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100 Ideas for Teaching Mathematics.

100 Ideas for Teaching Mathematics Mike Ollerton Published by Continuum Books 117 pp., soft cover, ISBN 0-8264-8481-6 RRP $19.95

Although this book provides activities for mathematical classrooms, it is not a text book. Rather, it provides useful material for teachers of mathematics, especially those in their early years of teaching or in their training years. The author claims few of the ideas presented are his own. Most have been adapted from various publications or given to him by colleagues and others.

No answers appear in the book. This avoids limiting the focus on where an idea might lead. Not every student enjoys an exercise in thinking. Yet there is the occasional idea for these students too.

Illustrations are scarce, but some appear either as an aid to the written word or to the way in which results are to be tabulated.

The Contents pages indicate the book contains seven sections. Within each section are a number of ideas, each with a name and each with a "description". Section 1, "A number of number puzzles", has 26 ideas. For example, Idea 21 is "Take a strip of paper from number to algebra". When the idea is examined, a connecting link between algebraic tabulation, expressions using brackets, and solving equations is found; i.e.:
s s+2 4s+8 4s 2s 2s+5 [right arrow] [(s+2)x4-8)/2+5

[right arrow][(s+2)x4-8)/2+5=11. Find the value of s where s is the start number.

The other sections are:

2. Puzzles to NAG (Number, Algebra and Graphs) your students with (16 Ideas)

3. Puzzles to cause your students to shape up (24 Ideas)

4. Puzzles to see how your students measure up (8 Ideas)

5. A few beer MATS, some blue and a lot of imagination (10 Ideas)

6. SFGs, not perhaps as interesting as The BFG but nevertheless some giant-sized ideas for the classroom (8 Ideas)

7. Ideas for budding data handlers (8 Ideas).

Idea 100 is "Testing, Testing: Testing with a twist and ceding control: students writing the questions." Students have the final test paper a fortnight before the test to do the necessary revision. A "new" copy and "new" paper is distributed on the day. No indication of the results was given.

Ideas include simple addition, networks, scale factors, Fibonacci, tangrams, co-ordinates, circles and tangents, symmetry, graphing quadratics, probability, trigonometry, naming 2D shapes and more. No doubt many teachers will change or further develop these ideas to suit their classrooms.

In conclusion, the book is a good source of ideas and it is recommended that there be a copy available to all teachers of mathematics. There can then be a possibility that some teachers will trial these ideas for themselves.
COPYRIGHT 2007 The Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:McDonald, Margaret
Publication:Australian Mathematics Teacher
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 22, 2007
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Next Article:The Mathematics of Games and Gambling (2nd edition).

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