Tim for giving me permission to use them.
The Binomial Theorem is now a separate exercise rather than part of the Pascal’s Triangles pages. I realise that this exercise will only be of use to a small number of you depending on whether this topic is on your syllabus.
Indices Eye Test came about when I began delivering online video tutorials. I wanted something that I could use if the main lesson on Bitpaper stopped working. Students have to evaluate the expressions that have been printed in the form of an optician’s eye test chart. It was something I could show over the video link and made to be a fun diversion.
Probability Formulae is aimed specifically at IB Diploma students who have a formula book containing lots of different probability formulas. The challenge is to know which formula to use when! This is a drag and drop exercise that is designed not to be used in isolation but to generate discussion between teacher and student.
So how are you getting on facilitating remote learning? I am having some surprisingly good interactions with students via video links (I’m using Google Hangouts and Bitpaper). Since this time last month I have added more ideas to the At Home (School Closure) page including some ideas for games that you can play in the last five minutes of a lesson/tutorial to bring a smile to those quarantined students who are starting to get just a tad bored. One of my favourite and unusual games is Smallest Number for classes and Nevertheless for individual tuition sessions.
The Transum online exercises work well too. Send the link to the students then get them to share their screens so that you can see the progress they are making working through the questions.
In response to non-Maths teacher friends of mine who asked for ideas to amuse their children at home while sneaking in some maths learning I came up with some game suggestions. In the last couple of days I tweeted links to Digital Darts, Snooker, Fifteen, Remainder Race, Ultimate Noughts and Crosses and 23 or Bust.
Don't forget you can listen to this month's podcast which is the audio version of this Newsletter. You can find it on Spotify, Stitcher or Apple Podcasts. You can follow Transum on Twitter and 'like' Transum on Facebook
Finally the answer to this month's puzzle:
If 7 horses can be kept for 12 days then there must be 84 horse-days worth of food.
During the first three days 21 horse-days worth of food will have been eaten leaving 63 horse-days worth of food
Now there are 3 horses left. 63 ÷ 3 = 21.
The remaining feed will last those three horses 21 days. Obadiah can last for three weeks before he next has to go out shopping!
Good mental health is important: You can keep your mind off the current crisis by diving into the Puzzles page for an hour or two.
That's all for now.
PS. What do you call a saucepan of simmering soup on top of a mountain?
... A high-pot-in-use!
Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback on this newsletter and the resources on this website so that they can be made even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments.