Windows Apps for Maths

July 22, 2014


Our Year 7 and 8 classes received Microsoft Windows tablets at the beginning of last term, as part of a DEECD trial, “Inking your Thinking”. The students have enjoyed using these devices to access Mathletics, as well as playing the “2048″ game in free time at the end of a lesson. However, there are some more good Windows apps that I would like each student to download onto their devices.

Number and Algebra

  • 100 chart (for prime numbers, multiples and factors)
  • Prime factors
  • Maths Wizard
  • Easy Fractions
  • Motion Maths – Fractions
  • Motion Maths – Hungry Fish
  • Fluid Math Online
  • Dragon Box ($5.99)

Measurement and Geometry

  • Geoboard
  • Math Geometry
  • Geometry 101
  • Solve Geometry Ver 2.0

Statistics and Probability

  • Charts
  • Bar Chart creator
  • Linear graph
  • GraphPad
  • Dice Roll simulator
  • Simple coin flipper

How many triangles?

June 18, 2014


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Learning Intention: Students will understand how to calculate the area of a triangle, using the rule Area = 1/2 x base x height.

Success Criteria: Students will draw and label at least four different triangles of the same area.

How many different triangles can you draw with an area of 120 cm sq? Use graph paper, where 1 cm ~ 10 cm and label the base and the height, showing any right angles.

Graphs and Data

May 26, 2014


Image created in Create-A_Graph

Last week you were working on a poster showing the results of a class survey in table and graphical form. This data is just a small sample of the school and state data. When governments and businesses want to plan for the future they need to know information about the whole population – for example, where roads, schools and hospitals need to be built. This information is obtained using a census. The national census is conducted every four years, when the Australian Bureau of Statistics asks every household to complete a survey.

Some of the data obtained in the 2011 census is recorded here. Choose one of the categories that you are interested in and create a graph of the data using “Create-A-Graph”. Email your graph to me and a copy to yourself.

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This week we will continue making our fraction wall and learning how to calculate equivalent fractions. Using your fraction wall, find equivalent fractions for the following: 1/2 (one half); 1/3 (one third); 1/4 (one quarter) 2/3 (two thirds) and 3/4 (three quarters). What are some other equivalent fractions that are “off the scale” – using fifteenths, sixteenths, twentieths or hundredths?

To add or subtract fractions we need to make sure they have the same denominator (bottom number). We can convert fractions so that they have the same denominator by multiplying both the numerator and the denominator by the same number. This interactive from NLVM helps to compare fractions and create fractions with the same denominator.

Here are some links to sites for learning more about fractions:

Image source – screenshot from the “Motion Maths” app, in which the user must tilt the device to “bounce” the ball at a specific point along a number line.

This term we are starting with the characteristics of whole numbers and then fractions and decimals, including the following concepts:
– positive and negative integers
– square numbers and square roots
– factors and multiples
– prime and composite numbers
– prime factor trees

There are several apps that may assist you or your child to understand these concepts. The following apps are all available on IOS devices (iPhones, iPods and iPads) and some may be available on android devices.

- Zoom (place value – ordering whole numbers)
- Wings (greater than and less than, multiplication)
- Motion Maths (fractions)
- Wishball (place value, addition and subtraction)
- Fraction Factory (fractions, decimals and percentages)
- Number Line (fractions, decimals and percentages)

Algebra is not a dirty word!

October 17, 2013


So far you have learned some really good skills that contribute to your developing understanding of algebra. Most of you are able to do the first four or five activities:

  • Recognizing and continuing number patterns – using positive and negative integers, fractions and decimals.
  • Identifying and combining like terms.
  • Substitution – replacing a number for a letter in an equation.
  • Finding the missing number in a simple equation.
  • Backtracking to solve two-step and three-step equations.

Here are some digital resources that I would like you to use to practise these skills:



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Games based learning has been a hot topic in the last year or so and one of the most popular games in educational use has been Minecraft. Although there has been some debate about the value of learning outcomes, many students would agree that Minecraft is a fun way to learn about surface area and volume. This YouTube video, “Minecraft Math – Surface Area and Volume” describes how to calculate the surface area of rectangular prisms and challenges the viewer to calculate the surface area and volume of a huge tower of TNT blocks! Another YouTube video, from the same user, demonstrates the “Volume of Prisms and Pyramids” in Minecraft and offers a challenge to calculate the area of a prism with a pyramid on top.

We spent last lesson looking at the volume and surface areas of various patterns of ‘minecraft’ blocks. Our assumption is that each Minecraft block is 1m x 1m x 1m – a cubic metre. Next lesson I would like you to create your name in Minecraft blocks and measure the volume and the surface area of your construction. Start by using the first letter of your first name. It should be a minimum of five blocks high and three blocks wide. Make sure you take a screenshot of your construction and send it to me by email.

Year 7 Minecraft Maths from Britt Gow

Euler’s Formula

September 4, 2013


Learning Intention: Students will investigate Euler’s rule that describes the relationship between the number of faces, the number of edges and the number of vertices of 3D objects.

Success Criteria: Students will create 3D shapes using toothpicks and jelly-lollies to represent edges and vertices. They will then count and record in a table the faces, edges and vertices of the shapes and investigate Euler’s Rule.

Today we are going to learn more about 3D shapes and investigate a special relationship between the number of vertices, edges and faces of such shapes. Create the following shapes using toothpicks and jubes:

  1. tetrahedron
  2. triangular prism
  3. square base pyramid
  4. cube
  5. pentagonal pyramid
  6. pentagonal prism
  7. hexagonal pyramid
  8. hexagonal prism

Now draw a table with six columns that records the name of the polyhedron, the name of the base shape, the number of sides on the base shape, the number of faces, number of vertices and number of edges. Complete the table for each of the 8 shapes listed above. Now see if you can work out any relationship between the values in your table.



August 27, 2013


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Learning Intention: “Describe translations, reflections in an axis, and rotations of multiples of 90° on the Cartesian plane using coordinates. Identify line and rotational symmetries.” “Define congruence of plane shapes using transformations.”

Success criteria: Students will create a design that shows various transformations of a 2D geometric shape and be able to describe the translations, reflections and rotations that have taken place to form a tessellation.

Tessellations have been popular decorations for hundreds of years, as this tiled ceiling of the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Iran (1602-1619) shows. Any shape or shapes that can be repeated to fill a 2D plane can be considered tessellations; so, equilateral triangles, squares, rectangles and hexagons are all simple shapes that can be tessellated.

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) is one of the world’s most famous graphic artists. His art has been reproduced extensively, especially his ‘impossible structures’ and his tessellations. You may have seen some of his work in your art classes. This YouTube video, Escher’s Tessellations,  showcases some of his work.

We are going to create our own tessellations using one of the following methods.

1. Create a Tessellation using the paper-cut method (YouTube)

2. How to make an Escher-esque Tessellation (YouTube)

3. How to create a Tessellation (YouTube)

This fantastic site,, has lots more examples of tessellations and describes different methods for creating your own, including a praying mantis design submitted by an Australian student. I would love you to create a design that you are really proud of that you can also submit to the site.


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Learning Intention:

  • Students will be able to identify and describe 2D shapes and understand the terms translation, reflection, dilation and rotation.
  • They will be able to identify and describe, draw, plan and construct 3D objects.

Success Criteria:

  • Students will complete a poster that shows various shapes undergoing transformations and construct a tessellation from appropriate 2D shapes.
  • They will identify and describe 2D and 3D shapes from photographs.
  • They will draw isometric drawings with dot paper and nets and construct 3D shapes.

So far we have learnt about the properties of polygons, especially triangles and quadrilaterals,  in terms of their sides, angles, perimeter and area. Next we will be looking at TRANSFORMATIONS – how 2D shapes are translated (moved), reflected, rotated and dilated. Your task is to create a poster that shows the letters of your name undergoing each of the following transformations – translation, reflection, rotation and dilation. Draw two copies of each of four block letters of your name and then complete a transformation with one of the letters of each pair.

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We will then learn more about 3D shapes and how they are drawn and constructed.

Polygon matching game – identifying 2D shapes.

Sort the shapes – identify and describe polygons

Polygon sorting – regular and irregular polygons.

More interactives from the Maths Zone (2D shapes)

Classifying 2D and 3D shapes – Geometric Figures Game

Drag and drop 3D shapes – Naming 3D shapes

Matching 3D shapes – identifying 3D shapes

More interactives from the Maths Zone (3D objects)