Home > #MTBoS, A Level, Teaching > (Tenuous) Christ-maths Links

Firstly, I should probably explain the photo: my year 13s (well, two of them) drew it for me because they said my room didn’t look Christmas-y enough!

They drew it after a special Christ-maths  lesson. We did a C(hristmas) 3 past paper lesson. They told me it was a tenuous link (it was – and I’ve just realised I missed a major opportunity it could have been a C(hristmaths) 3 (Ghost of Christ-maths) past paper lesson!)

This wasn’t the first tenuous link to Christmas I’d used, and it won’t be the last! I thought I’d share a few here:

With year 7 this week I’ve been doing prime factor decomposition using “Factor Christmas Trees” – I did an example using 64 and split it symmetrically. I did it in green and circled the primes in red, the class were amazed at how much it looked like a Christmas tree and didn’t call me up on the tenuous link!

In a similar vein I’ve looked at some Probability Christmas Tree Diagrams.

Today I was discussing Eulerian walks and Konigsberg, they had to find some Eulerian walks round France with start and end points. “So Santa doesn’t have to retrace his steps!”

My favourite though, is tomorrows lesson: “Christ-maths Newton Raphson” – what’s Christmas-y you ask? Well Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day! (nb He was born on Christmas Day according to the Julian Calendar in use in England at the time. We have now adjusted and there are people who think his birthday should be adjusted accordingly, as he would have celebrated his birthday on Christmas I think it’s still fair to use it. Although he’s so great he deserves two birthdays, so I celebrate both on his behalf.)

Other Christ-maths lessons I’ve done have had even less tenuous Christmas links. Christmas indices, Christmas Simultaneous Equations and Christmas Binomial Expansion were great lessons, but the pupils in question all called shenanigans on the fact that it was an entirely non-Christmas-y lesson where I had just added the word Christmas to the title!

If circles are coming up you could talk about mince pi s. For data you could do some mince pie charts. And don’t forget yule logs and exponentials!

Have you done any tenuous Christ-maths lessons?