Our focus this half term is on different maths systems from around the world, including historical methods of counting, the history of our number system and how it ties in with other base ten systems.
In his guest column ‘It’s all in your head’ Hugh Hunt writes, “In the days before calculators it was easy to lose track of powers of ten, so we got good at it…Doing sums roughly, in your head, is an art.” Hugh poses some challenges that don’t need you to pick up a calculator to work out a reasonable answer.
Carol Knight’s classroom resource (at the end of the magazine) looks at number systems and number ‘puzzles’. The content is suitable for a wide range of ages and attainment levels as the activities themselves are easily accessible, but the corresponding reasoning and proof activity is often far more challenging. One of the activities also highlights the dangers of simply accepting a method without really testing it or proving that it always works – reasoning and justification are key!
Carol also takes us Site Seeing this month, looking at the resources offered freely by the U.S. Illuminations website, and the Visual Patterns website.
You can download the magazine and the PowerPoint teaching resource from the M4 Magazine web page.