Decimal Place Value

Today we completed an exercise where you needed to circle the decimal number with the highest value. Some of you found this really easy and have an excellent understanding of decimal place value. Some students will need to work on this skill by following the links below and completing the interactive activities on those two sites. Just remember that you can add as many zeros to the last digit of a decimal number and it does not change the value of that decimal.

Decimal Place Value at AAAMath

Pre-Algebra lessons at CoolMath

Prime Numbers and Factors

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Today we are going to use Erastothene’s Sieve to find the prime numbers up to 100. You will use the “Count By” app on the iPods or iPads or your netbook with the interactive 100 chart program. Color in the corresponding numbers on your paper 100 chart.

Prime numbers are numbers with exactly two factors – you can divide a prime number by one or itself, but no other number, to get a whole number. The number one only has one factor, so it is not a prime number. So, 2 and 3 are the first two prime numbers. 4 is not a prime number because it has three factors (1, 2 and 4). Circle the prime numbers on your paper chart and stick it firmly in your work book to refer to later.

Welcome to Year 7 Maths 2012!


Welcome to our five new students from other primary schools and welcome back to the Year 7 class of 2012. This year we will use several different resources to support our maths learning:

We are starting with a unit of work on whole numbers – place value, basic operations, indices and square roots, order of operations, multiples, factors and prime numbers. We may have the opportunity to use the iPads with an app called “CountBy”, which is illustrated above. You can use this 100 square grid to create an “Erastothene’s Sieve”, which allows you to find the prime numbers under 100.

Your choice

Today your task is to identify an area of difficulty – use your Mathsmate sheets or Mathletics activities – and write yourself a goal. For example, “Today I will work out how to simplify ratios” or “I need to practise converting fractions to percentages”. You can print out the Skill Builders from Mathsmate or use the corresponding activities on Mathletics to practise. Ten minutes before the bell, leave a comment below about your goal and what you achieved.

Algebra Games

We have spent the last few weeks learning about algebra – what do we know now, that we didn’t know before?

  • Pronumerals, co-efficients, variables and constants
  • Expressions
  • Backtracking
  • Solving equations

This site, MathsNet has some algebra games you might like to try. Choose the expression or constant that you need to remove from the equation and apply the opposite sign.

Algebra Balance Scales

So far we have looked at the basic rules for algebra in expressions – leaving out the multiplication sign and the ’1′ in front of a pronumeral, adding and subtracting ‘like terms’ and multiplying and dividing with pronumerals. Next we will look at multiplying and dividing with indices and then using equations.

Maths is Fun has a quick tutorial on how to use exponents with six questions you can try online.

The Algebra Balance Scales are all about doing the same thing to both sides. So if you remove to blocks from one side do the same to the other side.

Algebra Balance Scales with Negatives is a little more difficult – balloons act as negative numbers to counter-act the weights.

When you have spent about 15 minutes on each activity, leave me a comment to let me know what you found easy, what you found difficult and what you learnt from these two interactive learning objects.

Introduction to Algebra

Some people admit they don’t like algebra, usually because of a negative experience at school in maths class. In fact, algebra has a pretty bad name, even amongst students who don’t really know what it is about (perhaps we can blame the popular media for that?). In fact, algebra is just a way to model mathematical expressions and equations using pronumerals instead of numbers. Like another language. Here are three sites to start you off on the right foot with algebra:

Shape times Shape is an activity where you discover which shapes represent which numbers, using a series of multiplication problems.

BBC Bitesize has an introduction to algebra using formulae.

Maths is Fun also has an introduction to algebra which includes a brief explanation with some examples.

Another interesting way to learn about algebra is with “Off Road Algebra” from MathMatters. This resource includes videos of off road motorcycles riding up ramps and off jumps and some other dirty stunts. The maths is a series of problems including converting litres to gallons, working out the length of the third side of a triangular track and time and distance.Check out the MathMatters – HotChalk website here.

New Unit on Algebra next term

Prior to starting this unit students should be able to recognise simple number patterns (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and indices) and understand that (multiplication and division) and (addition and subtraction) are opposite terms. We will start with an activity to reinforce working with positive and negative numbers at Algebasics.
“Maths is Fun” has a good Introduction to Algebra, that we will go through in class. Students then need to be able to recognise like and unlike terms. There are some more practise questions at MCA Online: Like and Unlike Terms Algebra for Children is another site that may assist you to work with like and unlike terms.

As each of you have netbooks to use at school and at home, you may like to access the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives site, which has a great range of interactive tasks for year 6 to 8 Algebra. I like the “Coin Problem”; “Factor Tree” and “Function Machine”.

I would like to be basing this unit of work on some of Dan Meyer’s Resources at “Algebra: The Supplement”. Dan Meyer has curated 40 weeks of algebra learning activities, while we have just ten weeks until the end if term, so we will try to do some of the most powerful problems that have been posed.

Last week of term 3!

This week is our last week of school before September holidays and we also have Parent-Student-Teacher interviews on Wednesday afternoon and evening. I expect each of you to come along and discuss your progress in Maths with your parents as well as show them some of the great work you have been doing this semester. We will talk about your goals for Term 4 and beyond and how Maths is relevant to your future.
Well done to all of you who completed the Probability test last week – I was very pleased with the results.
Monday (period 3): Mathsmate and discuss the answers for the Proability test.
Tuesday (period 3): Skill builders for areas of improvement from Mathsmate
Wednesday (period 1): Converting fractions to decimals and percentages.
Thursday (period 1): Rates and Ratios.
Friday (period 3): Mathletics

Areas of Difficulty:
Some of you have been having problems with the following Mathsmate Questions:
Number 18 Expressing numbers as a product of it’s prime factors – Try this interactive at the NLVM “Factor Trees”.
Number 13 Operations with negative integers - “Color Chips – Subtraction”

Progression Points for Probability

At Hawkesdale College the Numeracy Professional Learning Teams have been looking at the progression points for each of the five strands of mathematics and starting with Number, assigning assessment tasks for each level. During the next five weeks, while Tara is taking the year 8 Maths class, we are studying a unit on Probability, so it is a good opportunity to unpack the progression points for this sub-strand.

Progression Point 3.25 – “use of fractions to assign probability values between 0 and 1 based on symmetry”. All our students have demonstrated the ability to place the chances of specific events occurring on a number line, so they have achieved this level of understanding. Some examples were: randomly choosing a day of the week and getting a weekend day, rolling a dice and getting an even number, using a spinner with five equal sections and getting a specific colour.
Progression Point 3.75 – “simulation of random events” and “calculation and analysis of the stability of a sequence of long run frequencies where the number of trials increases”.
We have used dice, coins and computer and iPod (using the app “iChoose”) simulations of other random events.
Virtual Dice: Simulation of throwing one, two or three dive.

Probability Tree: A bag contains 4 red counters and 7 blue counters. A counter will be taken from the bag, its colour noted and then returned to the bag. Students complete the corresponding probability tree, with uneven chances.
Snakes and Spinners is an assessment activity from the Learning Federation.
The “Dice Duels” series of activities (L2634 to L2640) is also from the Learning Federation.
Podcast about “slot machines” – we call them poker machines in Australia. What do you think is the likelihood of winning the maximum pay out at the pokies?