Maths Week Newsletter Vol 4 20-04-20

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A new term starts and most pupils are learning at home, and we resume our programme for home learning. These activities are selected to be suitable for the home learning environment. We hope that our 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

Preview of Daily Maths Activities
John Horton Conway a Magical Mathematician 
Maths Learning Resources
What's On
Daily Schedule
Our circulation list has grown to over 9,000 subscribers
We have sent 4 weekly newsletters (with a break for Easter). 
We now have 6,188 followers on twitter and in last 28 days we have 283,000 impressions
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
Preview of Maths activities scheduled for this week:
This week we are providing another busy schedule of maths enrichment activities and challenges for parents and teachers that will help support learning in the home.
These engaging maths tasks develop student’s problem-solving and maths proficiency in a playful and meaningful way. The resources can be recreated at home using everyday household objects. All the details and instructions will go live on at 6pm the previous day. See here for Activity of the Day
Today’s activity is called Monster Calculation. It is a 2-player maths game that will develop mental arithmetic in primary school children. The object of the game is to reach 20 points by adding a series of cards drawn randomly out of a bag but watch out for the monster cards because they will wipe you out!
Tuesday’s activity is one that will develop maths proficiency in older primary school children, in particular the addition of two-digit numbers. ‘Close call’ is a 2-player game that will have participants practicing their problem-solving skills as they must really think about which cards to choose and what numbers to make with them
With good weather due for later in the week we have fun maths activities to do in the garden. This type of activity will deepen students’ understanding of mathematical concepts as well contribute positively to their wellbeing. On Wednesday we have a Maths and Nature Scavenger Hunt that will have young primary school children collecting, sorting, comparing and counting.
On Thursday children 10 years and older can practice what they have learned in school and apply it in a meaningful way as they investigate the dimensions of the garden. This activity will see children using problem solving strategies to create a scaled map of their garden.
On Friday we’ll have people of all ages scribbling and doodling all day as they try to complete the dastardly diagrams – drawing shapes without lifting you pen of the page. This is one of the activities popular with maths circles
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?

John Horton Conway

One of the world’s leading mathematicians John Conway died on 11 April suffering from Covid-19. He is most famous for creating the Game of Life a computer game in which the player inputs a starting arrangement on a grid of cells. The computer then follows simple rules (algorithms) and the system evolves. Conway himself later professed to hate the Game of Life because it overshadowed his more important mathematical work, however it became hugely popular in computing. The breadth and depth of Conway’s work was truly astounding, but he was always fascinated by games and recreational mathematics

Colm Mulcahy and John Conway at Moves Conference in 2017

John Horton Conway was born on Dec. 26, 1937, in Liverpool, England. He studied maths in Cambridge and stayed on as an academic until 1986 when he moved to Princeton, USA as the John Von Neumann Chair of Mathematics. He died in New Jersey, aged 82.
Conway inspired many young people to study mathematics and had a celebrity standing among mathematicians. He co-authored the book Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays with Elwyn Berlekamp and Richard Guy. All three passed away in the space of a year and two days. Elwyn Berlekamp was 78, Richard Guy was 103, all three still active in maths and in promoting maths.
There are numerous online tributes that will be of interest to mathematicians and also accessible to young people interested in maths. We would recommend:

New York Times obituary by his biographer Siobhan Roberts

Numberphile Tribute -  Contributions by those who knew him and features with Conway himself. Including popular Maths Week Presenter Colm Mulcahy (pictured above)

Colin Wright another Maths Week regular gives his personal reminiscences here.
Go to

Daily Maths Activities

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

Maths Learning Resources


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

BBC Bitesize are running classes every day while the schools are out. Each weekday learners from the age of 5 up to 14 years can avail of fun-packed shows full of learning and inspiration.

The latest TV channel to be broadcasting virtual lessons is TG4. “Cúla4 ar Scoil” is an educational resource that will cater for the thousands of students who attend Irish speaking schools in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Everyday at 10 am students can tune in and practice their maths skills while picking up a cúpla focal in the process.

Other Resources

 NI4kids in their latest edition offers some advice on learning together at home.

The UCD Maths people have produced online resources for primary school called GeataMata 

Popular Maths Week presenter Douglas Buchanan and author of Maths Outside the Textbook (kindly made available to you through our monthly Newsletter) has produced another free puzzle booklet of maths activities to entertain and educate during the current restrictions. 

If you have resources you would like to share , please contact us on

What's on

The IMTA Cork branch are organising an online workshop on Remote Teaching for all its members on Tuesday April 21st at 7pm. Those wishing to attend should email:, @IMTACorkBranch

With schools and colleges closed SciFest@College 2020  cant take place in person, so SciFest@College 2020  has moved online.
The Closing date for entry is May 14th
Full details at:.

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
  • 1 pm & 1:30 pm: A ‘Daily Maths Puzzle’ to develop flexibility in mathematics. The Licence plate game: There are plates each day for North and South  
  • 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. 


Target Boards:Can your class get on the Leaderboard?

We took a break over Easter and now they're back. 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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Maths Week Ireland, Calmast, STEM Outreach Hub, 

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