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World Book Day and Teacher Tapp

March 11, 2019 Leave a comment

Have you downloaded the teacher tapp app yet? Ive had it a long time now and I very much enjoy it. It asks you 3 questions a day and gives you a suggestion for a blog post to read as well as a run down of the previous days answers. Usually they are pretty goid and give you food for thought. I’ve discovered nee blogs through it and revisited dome blogs and blog posts ive seen before.

On a monday, however, instead of a link to a blog you get a lovely post written by teacher tapp that analyses the data for the previous week. You see how questions are answered by subject, by phase, by geographical location and many other factors where there are interesting differences.

This week some of the questions related to World Book Day. One of the pieces of information that I found interesting was that students in poorer areas are more likely to be asked to dress up for world book day. The teacher tapp post seemed to think this was counter intuitive as the families at these schools would have less money to create outfits etc, and I can see that logic. However, I see another side.

1 in 8 children from disadvantaged backgrounds don’t own a book of their own. Many more have few books of their own. Libraries are closing in droves and school libraries appear to be being replaced by “learning centres” that put a higher emphasis on new technologies than books. This suggests that many of these children who have no books of their own have little access to books at all. I’m sure that children from disadvantaged area’s are far less likely to read for fun, due to the lack of access to books. There are many reports that reading for fun increases the chance of success and it definitely increases literacy which is key to learning pretty much any subject.

I feel that this means world book day is much more important in deprived areas than in the more affluent areas. The about us section on the world book day website states that the charity is on a mission to give every child a book of their own, lots of children in deprived area’s dont have one, buti would be willing to wager that the vast majority of chikdren in affluent area’s do. World book day gives all children a voucher they can exchange for a book, which in itself is great, but its also a great opportunity to promote reading for fun. Which is something i feel we all shoukd be promoting all the time.

Books

March 5, 2015 4 comments

It’s world book day today, and despite dressing up as Rudy Baylor from “The Rainmaker” (you know, suit, shirt, tie etc) my pupils didn’t believe I was dressed up! I have been working on a pupil facing site, and wanted to include a page on suggested further reading, so far I have:

You all have textbooks to help with your course, and revision guides. If you want any further books/websites to specifically help with your course, try the revision page.

This page is a selection of books that are about maths, but not specifically related to the course. The maths in them should be accessible to A level maths students and they will help deepen your knowledge of maths.

For those of you considering further study they may be particularly helpful in shaping the direction you go in, and may provide excellent fodder for UCAS statements and university interview discussions.

These books are available from all good bookshops, we are looking at getting some into the library, and Mr Cavadino has a few of them which I’m sure he’ll lend you if you ask nicely.

Fermat’s Last Theorem – Simon Singh

This is Mr Cavadino’s favourite book. It is based around an enigma known as Fermat’s Last Theorem. Fermat was an amateur mathematician, but a brilliant one. He did Maths for the live of it and he came up with, proved and solved many great mathematical theorems and puzzles. When he died he left a number of theorems unproven. Slowly as the years progressed mathematicians proved them all, except one. His last theorem. One he posed with a note “I have a truly marvellous proof that this margin is too narrow to contain”. In the book, Simon Singh looks at the evolution of maths, and how this amazing theorem drove so many people to make so many amazing discoveries. If you only read one maths book in your life, make it this one.

The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets – Simon Singh

Have you ever watched an episode of The Simpsons, or its sister show Futurama, and noticed a maths reference? Well so did the author. It turns out it’s not just a coincidence, but that the writing team are all mathematicians! For years they’ve been sneaking mathematics into the world’s most popular cartoon. The book looks at the maths they’ve included, why they’ve included it and how it relates to the episodes it’s in. If you like maths, and the Simpsons, then this book is for you.

The Code Book – Simon Singh

Another classic from the pen of Simon Singh. This one looks at the evolution of cryptography and cryptanalysis over the millennia and includes some fascinating accounts of where codes and encryption have been used throughout history. If you feel you may be interested at pursuing this as a career, or just have a passing interest in it, then make sure you read the book!

From Here to Infinity – Ian Stewart

Ian Stewart is a Professor of Mathematics and has written many fantastic maths books. This one is a particularly good one for learners who are interested in picking Maths at university. The book tracks the evolution of mathematics and gives a great introduction to many of the mathematical topics that will be covered on the course. The maths in this one does get quite heavy, and there may be a coupe of points where you can’t follow it. This shouldn’t matter as you should all be able to follow the majority of it and if you do read it and want to discuss any of it then mention it to your teacher. The variation of topics included in the books gives a good start point to future mathematicians who are unsure which areas of maths they would like to study.

Music of the Primes – Marcus Du Sautoy

Marcus Du Sautoy is a another Professor of Mathematics and he has also written many great maths books. This one is based around unsolved problems in Maths. He says the reason he wrote it was that when Fermat’s Last Theorem was getting a lot of press the non-maths world seemed to be of the feeling that when it was solved that was it, we had “done” maths. This is obviously not the case, as maths is infinite, and he uses this book to explore some of the big unsolved problems of the subject.

I am also going to include more books by Marcus Du Sautoy, some Rob Eastaway ones and Tony Crilly’s “How big is infinity”, then add books as I read them, but I’d love feedback on it and I’d love suggestions on what other books to include.

Categories: Books, Maths Tags: ,

The Code Book – A Book Review

March 4, 2015 Leave a comment

It may not surprise you to discover that Simon Singh (@SLSingh) is one of my favourite authors. I have previously reviewed “The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets“, and “Fermat’s Last Theorem“, the latter of which is still my favourite ever book.

The Code Book” came out quite a while ago, but I’ve only just read it, and as with Simon’s other books I was hooked pretty much straight away. The narrative Simon weaves throughout the ages is amazing. Seamlessly switching between the hardcore maths of the subject and the historic events that drove the discoveries. What did Mary Queen of Scots use codes for? What about Julius Caeser? How brilliant was Alan Turing?

I was lost I’m a world of espionage, war strategies and amazement at how cryptographers (code makers) and cryptanalysists (code breakers) managed to keep in out doing each other, whether the driver was military power or purely academic.

The book covers some heavy maths, but it is broken down into terms that anyone with a high school education should be able to follow. At times I felt it was broken down a bit too much, but I realise I gave quite a strong mathematical background, and the subject of codes may appeal to people who don’t.

This book is a great read, a must read for anyone with the slightest interest in codes, which is probably a growing number in tge wake of the imitation game! I think if I’d read it as a teenager I may have ended up in cryptanalysis! There is also a version of the book aimed  at young adults.

From Here to Infinity, Ian Stewart – A Book Review

September 16, 2014 2 comments

I finished this book a while ago, but haven’t got round to reviewing it yet, so thought I would jot down my thoughts belatedly.

Ian Stewart is an author whom I first discovered through Terry Pratchett. Together (and with Jack Cohen) they penned the “Science of the Discworld” series of books which use stories based on the Discworld to explain the science of our own world an universe, if you haven’t read them, I would certainly advise you do! I enjoyed them, and so I thought I would enjoy this one too.

From here to eternity had me hooked from the opening salvo, a paragraph so powerful it made me stop and write this blog post. Here is an abridged version:

“One of the biggest problems of mathematics is to explain to everyone what it is all about. The technical trappings of the subject, it’s symbolism and formality, it’s baffling terminology, it’s apparent delight in lengthy calculations: these tend to obscure its real nature. A musician would be horrified if his art were summed up as ‘a lot of tadpoles drawn on a row of lines.’….. The symbolism of maths is merely its coded form, not its substance…. Mathematics is not about symbols and calculations, these are tools of the trade….  Mathematics is about ideas…. It is about how ideas relate to each other….understanding why an answer is possible…. good mathematics has an air of economy and an element of surprise. But above all, it had significance.” (Ian Stewart)

I was nodding along from the get go and my mind was entirely hooked from the get go. Stewart uses humour and anecdotes to weave an engaging tale around some really heavy mathematics, and all the elements add up to a thoroughly enjoyable book.

While reading it I found my love of group theory, graph theory and knot theory rekindled. The booked took a surface view of the topics and I found these tasters made me yearn for more. There were also area’s I knew little about, such as non-euclidean geometry, which I now have the desire to research further.

The book is exciting, and informative and I would urge anyone with an interest in maths to give it a read. Especially those embarking on a degree in maths who don’t yet know the area’s they want to investigate, it will give them a great taster.

Categories: Maths Tags: , ,

A maths teacher’s library

July 16, 2014 8 comments

Over the weekend a colleague, Mark Miller (@GoldfishbowlMM) mentioned that he was planning a post entitled “An English Teacher’s Library” which charted five books he feels are essential for any English teacher to own. He suggested I did one for maths and,we could synchronise. The brief “If you could recommend 5 books that would improve the teaching of maths, what would they be? Here it is:

It’s tricky, to decide on the five books I would advise maths teachers to buy. Should they be maths books? Books on education? Resource based books? Having thought long and hard, I have come up with this list:

Visible Learning for Teachers – John Hattie

This is a book that I have found extremely helpful both in improving my teaching and in my studies. I first heard about it through reading other people’s blogs, I saw many references to Hattie from lots if people so I investigated and the book is superb. It’s not maths specific, so I would advise any teacher to pick up a copy. In the book Hattie looks at the wealth of literature that exist on education and uses it to create a book that has plenty of great advice we can all learn from.

Fermat’s Last Theorem – Simon Singh

Regular readers of this blog will know already how I feel about this book, it’s my favourite if all time. It’s a book that charts the development of maths over the course of history and includes some excellent anecdotes about the mathematicians involved. Why do I think maths teachers should have it? There are tons of reasons! Firstly, pure enjoyment. If you are a fan of maths you will love the book. Secondly, it may widen your subject knowledge (certainly will first most maths teachers) and give you stories about the development if maths and the mathematicians you can share with your classes. Thirdly, you can lend it to students and see their love of maths grow.

Mathematical Team Games– Vivien Lucas

This one is a book of resources. I discovered them on my PGCE year and have loved them ever since. They are tasks that give written instructions and students need to follow them, work out what maths to use and solve the puzzles. I have enjoyed doing the puzzles and think they are excellent for pupils, especially for revision purposes in the build up to exams. The title suggests they are to be tackled in teams, but they work well as individual activities too. Certainly beneficial for maths teachers to have a copy!

Towards Dialogic Teaching, Rethinking Classroom Talk– Robin Alexander

This is another book which isn’t entirely maths based. I happened across it while researching a masters assignment on classroom talk and it revolutionised the way I approach talk in lessons. Alexander has spent a lot of time researching the area and makes a lot of fantastic points. A worthwhile purchase for any teacher.

Nix the Tricks – Tina Cardone

This is an awesome book, which is also freely available ebook, that all maths teachers should read. I have listed Tina Cardone as author as she put it all together, but in reality she is one of many many contributors. The book looks at the tricks employed by somepeople in the learning of mathematics, and the dangers that they can have in causing misconceptions to arise. I only recently discovered this document, when I wrote this piece on the problem with BIDMAS, but only have thoroughly enjoyed it and hope it goes some way to eradicating these problems that arise when people choose to teach the tricks over the underlying concepts involved. For my other post on this see here

These are five books I feel would improve maths teaching. I haven’t read every book there is on maths, or teaching, yet. I could have named a yon more that would fit! There are no doubt tons more I have yet to read, so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them and add them to my “to read” list.

Nix the Tricks – A Book Review

July 15, 2014 3 comments

A little while ago I wrote a piece around BIDMAS and the problems it can cause just teaching mnemonics without bothering to fully explain the underlying concepts. It was borne of the frustration of many conversations along the lines of

“Sir, you’ve got that wrong 9 – 3 + 2 is 4 because you do addition first.” 

“No, addition and subtraction are inverse operations, they are of the same order you we perform them left to right.”

“No, Mr so and so taught me that you always follow BIDMAS”

“AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH”

Someone responded to my post with a tweet which linked to “Nix The Tricks“, which is freely available as an ebook, and I downloaded and read it.

The book itself is great, it is a collaborative effort by many maths teachers who share my frustration with the problems that teaching this sort of “trick”, rather than deeper understanding, can cause. The book has been put together by Tina Cardone (@crstn85). Tina and her collaborators go one step further that venting about the tricks and offer some brilliant alternative methods to help teachers who haven’t thought in detail about how to teach certain topics.

Its a fantastic book and I would advise any maths teacher to download a copy, especially those new to the profession.

 

A Life in Books

May 10, 2014 1 comment

Today I read this phenomenal post by Tom Sherrington (@headguruteacher) about books he has read over the course of his life. He mentioned in his post he hoped others would follow. I then read this incredibly moving piece by Chris Waugh (@edutronic_net) who spoke about the literature that had a massive influence on him over his life. This made me think about reading, and the things I’ve read. I love reading, both fiction and non-fiction, but I don’t find as much time as I would like to engage in it.

When I was very small I apparently used to insist that “the three billy goats gruff” was read to me every night, I reckon I still know it by heart! At primary school I read Asterix books, and very little else. The teachers I had at primary school didn’t appreciate the genius of Goscincy and Underzo so made me read other things. Most of which I’ve forgotten, but I do recall a series of factual books I loved. It included the story of Edward Jenner and James Phipps, and the story of tightrope walker Paul Bondin. These two stories stuck with me more than any other from my primary school days. Thinking on it now, I don’t think my reading repertoire actually was that limited, and that was thanks to my mum. She took us on regular trips to the local library to take books out, and bought us a veritable library of our own. I remember loving the Railway Cat series by Phylis Arkle, the Professor Brainstorm books by Norman Hunter and the complete works of Betsy Byars (The only one of hers I didn’t like was “The Animal, The Vegetable and John D Jones” which bored me), Ruth Thomas and Nina Bawden (Carrie’s war is amazing). Blimey, that’s actually quite a lot! There were many more too, so clearly my earlier claim was clear nonsense.

When I reached high school I had lost the buzz for children’s stories, and for a time read nothing but autobiographies. Musicians, Sports stars and actors. I remember reading Eric Cantona’s in its entirety in one sitting on Christmas day. Then one day my friend Matthew handed me a book and told me: “You need to read this, it’s phenomenal.” The book in question was “The carpet people” by Terry Pratchett and it was, indeed, phenomenal. This was the first of two books Matthew did this with. This one was when we were in Y7. The next would be two years later. After reading the carpet people I was hooked on the writing of Terry Pratchett, and I spent the next couple of years reading his back catalogue and nothing else. The only none Pratchett book I remember reading during this period was “The Cuckoo Sister”, which we studied at school. I quite enjoyed it, but it didn’t leave a lasting impression. I assume we read other stuff during this time, but I don’t remember it!

Then Matthew handed me another book, “Of Mice and Men”, with a similar line. He gave me it on the bus home, I missed my stop because I had become engrossed in it. I thought it was brilliant, and have read it many times since. This sparked an interest in other books. My mum has a collection of classics which included “Grapes of wrath”, another fine book. I read “Tom Sawyer” (a great book) and “Huckleberry Finn” (a truly amazing book). My reading had widened but I was still reading Pratchett, Gaiman and the such and was enjoying the contrast.

There were also many texts to study at school, some I’ve forgotten entirely, but some stuck with me as I thought they were brilliant. I loved MacBeth, The importance of being Earnest, The Speckled Band, Examination Day and Lamb to the Slaughter. I loved the poetry of Healey, Armitage, Owen, Byron and Hughes.

About this time a modern day retelling if Great Expectations, starring Ethan Hawke, was released. I loved this film and so read the book and was totally blown away (not quite as blown away as my English teacher, Mr Gibbons, was when I appeared at his room to tell him I’d read it, loved it, wanted to discuss it and wanted his advice on which of Dickens work to read next!). I read A Christmas Carol, Bleak House and The Pickwick Papers and loved them all. I then read a tale of two cities, and was disappointed. I had heard it was his finest work, but I didn’t think it was a patch on the others I’d read.

These books helped me understand the world, and the people in it. As I grew up I read many books and plays from many genres. I had a classics phase, where I read Metamorphises, Aeneid, Illiad and Odyssey, truly living them all, but preferring Homer to Virgil and Ovid. I had a real Gothic phase, reading Daphne du Maurier and Mary Shelley, I read a lot of Marx, Swift, Orwell, Huxley, Miller and Foot. I continued to read Sci Fi and fantasy, really enjoying Douglas Adams and Hg Wells. Its not only classics and Sci Fi though, I also love thrillers, particularly the work of Dan Brown, Lee Child and Stephen Coonts.

I love to read science and maths books too. Simon Singh’s, Ian Steward’s, Stephen Hawking’s and Richard Dawkins’s especially. I thoroughly enjoy “The science of the discworld” series, where Pratchett weaves a novella around some real hard science from Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, combining two of my favourite genres!

These days I also read a lot about education, blogs, articles and books, all of which I find interesting, fascinating and enjoyable.

I thought I’d end this post with a top 5. My favourite books:

At 5: The Carpet People, Terry Pratchett : A phenomenal and funny book that got me back into reading fiction and opened my eyes to a whole new world.

At 4: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck: A phenomenal book that entertained and moved me. I have often said this is my favourite book, but in writing this post I have realised there are a few I prefer. Again, this book opened my eyes to q whole branch of fiction I was unaware of.

At 3: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain: This book is amazing. It is a dark satire on all that Twain viewed to be wrong with the world. It is hilarious, thought-provoking and entertaining. When I finished reading it, I read it again, straight away.

At 2: Great Expectations, Charles Dickens: this book is immense. It made me realise that even though the world has changed so much since then, the relationships and interactions still have relevance in our world. It made me thirst to know more about the time, and it made me seek out my English teacher to discuss it at a higher level. What more could you ask for in a book?!

At 1: Fermats Last Theorem, Simon Singh: Maths, that’s what! But seriously, this book is amazing. It isn’t just about the maths, it’s also about the mathematicians and the time. It follows the progress of mathematics from its inception and the stories the emanate around it are thrilling, funny entertaining and at times stranger than fiction. A truly brilliant book. (Read my fuller review here.)

While writing this list I’ve changed my mind numerous times, on the order and what should be included. I’ve settled on these because I think they are brilliant, and some of them led me to whole new genres. Some of the ones that nearly made it: Death of a Salesman, Hitchhikers Guide, Odyssey, Demons and Angels, Wages of Sin, Good Omens, Rebecca, MacBeth, The Time Machine, Henry V and there are many, many more.

Categories: Books, Commentary, Family Tags: , ,

A Book Review: The Simpsons and their mathematical secrets

January 13, 2014 4 comments

Well, that was quick. I can hear you say. And you would be right. When I wrote the review of “Fermat’s Last Theorem” I didn’t realise how close to the end of this one I was!

I was extremely excited about this book. The last book I read by the author was my favourite book ever, it contained lots of maths and it was about The Simpsons, a show which I have long been a fan of. It didn’t disappoint.

I’ve spent the last 4 years struggling to find time to read, but I managed to get this book read in under a week, which itself shows how much I enjoyed it. My partner even commented last week that it must be good as I never seem to put it down!

The book itself is superb. Simon again takes the reader on a journey through the history of maths, he covers a couple of things mentioned in Fermat’s last theorem, but generally the maths topics covered are very different.

For decades, the writers of The Simpsons have been sneaking maths into their show, and Simon uses these jokes and references to take us on a journey through maths. He also explores why there are so many mathematicians on the writing team, and how the series has evolved.

While reading the book, I felt that we were merely scratching the surface of geekiness that is The Simpsons (and its sister show Futurama) and that Simon could in fact write an entire library of books around the same topic. The book is written  so that the maths gets increasingly more complex, and there are even 5 “exams” for the reader to sit. The clever part is that even though the episodes mentioned aren’t in chronological order, there is a real feeling of chronology while reading it, and anecdotes about the writers etc are blended seamlessly in with the maths. I have mentioned that there could be a library of books on the topic, and I would love there to be, but I cannot see this happening because the closing chapter brings the book to such a perfectly satisfying conclusion.

The maths sections of the book are well written, and are set out in a way that should be accessible for those with a decent high school mathematical background. Simon uses the appendices to set out more complicated maths, which is great, and appendix 5 especially took me some time to get my head around!

I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone with a passing interest in maths, or The Simpsons.

You can see Simon on numberphile discussing the maths involved in the book, and his earlier title “Fermat’s Last Theorem” here

You can buy his books here

You can follow Simon on twitter

A Book Review: Fermat’s Last Theorem – Simon Singh

January 12, 2014 3 comments

Recently I’ve notice that there are a lot of signposts online to great maths books that are available. Flying Colours Maths, Wrong but useful and the maths book club (Which i hope to get involved with soon) are but three examples of places where you can find mention of good maths books. As a maths teacher I have found an array of purposes for reading them. Firstly, I love maths so I find them interesting. Secondly, they give me a deeper working knowledge of the subject and improving your deeper subject knowledge should be a key priority for all teachers. And thirdly, I have found many lesson ideas in these books.

I figured that this blog would be a good place to review some maths books as and when I finish them. I did think about going back and writing reviews of all the ones I’ve read, but I don’t think my memory will allow it. Although I have decided to review one I finished at the end of 2013 which is still fresh in my mind.

Fermat’s last theorem – Simon Singh

When I started in the sixth form my pure maths teacher, Mr Armitage, had a poster up which intrigued me (as the problem had Wiles, decades before). It was based around Fermat’s last theorem. It contained the theorem, Fermat’s cryptic note about a proof but the margin being too small and a timeline of near misses up to Wiles’ achievement. I asked Mr Armitage if he could show me Wiles proof, as I was intrigued. He response was, “I’m sorry, I can’t. The proof runs to over 300 pages and some of the maths involved is beyond my own comprehension.” I was a little disappointed but understood, and decided that one day I would like to be in a position to understand the proof (Not there yet… I’m still struggling a bit with Modular forms…).

Anyway, since then I have always meant to read this book, but I hadn’t got round to it until 2013. And boy was it worth the wait.

The book is fantastically written and takes the reader on a whirlwind rollercoaster ride through mathematics history, from Diophantus to Wiles. There is a real suspense thriller feel to it in parts, and even though I knew the outcome I found myself entirely absorbed in the story and needing to find out what happened next, at points even questioning what I thought I knew.

Simon has kept the writing in the main text to a level where top GCSE level knowledge would be enough to follow, introducing new concepts in a way that is easily digestible. He also uses the appendices well to explore some of the deeper issues. This is a good way to appeal to those of us with a deeper thirst for maths without eliminating any of his potential readership.

There were a few occasions I thought I would like more information on certain things, but the further reading section has signposted me to places to look.

All in all, I think this was the best book (that’s any book, not just maths book) I’ve ever read. It isn’t just limited to Wiles’ battle with Fermat, but rather an amazing look at the world of maths, and mathematicians, through history that keeps you guessing and leaves you wanting more.

If you have even the slightest interest in maths, you MUST read this book.

You can see Simon on Numberphile discussing the maths involved in the book, and his more recent title “The Simpsons and there mathematical secrets” here

You can buy his books here.

You can follow Simon on twitter @slsingh

And as I’m currently reading “The Simpsons and there mathematical secrets”, you can watch this space for a further review.

Multiplication Methods

November 28, 2013 7 comments

 

Last night I saw an intriguing tweet from @mr_chadwick . Mr Chadwick is a primary teacher and he was worried that his daughter who is in year 8 was still multiplying using the grid method. This caused a fascinating conversation regarding the different methods of completing multiplication tasks and the pros and cons of each and it got me thinking quite a lot about the subject.

 

There are many ways to complete multiplication problems, the main ones being Grid, Column (aka Standard or Long), and Chinese Grid (or Spagetti Method or Lattice Method). (Also, I have recently been shown this ancient method by an A Level pupil who grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo).

 

I was wondering if any one was particularly faster than the other, so I tried some out:

 

ImageImageImage      Image 

 

 

Each method took me a little over a minute to compute the product of 2 three digit numbers. (Except the grid method which took about 15 seconds longer). From experience I know that people tend to prefer the method they were shown first, and I don’t see a problem using any of them as long as there is an understanding of the concepts and that the person in question is proficient at using the method they have chosen.

I did think my prefered method for teaching someone who didn’t know any methods would be the Lattice Method, as I see a much larger potential for silly errors in the other methods than i do for this, but last nights discussion has got me thinking a little differently. The discussion moved onto applications in algebra. I know a lot of people prefer to use the grid method to expand double brackets, I personally prefer crab claw method, but i teach both and allow my students to decide, and some much preefer the grid. It also works quite well for larger polynomials, as shown here (in a video which rather confusingly calls it the lattice method!). The grid method can also be applied to matrices, as I have written about previously.

I’m still unsure as to which i prefer. The Lattice method gives a far lower chance of making silly errors, and I think it is the best one fro ensuring the decimal point ends up in the correct place when multiplying decimals, but the grid does have the benefits of being applied to much higher levels! I’d welcome your views on the subject.

I feel that i should also include another multiplication method which I discovered a few years ago, I was introduced to it as Japanese multiplication, but I’ve recently heard of it referrred to Gorilla Multiplication. I think it may have its origins in india and if you want to know more then Alex Bellos has written about it in his book Alex’s Adventures in Numberland (Another on my christmas list… and a book who’s american title is the most amazing title for a maths book I’ve ever heard: “Here’s Looking at Euclid”!)

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