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Investigating Special Numbers: TES Maths Resource of the Week 74

May 3, 2015 - TES, TES Resource of the Week (ROTW)

The following resource has been kindly shared on the TES Maths website. It is available to download for free by registering. And to access all the lovely Resource of the Week (ROTW) resources, just click here

What is it?
I absolutely love numbers. I can still remember being at school and learning about perfect numbers, and Fibonacci numbers. A highlight of my childhood that sticks very clearly in my memory is seeing geometrically why two consecutive triangle numbers add up to make a square number. I tried to tell my friends, but they were not all that interested. As you can imagine, I was a big hit with the ladies! Anyway… as a student I would have loved this activity, and now as a teacher I love it even more. Here we have 40 mini investigations / introductions to the fascinating world of numbers, each of which fits neatly onto a single A4 page. All the big names are here, and I few I had not heard of: Cunningham Chain and Bell Numbers, anybody?

How can it be used?
Activities like these are ideal to have up your sleeve for single lessons. We have a rule in our department that if you finish a particular topic area early, you do not go onto the next one until the specified time, and instead you can do rich tasks, enrichment, etc on a topic area of your choice. These investigations fit the bill perfectly for that job. I have found that even the most reluctant of students likes playing around with numbers, especially seeing as many of these investigations fall into that all-important “low barrier, high ceiling” category, so all students can make the early progress needed to motivate them. These could also work well as part of a Number Investigation week, or end of term project. And they are suitable for all ages and abilities. Amazing stuff!

Thank you for sharing!
Craig Barton

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