- AFL/NRL Final Series
In Australia both these football codes run a Final 8 final series, but they each use a different structure. Until now Task 1, Final Eight, has only provided a game board for the Australian Football League structure. But things have just changed. Two game boards are now available from the Task Cameo for this task. See Link List below.
- New Task: Money Charts
A new task has been added to our collection, which makes 239 altogether. Money Charts involves adding and subtracting money using Australian coins, a little equation solving and problem solving skills including if-then reasoning and working backwards. It is suitable for Years 2 - 8. The task has been added to the Task Catalogue and to the Enhancing Maths With Attitude notes. See Link List below.
- Maths at the Movies
We all know about the film A Beautiful Mind and its connection with mathematics. But have you seen the latest Maths at the Movies? Fermat's Room is a suspense thriller based around jealousy connected with the (supposed) first proof of Goldbach's Conjecture and drama is built through the need for characters to solve various mathematical puzzles against the clock - or be squashed to death! Goldbach's Conjecture is the subject of Maths300 Lesson 105 and one of the puzzles is a variation on Task 40, Diamonds & Rectangles (See Link List below).
The film is a 2007 Spanish production (La Habitación de Fermat) by Notro Films, released with English subtitles in 2009. I thoroughly recommend it, but it may be hard to find. I saw it in June on one of the movie channels, but my local video chain shop cannot find the title. You will find several references and reviews on the web and in several it gets a 4 star plus rating. If you can find a copy and you teach secondary students I also recommend using it in class, perhaps in a joint drama/mathematics unit of work. There is no swearing (at least in the subtitles and I can't understand the Spanish dialogue) and only one kiss in the whole show, so quite mild in comparison to what many students watch. None-the-less, I believe the drama would captivate your students and provide considerable stimulus and support for the concept of learning to work like a mathematician.
At one stage in the story, Fermat, a character name, not the historical mathematician, is driving a policeman to towards the place where the murders are about to occur. Fermat is not wearing his seat belt - apparently it's not compulsory to do so in Spain. They chat briefly:
Perhaps there is a statistics lesson in that quote alone.
Don't you know that 28% of people who die on the roads travel like you, without their safety belt?
So all the rest, the other 72%, die with their belt on.
- Tasks of the Month
Two new cameos this month.
- Pick A Box involves sorting 15 decorated and numbered boxes into groups. Part of the basis of sorting relates to consecutive numbers and their sums. There is more than one solution.
- Magic Squares is a classic problem but in this case the magic total isn't given. Part of the challenge is to find out why the sum of each row, column and leading diagonal is 15. What happens if we change each number in the solution in the same way (eg: divide by 3)? Is the new square still magic? If so, what is its magic total?
Click a photo to access its cameo, or access all current cameos through the Link List below.
- Did you miss the June News?
If so you missed information about:
- Professional development stories in several forms
- 6 day algebra course, discussion lessons, learning from Eritrea
- An historic photo of the first students to solve Sphinx Size 3
- Iceberg Information about two Tasks of the Month (Tasks 89, 90)
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