Maths Week Newsletter Vol 7.  11-05-20

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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another issue of Maths at Home newsletter. As usual we have loads of appropriate resources to help parents, teachers and pupils in these difficult times. There is also a lot going on that we want to tell you about. For instance, tomorrow is International Women in Mathematics Day.

It is also the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale and we have some interesting reading about how this famous woman used statistics to help change how hospitals are run. Her work promoting hygiene and medical statistics is echoed every day in our news during the Covid pandemic.

The 12th May is also the 200th anniversary of John Casey. 
Casey was a very important mathematician and textbook author from Limerick in the 19th Century. So 12 May is a red letter day for us, but the 13 is UK’s National Numeracy Day and there are lots of events online that we report on below.

Next week we will be focussing on Maths in Nature theme as it is the annual Bealtaine Living Earth Festival. Organised by Calmast (who bring you Maths Week) at Waterford Institute of Technology it is going online this year from 16 – 24 May and incorporates International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May with online events for all to join. So next week you can appreciate Nature on your Doorstep and learn about connections between maths and nature. Read down for all this and more….

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In this weeks Maths at Home Newsletter

Preview of Daily Maths Activities
What's On
Women in Maths Day
Florence Nightingale 200
John Casey 200
Bealtaine Living Earth
Daily Schedule
Teacher's Choice
Maths Week Ireland Daily Schedule

8am Targetboards open
9am Activity of the Day
12pm Maths Challenge
5pm Maths at Home info
7pm & 7:30pm Daily Maths Puzzle

See details for programmes here

Preview of Maths activities scheduled for this week:

This week our hands-on maths activities range from geometry to numeracy to logic and problem-solving puzzles that will have the whole family engaged! We would love to see how you recreate these rich mathematical resources using objects you have in your home.
Follow us on social media and share your creations.
All the details and instructions will go live on at 6pm the previous day.

Daily Maths Activities

We bring you a new maths activity of the day each morning on our Maths at Home Activity page. 
Today’s maths activity is a two-player game that will have participants thinking logically about where to place the digit cards – the player with the largest number will win the battle.
A Geometry Scavenger hunt is planned for Tuesday’s maths activity as the 12th of May marks the 200th birthday of Irelands most respected geometer, John Casey. Read more about Casey’s contributions to maths below.

Wednesday marks the UK’s Numeracy day and so we are sharing a great card came that will have participants practicing their numeracy skills of addition and subtraction.


Keep your mental maths ticking over with Thursday’s activity: “What is the question?” .In a twist of usual events, students will be given the answer to a maths problem and they will have to think of lots of different possibilities for what the question might be, using the basic operations. 


Recreate the popular TV game show from the comfort of your own home. This maths activity will have contestants using the available numbers and the four standard operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) to get as close as possible to the target number.

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?

Teacher's Choice

This week’s teacher’s choice is from Linda Murray from Ballincollig. Linda recommends IXL, a website which helps students practice maths online. If you would like to contribute here please email us at

This site is linked with the maths curriculum and is categorised in terms of class group and maths topic. It is a great tool for students to practice their maths skills and to measure their progress over time. Usually there is a fee for joining IXL but they are offering a 90 day free trail at the moment which will give parents and teachers plenty of material to see out the school term. 

Linda is teaching at the Irish school in Ballincollig, Cork: Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáin, Carraig an Earra, Baile an Chollaigh, Co. Chorca

If you would like to recommend a maths book or website then please email us at – We would love to hear from you!

What's on

12th May:

In this Covid-19 pandemic we celebrate the front-line workers, especially nurses. Florence Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing and on her 200th birthday on 12 May she will be widely celebrated. But her legacy is even greater.  We know the crucial importance of good hygiene and the importance of proper data in fighting the spread of the virus.  These are the very areas that Nightingale also pioneered and deserves to be remembered for. Read more here:

12th May:

John Casey (1820 – 1891) was born on this day (12 May) 200 years ago in Kilbeheny, Limerick. He was of humble origins (reputedly and became a national school teacher. He became interested in mathematics and corresponded with some leading mathematicians who persuaded him to enter Trinity College Dublin aged 38. He went on to become the most accomplished mathematician of the Catholic University of Ireland (now University College Dublin). He was one of the founders of the modern geometry of angles and circles and he devised a theorem generalising Ptolemy’s theorem, but his influence was far wider through his internationally popular textbooks on geometry. He married Catherine Ryan in 1847 and had four children, two boys and two girls. He was a lifelong Irish Speaker.

Read more about Casey in the latest That’s Maths column from Peter Lynch in the Irish Times

Colm Mulcahy who curates the Annals of Irish Mathematics is preparing a special May Maths Ireland Blog with new information on John Casey

12th May:

May 12 is International Women in Mathematics day, celebrating the achievements of women in Maths, and it aims to encourage girls and young women to become more interested in maths. May 12 was chosen as the date to celebrate Women in Maths day as it is the birthday of Maryam Mirzakhani.

Mirzakhnai was an Iranian mathematician, who worked in Stanford. In August 2014, she was awarded the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics. She became both the first, and to date, the only woman and the first Iranian to receive the award. International Women in Maths day is celebrated with events and activities all around the world. More information here:

Thanks to Zalafilms and the May12 Initiative, there is a free screening of “Secrets of the Surface” available through the following link
This film follows the life and mathematical work of Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman and the first Iranian to be honoured with a Fields Medal, mathematics highest prize.

13th May: 

National Numeracy Day (UK)        
British Numeracy Ambassadors Rachel Riley, Martin Lewis and Bobby Seagull, Maths Factor creator Carol Vorderman, author Lauren Child, comedian Luisa Omielan and the Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane are among those set to help the UK with its numeracy on 13 May. This year the festival will be held online which means everybody can get involved – check out the packed schedule of events and help celebrate the beauty of numbers


14 & 15th May:      

Fernando Blasco is talking about maths and games that rely on probability on Friday 15th May, 4pm Irish time (in Spanish).
Sign up here

The webinar is for a Panama audience in association with Fundapromat (Panamanian Foundation for the Promotion of Mathematics).They do a maths carnival, origami, maths jam, recreational maths and also celebration of mind and Julia Robinson festival 

They also have another webinar in English about the Rubik;s cube by speed cuber Sydney Weaver, 14 May, 1pm Panama time: 

From 16 – 24 May the Bealtaine Living Earth Festival will be running online. This will be the 16th year of the festival celebrating our Living Earth, its biodiversity and our natural heritage. The festival will take place online. Details are available on and

In this time of reduced movement, Calmast, the organisers hope to encourage people to appreciate “Nature on our Doorstep” and to discover extraordinary things in ordinary places. There will be activities and resources for people to appreciate more of what’s around us and daily online events featuring visitor centres that we can’t presently visit. 
Aligning with this, next week’s activities will focus on Maths and Nature.

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 to find Movie Titles with Numbers
  • 5pm: . Each day we will share an Afternoon Resource recommending websites, informative articles, webinars and resources that are useful for engaging students during the school closures. 
  • 7 pm & 7:30 pm: A ‘Daily Maths Puzzle’ to develop flexibility in mathematics. The Licence plate game: There are plates each day for North and South  

MoMath is pleased to announce a new program to keep your minds fresh!  Sign up now for Mind-Benders for the Quarantined! and each Sunday, MoMath will send you a challenging mathematical puzzle from the collection of our own puzzle master, Dr. Peter Winkler. 

On Tuesday, you'll receive a subtle hint; on Thursday, a serious push; on Saturday, the solution. 
And the next day, of course, a new puzzle.


Target Boards:
Can your class get on the Leaderboard?

Target Boards are proving to be quite popular with some schools during Lockdown. There have been over 13,000 answers submitted since the beginning of April .
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.

Our mailing address is:

Maths Week Ireland, Calmast, STEM Outreach Hub, 

Cork Road Campus, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford 

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