Maths at Home Weekly Newsletter Vol 10.  02-06-20

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10th and Final Edition Maths at Home Weekly Newsletter

The exam weather is with us and some teachers are wrapping up a very different school year. Others have another month to go and still the challenge of delivering remotely. This will be our last weekly newsletter. We are glad to have been with you during this time but we have to change our focus. We have now delivered 10 weekly newsletters and 44 daily activities. Please see the message below from Eoin Gill, Maths Week Coordinator. You can still see those 44 daily Maths-at-Home activities and lots more resources on our webseite.  

Our Maths at Home Contribution
During the schools closures we have delivered
  • 44 daily Maths at Home activities with 70,726 views
  • plus daily challenge and daily recommended resource
  • 90 Targetboards, with over 26,000 valid answers
  • 144 24/Licence Plate puzzles
  • 327 tweets to 6289 followers earning 599,000 impressions
  • 10 weekly Newsletters to 8,500 subscribers
A message from Eoin Gill, Maths Week coordinator
You can sit on a one legged stool but most people wouldn’t for long. A two-legged stool is better but it’s still not easy. A three-legged stool will stand up on its own and provides a good foundation. Effective teaching and learning needs three legs: good teaching, good curriculum and good attitude. It’s possible to survive on just one, but difficult to thrive. The leg that traditionally received the least attention is attitude. If a learner has a poor attitude to a subject, it is unlikely they will succeed. That’s why Maths Week was established, to promote positive attitudes towards maths. Negative attitudes can arise from believing that a subject has no relevance or importance to the learner, is unpopular with those they look up to, or sadly, a belief that they themselves haven’t the aptitude for the subject. Maths Week has sought to promote the importance of maths, its importance in the world and for careers and also to counter the belief in an innate inability in maths.  We are proud to have led the way and there are lots of groups that now think like us; that’s why Maths Week has grown into a big partnership delivering the biggest maths festival in the world and engaging 400,000 across the island last year.
When the Covid-19 schools closures were announced, we decided to divert all our resources into delivery of a programme to support home learning. Teachers and parents faced, and still face, enormous challenges in trying to support learning. We determined that we might be useful if we presented a daily activity that parents would be able to manage in the home. We are aware that in many cases a parent must manage children of different ages and their other duties therefore we chose activities that different age children could do together and also have meaningful learning. Our activities emphasise learning through play, but these activities all had extensions for more enthusiastic or advanced pupils. We also presented a daily challenge, daily targetboard, daily puzzle and recommended website. Many families face issues with access to technology. Our activities can be read from a phone, tablet or pc and implemented with household items. There is no need to be online for longer or to stay on the tablet/phone/pc. We have printables but templates can also be drawn out. 
I am incredibly proud of our team, Diane Murphy, Ben Dolan, Cordula Weiss and Sheila Donegan who responded so quickly and willingly and then worked hard and long hours to develop and deliver this programme.
In the meantime we will resume working on Maths Week 2020, but we will sill also resume our monthly newsetter. We will also be providing new problem solving skills activity through our website, beginning next week. Maths Week 2020 will go ahead 10 - 18 October. We are planning for a traditional Maths Week, but also making contingency for online delivery in case of continued school disruption. Please put it in your plans fro the next school year.
Go to

In this weeks Maths at Home Newsletter

Message from Eoin Gill Maths Week Ireland Coordinator
Teacher's Choice
Book Choice
What's On
Heaventree of Stars and DIAS events
Julia Robinson Math Festival Resources and webinar
Museum of Maths activities
Mary Mulvihill Award


Daily Maths Activities

We have finished the daily maths at home activity but you can see them all - over 40-   Maths at Home Activity page. 
Follow us on social media 
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

Jill Fowler is a teacher at Mark Hall Academy, Essex, England and shares with us the following:

The resource I find great to develop students and teachers is

This website is full of fantastic free courses for CPD teaching and non teaching related. Recently I have competed Maths subject knowledge on fractions decimals and percentages. This gave me great ideas for teaching these topics to lower ability students. Generally I do the course, gather the resources and then use these in my teaching, however I have previously worked with a small group to complete a maths course on the computer and the students really enjoyed it as they watched the videos and completed the work sheets, learning from someone other than me!

I highly recommend future learn for teachers, educators and parents as a resource for furthering knowledge, gaining resources and coming up with new methodologies.

Book Choice

Mathematical Brainteasers with Surprising Solutions Paperback – 19 Mar. 2020

Owen O'Shea from Cobh, Co Cork proves that math can be serious fun! If you like any kind of game at all, you'll enjoy the amazing mathematical brainteasers in this entertaining book. No special mathematics training is needed. With an emphasis on puzzling word problems with surprising solutions, the author presents his mathematical hurdles in order of increasing difficulty. Many appear deceptively simple, such as: How many quarter-inch marks are on an unusual sixteen-inch ruler? Or: If the cost of a bottle and a cork is $1.10 and the bottle costs $1.00 more than the cork, how much did the bottle alone cost? Check the answers before you decide that these are too easy. You may be surprised. Novices may want to begin with some of the teasers in the first "easy" section. More experienced math-heads may want to test their wits with the "challenging" or even the "difficult" sections (some are fiendishly difficult).  
Available June 9th on amazon but please support your local bookshop, you want it there when the restrictions end, don't you?
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

9 June Heaventree of Stars
“The clock is worked by an electric wire from Dunsink. Must go out there….”
Heaventree of Stars is a now annual Bloomsday celebration of astronomy, maths, music and science in Ulysses. Normally a summer’s evening of readings, discussions and music in the original meridian room of the observatory, it will happen online on June 9th. Dunsink is now part of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) which celebrates its 80th birthday on 19 June.
Contributors will include Prof. Luke Drury and Prof Peter Gallagher (DIAS), Eoin Gill (Maths Week Ireland), Des Gunning, with songs from Ulysses from the stars of the show, Darina Gallagher and Sinead Murphy who have performed around the world with their Songs of Joyce.
DIAS are also running a series of “Lockdown Lectures”

4 June “Can we get into extra dimensions?”

8 June “The thoughts of Hamilton and Schrödinger that stood the test of time”

19 June DIAS 80th Birthday
John Horton Conway 
If you have been reading our newsletters and tweets over the past 6 weeks, you'll know that we had a great deal of admiration for JHC. 
Mathematician John Horton Conway died of COVID-19 on April 11, 2020. On April 25th, the Bay Area Artists and Mathematicians (BAAM!) hosted an informal Zoom session to share memories of Conway. Though a private, local event, word quickly spread, and participants included Donald Knuth, Roger Penrose, Conway’s biographer Siobhan Roberts, his wife Diana Conway, Scott Kim, Rudy Rucker, Doris Schattschneider, Marjorie Senechal, and many others.
The session was saved for posterity, and edited by Video Free America under the direction of Gathering 4 Gardner chair Nancy Blachman. G4G now gladly shares this unique event with the world.

To view the video of this remembrance, click here or enter into your browser the URL

Julia Robinson Math Festival

Our friends at the Julia Robinson Math Festival movement in the US do great work worldwide and produce great activities. They are dedicated to the same principals as us in making maths fun, challenging, team oriented and accessible. JRMF CEO Dr Mark Saul has presented at Maths Week 2018 & 2019 and we have seen at first hand how dedicated they are and how effective their materials are. You can explore their activities on theor website


You can also see some of the resources they have prepared for teh covid lockdown

1.     Nuggets for Sale (Bocados a la Venta  - Spanish) - May 28, 2020 - Nuggets for Sale App

2.     Squareland (Cuadrilandia - Spanish) - May 21, 2020

3.     Digit Sums (Sumas de Dígitos - Spanish) - May 14, 2020

4.     Color Triangles (Triángulos de Colores - Spanish) - May 7, 2020 - Color Triangles App

5.     Blue Dot Solitaire (Solitario de Puntos - Spanish) - April 30, 2020 - Blue Dot Solitaire App

6.     Skyscrapers (Rascacielos - Spanish) - Skyscrapers (younger) - Rascacielos (menores) - April 23, 2020 - Skyscraper App

7.     Wolves and Sheep  (Lobos y Ovejas - Spanish)- April 16, 2020 - Wolves and Sheep App

8.     Frogs and Toads (Ranas y Sapos - Spanish) - April 9, 2020

9.     Lightbulbs (Bombillas - Spanish) - April 2, 2020

10.  Tower of Hanoi (La Torre de Hanói - Spanish) - March 26, 2020

Momath, 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:

3 June Calling all game show enthusiasts!
 Many game shows have a rich mathematical foundation, drawing on topics in probability, game theory, and decision theory.  Join Paul Dreyer, President of the American Regions Mathematics League, in an exploration of the mathematics behind a number of shows on which he worked, including The Wall, Million Second Quiz, and Spin the Wheel.  Some participants will have opportunities to win prizes, because what good is a game show without prizes?
Special introduction by George Reuter, President of the NY State Math League, Lecturer at SUNY Geneseo, and Regional Co-Director of the NYS Master Teacher Program.
Registration is free.  Choose from two online sessions:
Sign up for Wednesday, June 3, 4:00pm EDT (New York) 
Sign up for Wednesday, June 3, 7:00pm EDT (New York) 

4 June Ask a Mathematician
How do you add fractions?  What is a Taylor series?  How can I keep learning math after college?  Have you ever wanted to ask a mathematician something, maybe about a curious new idea you have, or a concept you’d like to understand better?  Don’t know whom to ask?  Here’s your chance to join MoMath’s Dean of Academic Content and Rutgers Math Professor Alex Kontorovich for a free one-hour session on Thursday, June 4, at 4:00 pm EDT (New York).

Come with your own questions, or just join to listen in.  No question is too basic (although plenty may be too hard!).  This event is free, but registration is required and space is limited. 

Learn more and register at

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

MoMath Weekly puzzles
Enjoying Mind-Benders for the Quarantined
Tag @MoMath1 on social media and tell your friends to sign up at!

Museum of Maths and many other non-profit groups have lost their visitor and event income streams and need donations or perhaps purchase advance tickets etc. 
Support MoMath at

The PDST team is running a series of STEM Seminars focusing on Maths at Home for primary schools. 
See for their live webinars. Tomorrow will focus on STEM and play
You must register for the live webinar, but recordings are made available at teh same url.

If you want activities that promote Maths and Play you can also find loads at our Maths at Home section on the MathsWeek website.

2-3 October Feilte

The organisers of FÉILTE Teachers Conference inform us that it will take place in an online format this year. 

"Because of the public health advice from NPHET in relation to social distancing measures, we are unable to hold FÉILTE in its typical physical format, but we have secured an excellent platform for this online festival experience.The platform can hold an exhibition space for showcases, rooms for TeachMeet, and the capacity to host live and pre-recorded workshops, a keynote address with Mary Robinson and a live panel discussion on the main stage. Think of a television production, rather than a Zoom meeting for this event!"

The Maths Week Team will be there (online) to share ideas and resources with you. 

In Case you missed it last week....

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
Readers in Northern Ireland will be able to watch back the three episodes of Monkman and Seagull’s Genuis Adventures as they cover the great scientific discoveries from the period from 1800's 

Photo courtesy of Eric Monkman on Twitter


We continue with our daily Targetboards. (apologies to those disappointed yesterday as there was a delay in getting them loaded). 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 90 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?
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