Week 4: Re-visiting Negative Numbers

These three videos may help you to understand negative numbers:

  1. How they compare to positive numbers
  2. How to add and subtract integers
  3. How to multiply and divide integers

Watch each video and then complete the “Negative Numbers” test again.

Maths Antics – Negative Numbers video #1

Maths Antics – Adding and Subtracting Integers (video #2)

Maths Antics – Multiplying and Dividing Integers (video #3)

A selection of maths videos from YouTube

life-of-pi5116812Image source

“Life of Pi” is one of my favourite movies, with a beautiful soundtrack and amazing cinematography. I was trying to find the video clip of Pi in the classroom, when he is tired of being teased for being called “Piscene” (or Pissing) and fills the blackboard with the irrational number ‘pi’. Can you post in the comments below if you can find that clip from the movie? Some other good maths clips linked below:

Sketching Linear Graphs

Miss Tara Richardson has produced another video “Sketching Linear Graphs” – her blog is at “My Blog”

Learning Intention:
Students will learn how to sketch linear graphs.
Success Criteria:
There are three different methods you can use to draw a linear graph
1. You can identify the y-intercept and gradient (rise over run) from an equation.
2. You can substitute values into an equation to find at least two co-ordinates.
3. You can use the intercept method to plot two points on the x and y axis. Plot the graph by substituting x=0 (the y-intercept) into the equation as the first point and substitute y=0 into the equation to find the second point.
Tell me which method you prefer to use and why?

Calculating Gradient on YouTube!

Learning Intention:
Students will understand how to calculate the gradient of a straight line using three different methods.
Success Criteria:
You will be able to calculate the gradient of a line when given the linear equation, the graph or two sets of co-ordinates on the line.

Over the next five weeks, Miss Tara Richardson will be taking your Maths and Science classes as part of her teaching rounds in her final year of a Graduate Diploma of Education. She has created these great videos for YouTube to assist your learning about linear equations. Do they help you to understand gradient and y-intercepts and equations? Let her know what you think about them by clicking on the ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ buttons.

The Fibonacci numbers

Golden Sunflower

Can you see a spiralling pattern in the image above? It is a similar kind of pattern you might see on pine cones, pineapples, the arrangement of leaves and the petals of flowers.

Can you continue this sequence? 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 18, 31, …………

If you count the numbers of tiny flowers and seeds in each sunflower head, starting in the centre and working your way out, you will find, more or less, this is the numerical pattern that is formed. Plants don’t know the Fibonacci series, so why do they grow this way? Well, it turns out that this is the most efficient way to pack many objects into a small space. Petals into a flower, seeds into a fruit, bracts into a cone and leaves onto a branch.

Another amazing thing about these numbers, is that when you study the ratio of one Fibonacci number to the next, you get closer and closer to one peculiar number, an irrational number, called “phi” or the “golden ratio”. Try these ratios (fractions) on your calculator:

1/1; 2/1; 3/2; 5/3; 8/5; 13/8; 21/13; 34/21; ………….

If you convert these to decimal numbers what happens? I’d love to read your answers in the comments section. If you are interested in finding out more about the beauty of maths in nature, check out this YouTube video, “Nature by Numbers”.

Read more at Science Ray “The Fibonacci Sequence in Nature – The Mystery of the Golden Ratio” and  at How Stuff Works “Fibonacci Numbers“.

Japanese Multiplication on YouTube


Screenshot from YouTube

On Friday, Michelle and Abby and I were very lucky to be able to attend a Country Education Project seminar “21st Century Learners in Rural Communities” with Stephen Heppell. Stephen Heppell is a leading educator and global consultant, ‘architect’ of 21st century learning spaces and engaging and distinguished guest speaker  from UK. I wrote another post about the seminar at Technoscience.

One of the exciting examples of learning strategies using web2.0 tools was this YouTube video of Japanese multiplication. Many in the audience were left pondering “How does it work?” and spent time scratching intersecting lines on their serviettes! Your learning task today is to practise five long multiplication problems using this method and then try to explain to your partner how it works. Go to the video and leave a comment about whether you think it is a good method for long multiplication.

Your homework tonight is to ask an adult if they know any maths tips and tricks to make mental arithmetic easier. One tip I learnt from a market vendor was that 88% of 25 is the same as 25% of 88, which is an easier task to calculate. It works for all percentages – Why is this so?

How do you keep your times tables in your brain?


Image adapted from wikimedia commons via Creative Commons

Do you have trouble remembering your times tables? It is very difficult to succeed in maths when you are unable to recall basic number facts,  so it is important to find ways to learn your multiplication tables. As well as regular repetition – both written and verbal – look for patterns. “Tips, Tools and Technology for Educators” has an excellent article with “Five Games for Learning Times Tables.”

 These videos, from Right Brain Maths, show you some ways that will help you to remember three’s, sixes, seven’s and nine’s. There are lots of iPod apps that will help you to practise your tables with fun games.

Times Tables (Multiplication Tables)

Ultimate Times Tables

Math Facts

Math Drill Lite


Times Tables XL

TimesTables Free

If you have an iPod, you may like to download two or three of these applications and let me know which you like best. Which one works best for you and why? How did the game or activity help you to remember your multiplication tables? Would you recommend this application for other students who need to remember their times tables? Leave me a comment below.

Nature by Numbers


Image Source

Maths is often considered boring or difficult by many people, but I am looking forward to showing this video (Nature by Numbers) to my Year 6/7 students after the holidays – it captures the simple beauty of maths in nature, using magnificent images created by Cristobal Vila.  The music and flow of this short video is just beautiful. Thanks Denise, our art teacher at Hawkesdale, for this link.