# February 2016 News

Hello, I hope you are fit and well and ready straight away for February’s puzzle. It’s a story to make you think, calculate and wonder. Apologies to those who have been using the Starter of the Day regularly as they’ll probably have come across this puzzle before. It’s the Starter for 19th June.

Here’s the story: Three people enjoy a meal at a restaurant. The waiter brings the bill for £30 so each person pays £10. Later the chef realises that the bill should have only been £25 so he sends the waiter back to the table with £5. The waiter was not very good at Maths and could not figure out how to divide the £5 so he gave each person a £1 and kept £2 for himself.

So….the three people have paid £9 each for the meal and three times £9 is £27

The waiter kept £2 so £27 + £2 = £29

What happened to the other pound?

Well that’s given you something to think about. The answer will be at the bottom of this newsletter.

January has been another busy month at Tran Towers and a number of activities have been added or updated. Here are the notable items.

Equivalent Fractions is the very latest self-marking exercise which was only added on the last day of January but already eight virtual trophies have been awarded to people completing it. The first two levels are basic colouring-in tasks. These very visual activities help pupils understand why certain fractions can be described as equivalent using diagrams of fraction walls and pizza sector slices. Level 3 is a more traditional exercise in which pupils have to fill in the missing number in pairs of equivalent fractions.

The 27th January Starter of the Day is a twenty-question mental arithmetic test. It has been updated to allow teachers to vary the speed of the test and edit the questions to better suit their pupils. It’s the sort of Starter you could bookmark to use regularly when the time comes for a light-hearted quiz on a particular topic.

The Pairs games have always been very popular. They add variety to a Maths lesson and can be played by one or two pupils sharing a computer. The latest one to be added is called Fraction Percentage Pairs and, as the title suggests, challenges pupils to match common fractions with their equivalent percentages. The pairs games also come with drag-and-drop warm up activities and multiple choice quizzes using the same cards used by the pairs game.

Factor trees is another self-checking exercise which helps student learn how to find the prime factors of numbers. The branches of the trees grow according to which factor pairs the pupil has chosen for each stage of the factor tree.

Next time you are teaching Venn Diagrams book the school hall or playground to do the Human Venn Diagrams exercise. Surely the learning must be all the more effective if you are part of the giant Venn diagram? This activity is part of the Transum People Maths collection.

Finally a randomly-generated Travel Graphs series of exercises has been added to cover distance-time and speed-time graphs.

The answer to this month’s puzzle is quite simple. The final paragraph of the story should read: The waiter kept £2 and £27 − £2 = £25, the correct cost of the meal!

Here is a similar puzzle from Thailand: “You borrow money from your Dad (500 baht) and your Mom (500 baht) to buy a phone that costs 970 baht. You then you have 30 baht change from the shop so you return 10 baht to Dad and 10 baht to Mom and you keep 10 baht yourself. But 490 + 490 = 980 and the 10 baht that you keep totals 990 baht. Where is the missing 10 baht?”

Have a good month

John

ps I will do algebra, I’ll do trigonometry and I’ll even do statistics but geometry and graphing is where I draw the line!

# November 2015 News

Welcome to another month of puzzles, challenges and investigations. I hope you have recovered from Halloween and your pupils weren’t too scared by the 31st October Starter!

Let’s begin with the puzzle for this month. It’s about two chaps called Ant and Dec (how likely is that?)

Ant is thinking of a number which is either 1, 2 or 3. What one question could Dec ask him to find out what number he is thinking of if Ant can only answer either yes, no or I don’t know?

I think you will need some thinking time to figure that one out. The answer is at the bottom of this newsletter after a round up of the new items on the Transum website.

Pupils do the Hot Number Challenges with ten numbered tiles.

First to be mentioned is Hot Number Challenges. This is a new Shine + Write resource designed to be projected in front of a class of pupils who each have ten cards numbers nought to nine. Keep the variety in Maths lessons by doing something like this once in a while. The challenges are increasing order of difficulty and are suitable for upper Primary up to those Year 12 students who really need a reminder of the properties of numbers.

Now that knowledge of Roman numerals is specifically mentioned in the English National Curriculum you are no doubt looking for resources to teach and reinforce the structure of the system. The Roman Numerals Jigsaw is just what you have been looking for. It’s an interesting challenge that makes the learning a little different. There is also a more traditional quiz to go with it that contains a number of different levels matching the National Curriculum.

Sneakily reusing the code that made the jigsaw mentioned above work it was quite easy to produce more traditional Number Jigsaws and a Tetromino/Pentomino challenge.

Continuing to fill the gaps the Mileometer quiz tests the ability to convert between miles and kilometres. The twelve questions are arranged in increasing order of difficulty with quite a challenge at the end.

The latest activity, which only went live at the weekend, is Venn Paint. This is clearly aimed at the older student who needs practice recognising intersections, unions and complements on two and three set Venn diagrams.

Finally it might be worth reminding you that there are hundreds of exam style questions available on the site and you, as a Transum Subscriber, get access to the worked solutions. Many of the questions have been adapted from the new GCSE(9-1) specimen papers which were published recently.

The answer to this month’s puzzle is “I’m thinking of either one or two. Is the number that you are thinking of larger than mine?”

If Ant answers Yes he is thinking of 3
If Ant answers No he is thinking of 1
If Ant answers I don’t know he is thinking of 2

Enjoy November

John

ps. Why did all the metres run from the 1000m race?

They were scared of the killer metre at the end.