Maths Week Newsletter Vol 2  31-03-20

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Everyone is feeling a sense of anxiety now. We are worried about family and friends, about the whole of society. We have to adapt to being cooped up. And on top of this we are trying to continue to deliver in new ways. It is important to look after yourself, read the article below for helpful advice. 
As we start into another week of Maths at Home, we hope that our programme of resources delivered via the web and social media will be a help to many. See below for a taste of what's to come this week. Please share this newsletter with parents.

In this weeks Maths at Home Newsltter

Avoiding Burnout
Resources for parents and pupils - NALA
Resources for Teachers and Pupils- PDST
Daily Maths Activities
Focus on Kjartan Poskitt 
RTE School Hub
Maths of Covid19
It's TECH WEEK get involved online
We are delighted with the response to our work last week:
  • Over 8,000 received last week's newsletter and over 3,000 people clicked on items. 
  • We now have 6,100 followers on twitter.
  • The launch of our Tuesday activity #triangletuesday, for instance, earned about 21,000 impressions on twitter.
  • Our maths at home Butterfly Symmetry has a reach of more than 4,300 on facebook.
Follow us on social media each day for updates:
Facebook: @MathsWeek
Twitter: @mathsweek
Instagram: MathsIreland
LinkedIn: Maths Week Ireland
Get in touch, give feedback, why not share your ideas and resources?

Avoiding Burnout

People are feeling a sense of anxiety now. We are worried about family and friends, about the whole of society. You have to adapt to being cooped up. And on top of this you are trying to continue to deliver in new ways.
Maybe you are saved your daily commute, but instead you have to swiftly adapt to strange new systems:  zoom, seesaw, hangouts, google classroom, Edmodo, Microsoft teams, Padlet, Moodle, Blackboard, Skype, Whatsapp, YouTube, Slack, Canvas and more. We have switched to online engagement and it has been a tough two weeks getting up and running. It is a new and different way of working with new types of stress so it is important to look after ourselves to avoid burnout and fraying tempers.
Ease up. Don’t try too much and don’t try too hard; let good enough be good enough. You also have to ease up on expectations from pupils and parents. Be patient with yourself and others.
Organising your house(hold). Make a work area in your house, where you have good light and can maintain good working posture.  Keep regular hours. 
If you’re sharing your house, you’re lucky to have the company, but that brings challenges especially if you have kids. There could be competition for the only computer in the house. If you and your partner are working you may have to share the supervision and tech.
Take regular breaks. Get up and walk around. Do something else for a while. Go out for a walk once a day to get fresh air. Enjoy the signs of spring in your environment.
Stay connected with others. Whether you are isolated alone or with others it is nice to keep in touch with colleagues and friends. Use a video link as seeing faces connects us so much more. Try to set up regular meetings with colleagues so that you can share about successes and challenges. .Arrange a virtual coffee break online.
Parents are feeling a lot of pressure to home school. They are not trained teachers. There is a limit to what most of them can achieve. If they can keep their children occupied without a total demand on their time then that is an achievement.
Our activities are designed with this in mind. We provide hands-on activities and recreational maths activities that offer great problem solving skill development. We are also putting material out on a regular schedule; please share with parents and pupils.
Parenting NI has advice about talking to children about Covid-19. Read it here

As long as we are putting in all this effort, we want to make sure we are being useful to you. Let us know how we are doing and feel free to share your own ideas and resources.   
Have a good laugh. If you haven't see the video below from Foil, Arms and Hog watch it now. 
Go to

Looking for great free learning resources?
The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) has great resources to keep your kids learning or improve your own skills.
For Pupils
It’s not easy to keep kids learning when they’re not in school. Check out our website for hundreds of fun activities that can be done in the home or outside. And best of all, the activities will help children to learn without them even realising it.
For Parents
Our free over-the-phone tuition can help you with:
  • Reading, writing and spelling
  • Numbers and basic maths
  • Filling in forms, for example for social welfare benefit
  • Fun learning ideas for kids
  • Understanding health information
  • Understanding financial information
Call NALA on Freephone 1800 20 20 65 or Text LEARN to 50050 and we will ring you back with more information or set you up with one of our friendly distance learning tutors.
For more information about all of the free resources that NALA is providing please visit
The PDST post primary maths team are sending out a daily newsletter to let teachers know about resources being added to to help them with remote teaching at this time. These resources are developed for the Republic of Ireland curriculum, but many will be useful to colleagues in Northern Ireland.
To be included on the mailing list for these (and other) updates, teachers should sign up here:

The  materials on the “Daily Maths” page have been chosen from along with some videos and materials from other sites which may help teachers when planning for supporting students in their learning.

PDST has also curated content to support schools and teachers engaged in distance learning in order to provide continuity to pupils/students: 

Daily Schedule

Maths Week Ireland Daily Schedule

8am Targetboards open
9am Activity of the Day
12pm Maths Challenge
1pm & 1:30pm Daily Maths Puzzle
5pm Maths at Home info

See details for programmes here

Daily Maths Activities

We bring you a new maths activity of the day each morning on our Maths at Home Activity page. 

Murderous Maths

Our Friend Kjartan Poskitt is possibly the highest selling mathematical author in the world. He has large range of activities on his Murderous Maths website  including his fabulous FLEXIGONS which is our activity of the day today.

Murderous Maths author Kjartan Poskitt 

Maths in the Media

The numbers don’t Lie – Keep up the social distancing!

Oxford University Mathematician, and MW 2020 Presenter, Dr Tom Crawford explains exponential growth in the context of an epidemic such as that for COVID-19/Coronavirus. The good news is that by practicing social distancing and reducing exposure to others, the numbers of infected cases are drastically reduced!
Tom explains the most basic model for disease spread - exponential growth - in this accessible video suitable for secondary pupils. The SIR model is a step up in sophistication and Tom has a nice video on this.
Tom will be appearing at Maths Week 2020 in October.  

Modelling Group shows impact of of Restrictions 

The chair of the the Irish Government's epidemiology modelling group has been talking about the apparent impact of the restrictions on movement. The group is chaired by Professor Philip Nolan (pictured above), president of Maynooth University. According to Prof Nolan the prediction for now with no government action was for 3,000 new cases yesterday (30/03/20) rather than 295 recorded. An article in the outlines the work of the group in modelling different scenarios and shows the central importance mathematics plays in managing this crisis. Read the full article here.    . 

RTE School Hub

Each day RTÉ will broadcast a virtual classroom, providing 1st to 6th class primary pupils with fun and engaging lessons.

Classes will start on television at 11 am, for an hour, before directing the kids to fun content and projects on and the RTÉ Player. While the one hour slot will range across the primary curriculum, we hope there will be lots of good maths content.

And then the children get their chance to take over, as RTÉ Home School Extra kicks off at 4.15pm where children can reconnect by uploading and posting video messages and content.

Tech Week

28th March to 3rd April

Due to school closures Tech Week Ireland are encouraging parents and students to get involved at home. Anyone can register as coordinators to the Tech Week 2020 Computational Thinking Challenge. You can expect different types of interactive problems ranging in difficulty and print a certificate at the end with your score!  

Daily Schedule

See Maths at Home for more

  • 8 am: Daily Targetboards open (see below)
  • 9 am: A maths Activity of the Day using household materials. Please share your children’s work using the hashtag #MathsAtHome and check out the hashtag to see other’s work and interact with them.
  • 12 pm: A Maths Challenge – this activity will have your family searching for mathematically interesting items and sharing them. Today is TRIANGLE TUESDAY 
  • 1 pm & 1:30 pm: A ‘Daily Maths Puzzle’ to develop flexibility in mathematics. The Licence plate game: There are licence for North and South  
  • 5pm: . Each day we will share an Afternoon Resource recommending websites, informative articles, webinars and resources that offer advice on how to engage students during the Coronavirus outbreak.  


Target Boards:Can your class get on the Leaderboard?

Target Boards are really popular during Maths Week and we are running them for the duration of school closures. Target Boards are a great fun way for your class to practice arithmetic. Even if you don't make the leaderboard it's still great fun. 
You can register for a class code and share the link with your class or with parents the code will work each day. It’s a great way to engage students and get their competitive streak working again! Players go to the Targetboard  schedule and click on the active board. 
We will publish the daily leaderboard at 3pm everyday on social media to show how the competition is going.
Follow us on social media each day for updates:
Facebook: @MathsWeek
Twitter: @mathsweek
Instagram: MathsIreland
LinkedIn: Maths Week Ireland
Get in touch, give feedback, why not share your ideas and resources?
Copyright © 2020 Maths Week Ireland Calmast. All rights reserved.

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