Browsing category basic maths skills

Maths: You’ve got it all wrong

A guest post, today, from someone who's almost as angry as the Mathematical Ninja. Bletchley Park's Education Officer Tom Briggs is mad as hell, and he's not going to take it any more. I'm not a maths teacher any more1 but I still find myself having those same old conversations...

Read More

When BIDMAS goes bad

A reader asks: "When you're working out an expression, why do you sometimes divide after you multiply, when the BIDMAS rules say D comes before M?" This is exactly the reason I don't like BIDMAS - because it suggests something that simply isn't true (that division is before multiplication and

Read More

When BIDMAS goes bad

A reader asks: "When you're working out an expression, why do you sometimes divide after you multiply, when the BIDMAS rules say D comes before M?" This is exactly the reason I don't like BIDMAS - because it suggests something that simply isn't true (that division is before multiplication and

Read More

Basic maths skills: the ice cream portion

As you might know (if you've spotted the big yellow bar above), I'm training for the Berlin Marathon in memory of my grandmother (you can support me - and the Alzheimer's Society - by sponsoring me here). One of the perks of marathon training is that I get to eat

Read More

Calculator on order: basic maths and orders of magnitude

It's a sunny Saturday1, and two maths items have caught my eye. Firstly, a bit of a cock-up on the sums front from Andover Tesco (via ): Is Andover @uktesco onto the next best thing to gold? Blueberries! at £8000/kg @whichconvo @moneysavingexp E.Privett twitter.com/ReevesHall/sta… — Andrew Reeves-Hall (@ReevesHall) June 7,

Read More

Basic Maths Skills: How Estimating Saved Me Nearly $30

It wasn't a big grocery run - in those days, I was a single bloke, living alone; a loaf of bread, a frozen pizza, a jar of coffee... "Dinner," as I called it. Oh and a few Lindt balls. You know them - the little chocolate balls you get at

Read More

Basic Maths Skills: Listening to the budget (big numbers)

I caught a bit of the Chancellor's budget speech recently. I try to avoid doing silly things like that, it just makes me angry. However, I was interested to find I was hearing big numbers bandied about without really knowing what was big in the context of a national budget.

Read More

QTS Skills: Working out a percentage of a number

My colleague Adrian has submitted a guest post in the form of a video explaining how to answer a typical QTS mental arithmetic question on percentages. Adrian? Take it away. Or rather, divide it and multiply it!

Read More

Basic Maths Skills: The Falklands Islands, Percentages and Bounds

I have no particular view on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. Or rather, I get so muddled up between my distaste for colonialism and the right of self-determination that I don't know what to think. In any case, I was interested by the recent referendum results in which the

Read More

Sign up for the Sum Comfort newsletter and get a free e-book of mathematical quotations.

No spam ever, obviously.

Where do you teach?

I teach in my home in Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth.

It's a 15-minute walk from Weymouth station, and it's on bus routes 3, 8 and X53. On-road parking is available nearby.

On twitter