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Secondary Magazine - Issue 21: An idea for the classroom

Created on 16 October 2008 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 05 August 2013 by ncetm_administrator


Secondary Magazine Issue 21


An idea for the classroom

The Durham Maths Mysteries – “Putting a little mystery into mathematics”

You must have a look at these ‘Maths Mysteries’: originally downloadable from the Durham County Council website, they can now be found in the National STEM Centre eLibrary.

There are six mysteries covering:
- ratio and proportion
- directed numbers
- algebra
- properties of shape
- locus
- probability.

Each mystery consists of a series of a series of clue cards which pupils can use to solve a problem.

I was particularly drawn to the probability mystery which starts like this:
“Six friends enter a race. Use the following cards to determine who is most likely to win the race and with what probability. In what sequence would you expect the runners to finish the race?”

The clue cards are like this:

One of the things that I like about this mystery is that there isn’t a unique solution. Different groups of pupils can arrive at different solutions which could be equally correct if pupils can explain the reasons for their choice.

These activities would be helpful for you if you are trying to integrate the Key Processes into your scheme of work for Key Stage 3.
Why not try one and put a comment here to tell others how it went?

Download these mysteries.

 Click here to view this issue in PDF format
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05 August 2013 09:36
Thanks for the new link - we've updated this page.
04 August 2013 19:13
You seem to need a login and password to access the Durham site. However it appears that they are also available here: http://www.nationalstemcentre.org.uk/elibrary/collection/1160/durham-maths-mysteries
By DavidPayne
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08 November 2010 13:51
You should be able to click on the links now.
08 November 2010 12:21
These look great, but the link doesn't seem to be working, has anybody still got copies?
By ClaireSl
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11 November 2008 13:27
I love the look of this. I've used similar ideas in the past and the students have got a lot out of them. Thanks for sharing - I will be using these over the coming weeks.
By CatherineC
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