Maths at Home Newsletter Vol 9.  25-05-20

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Hello and welcome to another edition of the Maths at Home newsletter. Readers in the North are enjoying a holiday today, and next week it's the turn of those in the South. Secondary school students in the South are finishing up this week while secondary schools in the North and all primary schools will continue through June. With the cancellation of the Leaving Cert, A-levels and GCSE and Junior Cert exams we wonder if the glorious ‘exam weather’ will make its return over the coming weeks?

There is a lot of pressure on teachers and parents to ensure continuity of learning so every day we provide appropriate resources to help support the learning of maths at home.

Last week aligned to the Bealtaine Living Earth Festival we had the theme of maths and nature. These include good activities for the fine weather that bring maths outdoors.

You can catch up on all the activities we have released to date at

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Can you make the fish swim to the left by only moving 3 sticks?

We will be sharing more matchstick puzzle on Thursday, but you can start practicing these logic puzzles by following the link to our website here

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In this weeks Maths at Home Newsletter

Preview of Daily Maths Activities
What's On
Maths at Home Blog
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 the YES NO Game and will have participants develop their questioning and deduction skills as they communicate their understanding of shapes.  They must guess the shape by asking yes/no questions. How many questions will you use to guess the mystery shape?
Coin Puzzles: Jumping Bugs, frogs, and the E game. These puzzles are always so popular during the Maths in the City events during Maths Week and can be easily recreated using materials from around the house. These logic puzzles will have the whole family engaged

We will be encouraging everybody to get out and decorate their driveways with chalk. We will release several maths activities suited for all age groups from hopscotch for early learners and problem-solving mazes for the other students.


Matchstick Problems are a great activity to develop critical thinking and problem solving. Of course, matchsticks are not suitable for young children so swap them for other materials lying around the house. Will we guide students through the material, offering hints and solutions.


We have a great numeracy activity planned for Friday. Students will develop their number sense as they try reach a total of 20, by taking it in turns to encircle a number from 1 to 9 and adding these figures to the sum of the previous figures. They must try reach 20 themselves but also prevent their opponent from reaching 20.

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?

Maths at home Blog – Garden Addition:

With schools in Northern Ireland and the Republic not likely to reopen until September, parents and carers are set to continue the role of teacher and are responsible for their child’s education. Perhaps some parents are not comfortable with teaching maths to their child – methods may have changed since they were at school or perhaps, they were never comfortable with maths and as a result, avoid teaching the subject at home during lockdown.

On the Maths Week website, we will provide 5 ways that parents can easily teach maths in a meaningful way – away from the textbook and with a hands-on approach. Children will apply their basic maths knowledge to everyday household tasks. They may not know they are doing so but they will be thinking mathematically, make links with the maths curriculum and see the relevance of maths in their everyday world.
On the daily activity section on our website we have included lots of fun activities that will get children excited about maths and nature. By bringing maths into everyday experiences, like exploring in the garden, children can practice what they have learned in school and apply it in a meaningful way. These types of activities will deepen their understanding of mathematical concepts as well contribute positively to their wellbeing. It is also a great opportunity to develop problem-solving and reasoning skills.




By planting these seeds of mathematical thinking from an early age means that your child will be more likely to grow to love and appreciate the subject.
Negative attitudes towards maths can seriously impair progress and these activities are a fun, no-pressure way of promoting a positive attitude towards the subject (and keep young people occupied). Wherever possible, try to draw on the children’s interests. For example, if they love to play with Lego then be sure to try incorporate Lego into the maths learning whenever possible (measure, geometry, statistics, etc)

For more details and examples of incorporating maths into daily household tasks (kitchen, laundry, playtime, shopping) with your child, see

Teacher's Choice

Diane Murphy is a secondary school maths teacher currently working for CALMAST – STEM engagement hub in Waterford Institute of technology. She recommends the following maths book and website:

Alex Bellos – Adventures in numbers land
– this widely accessible book is a great resource to have in the maths classroom.  Bellos looks at the history of mathematics through a humorous lens and can make mathematics interesting even to the most unconvinced. A must have when looking to tell the story of maths to students. contains amazing material for the entire maths curriculum. There are lots of interactive maths courses which should be of interest to secondary school pupils for their own maths exploration. The content is provided slowly and includes interesting stories to keep viewers engaged. During the lockdown, all features are completely free to use, such as teacher and parent accounts that tracks students’ progress on individual courses or chapters. There are lots of recreational maths options available on the site too. This site is constantly growing and developing and is on course to become the textbook of the future!

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

May 25th – 28th

The Pint of Science Ireland festival has been postponed, while that means no science in pubs, the festival has a selection of online events running from May 25th to 28th. With top scientists chatting about their research in the fields of psychology, tech, space and planet earth, there is something to suit everyone's tastes and best of all they are all free. Check out their website for all the details on tickets and times.

June 3rd

Mo math, the national museum of mathematics in the USA, is an award-winning museum that highlights the role of maths in the world around us. They present dynamic galleries and programs that are designed to stimulate inquiry, spark curiosity, and reveal the wonders of maths. As the museum is closed due to the current public health situation they have curated a full menu of online events and student sessions at Register for next weeks events:
Wed, June 3 Free Math Encounters — Online: “Game on!  The Mathematics of Game Shows” with Paul Dreyer
Thu, June 4 Free Ask a Mathematician — Anything! with Alex Kontorovich
Fri, June 19 Free Family Fridays: “Engineering with Paper” with Godwyn Morris
25th May =>

The PDST Maths team has a wide range of resources for secondary school pupils which are being updated daily. They have picked materials form and added in some videos and materials from other sites to support students in their learning. Check out this link to see all the material that has been released to date:

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  

Maths in the Media


Maths in the Media
The Mary Mulvihill Award was won by maths student James Hayes from NUI Galway. It is the first time a student from a college outside of Dublin has won the €2000 top prize.
The science media competition is for third level students and commemorates the legacy of science journalist and author Mary Mulvihill. James’s entry entitled “Cabra Scientific Banksy: The Story of William Rowan Hamilton and Quaternions” is a biographical essay about Irish mathematician Hamilton’s discovery of quaternions, on the banks of the Royal Canal in Dublin on October 16, 1843. Hayes focuses on the “flash of genius” that resulted in Hamilton becoming a graffiti artist akin to Banksy and carving the all-important equation onto the stones of Broombridge. Quaternions now play a fundamental role in space navigation, special effects in movies, computer games and animation, physics, engineering and many other areas

James Hayes, NUIG is the youngest ever winner of the Mary Mulvihill Award (photo credit:

John Hayes, Hamilton Essay:

Trinity maths student Aoife Kearins was highly commended for her essay entitled “Sir George Gabriel Stokes: How a Childhood at Ireland’s Coast Became a Wave of Inspiration For Ireland’s Greatest Scientist”. Aoife, who is from Skreen, Co Sligo, argues that a sense of place is as important for the development of scientists as it is for artists. She writes: “The time he spent [in Skreen] was short, but its influence on him and his research was long-reaching, with his childhood activities of walking by and bathing in the sea being credited for first piquing Stokes’s interest in ocean waves, which he would go on to write papers about.”

Waves crashing on the shore at Dunmoran Strand
(photo credit, Aoife Kearins)

Aoife Kearins, Stokes Essay:
Monday 25 May 2020
Tune into BBC 2 at 9 pm tonight to catch the second episode of Monkman and Seagull’s Genuis Adventures as they cover the great scientific discoveries from the period from 1800 to 1850.

Photo courtesy of Eric Monkman on Twitter


We continue with our daily Targetboards. These are an excellent way to practice arithmetic. You can get one registration code and share with your class, so all their scores add up. We have published 82 boards for Maths at Home, each weekday, and pupils have submitted valid 26,747 answers to date.

There are junior and senior boards and a daily and overall leaderboard.


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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Maths Week Ireland, Calmast, STEM Outreach Hub, 

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