## Monday 1st August 2022

I am writing this newsletter while on holiday on an island with a very strange weather pattern.  So far it has rained on 12 days since I’ve been here but luckily it never rained for a whole day.

Rainy mornings were always followed by clear afternoons.

Rainy afternoons were always preceded by clear mornings.

There were 15 clear mornings and 7 clear afternoons in all.

How long have I been on holiday?

That's the puzzle of the month. You will have to wait until next month's Newsletter when I will reveal my most efficient method of finding the solution. If you figure it out before then please let me know.

Now you might be on holiday too at the moment and you might fancy a low-stress activity to while away the hours. Before you invest in vibrantly coloured balls of wool, practice your Curve Stitching skills with this brand new online activity.

It is the computer version of the craft I first tried when I was in Primary school. I can vividly remember punching holes in card then using a needle and thick thread to produce the designs. The new Transum online version gives the instructions in basic mathematical language including terms such as multiple, difference and sum.

Mathematical Pie has been around for as long as I can remember. It is published three times a year and is aimed at pupils from 10 to 14 years of age, but is read by all age groups. Each issue contains a variety of problems and challenges, stimulating mathematical activity and is published by the Mathematical Association.

I was excited to know that the Summer 2022 edition would feature a Transum activity. Congratulations Equatero for finally making the big time!

There’s was not a huge amount of new material added to the website during this last month mainly because I spent part of it on holiday as I have already mentioned but despite that as well as Curve Stitching I did write a new set of exercises called Ratios vs Fractions. I was my attempt to fill a gap in curriculum coverage. I realised that I had nothing to match the National Curriculum statement “Pupils should be taught to relate the language of ratios and the associated calculations to the arithmetic of fractions and to linear functions”.

Perpendicular Parking is the latest addition to the Strategy Games collection. These are games that don't have a direct school-mathematics connection but are very worthwhile pastimes encouraging players to develop winning strategies while having great fun at the same time.

This new game is not to be confused with the Car Park Puzzle which has been on the site for many years and continues to be very popular.

The podcast version of this newsletter has one or two extras including the gifted comedian Tom Allen talking about Secondary school Maths as he remembers it. Why do we teach Pythagoras' theorem and trigonometry but not the skills needed to get on with everyday adult life? It is very funny.

Don't forget that you can keep your pupils' minds active during the holidays with this list of School Holiday Maths activities they can do at home.

Last month’s puzzle was about an old-fashioned set of balancing scales. I have four different weights marked in pounds and can weigh any object (with an integer weight in pounds) from 1 to 40 pounds. What could those four weights be?

The first person to send me the correct answer was Jonathan from California who commented that the four weights were 1,3,9 and 27. Well done Jonathan.

I also heard from Rick Blair who wrote "I am an engineer and not a math teacher. I first discovered your podcast doing some random searches and thoroughly enjoy the monthly puzzle. My answer for the July 2022 puzzle is 1, 3, 9, and 27. Ironically, these are all powers of 3. I am blind and use a screen reader to access web content."

Rick then went on to give me some timely advice on how to improve the accessibility of the site so I am very grateful to Rick.

That's all for now, enjoy your August whatever you'll be doing.

John

P.S. A pizza is like a pie chart, updating in real time, showing how much pizza you have left!

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Jonathan, Califonia

Friday, August 5, 2022

"Seventeen days of holiday."