Mathematics is not just a subject; it’s a language that empowers pupils to think logically, solve problems and make sense of the world around them. As primary school teachers, you play a pivotal role in nurturing a love for mathematics among your pupils. To kick-start this year’s Maths Week England 2023, running from the 13th November to the 18th November 2023, we want to explore the magic of the number “3” and how MathShed resources can be your ultimate ally in making maths engaging and exciting for your pupils.
Maths Week England 2023: The Year of “3”
Maths Week England is an annual event, generally in the second or third week of November, that celebrates mathematics and encourages students to develop a positive attitude towards the subject. The now-annual event was set up in 2019 by Andrew Jeffrey. His goal was to ensure that no child missed out on the opportunities that being a confident mathematician could bring.
“I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I struggled at school, university, and well beyond. Severe untreated ADHD meant that I was frequently marked out as the naughty ‘lazy‘ ‘forgetful‘ ‘untidy‘ ‘restless‘ or simply ‘disorganised‘ kid. I found it hard to remember much for more than a few seconds, so discovering that maths didn’t have to be about just memory changed my life. I saw that it could be about having fun with your brain, looking for patterns, spotting connections, making predictions, and solving problems.” (Andrew Jeffrey, founder of Maths Week England).
Maths Week England has now been running for five years, has been adopted in 11,400 schools and accessed by 1,980,000 young people.
When you sign up to be a part of the event, there are loads of fantastic activities to get involved with. There will be daily video puzzles, a daily date challenge, an A3 art challenge and plenty more.
The Magic of “3”
This year, the focus is on the enchanting number “3.” Why “3”, you might wonder? Well, the number “3” holds a special place in both maths and everyday life.
In mathematics, “3” is magical because it represents the power of patterns, geometry and arithmetic. It’s the number that forms the basis for multiplication tables, helping pupils understand the fundamental concepts of multiplication and division. Moreover, “3” plays a key role in geometry, as triangles are the simplest and most basic polygons, consisting of three sides and three angles. Triangles are the building blocks of more complex shapes and provide a foundation for understanding 2D and 3D geometry.
In everyday life, we encounter the number “3” in many contexts. For example, the three primary colours, the three states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) and even the three dimensions that make up our world (length, width, and height). The magic of “3” is all around us and it is waiting to be discovered and explored.
The ‘Rule of 3’ is a commonly practised writing principle. Ideas are funnier, more memorable, and more effective when presented in threes. Think of a famous slogan or phrase and it’s likely to be written in this format.
MathShed Resources: Your Gateway to “3”
To harness the magic of “3” in your classroom, MathShed offers a treasure trove of resources that are not only engaging but also aligned with the curriculum. Here are some fantastic ways you can incorporate the magic of “3” using MathShed resources during Maths Week England 2023:
Magic of 3 – Multiplication Mastery
“3” is the cornerstone of multiplication. With MathShed’s multiplication exercises, pupils can practise and master their times tables, focusing on the magic of “3” and its role in multiplying numbers. The interactive quizzes and games make learning multiplication fun and engaging, helping pupils see the patterns and beauty in numbers. A good starting point on MathShed is to look at the quizzes and activities from Stage 3 – Autumn Block 3 – Lesson 6/7.
Stage 2 – Summer Block 1 – Lessons 7/8 explore identifying a third and finding a third of a given amount.
Magic of 3 – Geometry Galore
As mentioned earlier, “3” is the magic number in geometry. MathShed’s geometry resources allow pupils to explore the world of triangles. From classifying triangles to calculating their properties, MathShed’s interactive tools make geometry an exciting adventure for young learners. Check out MathShed’s Stage 6 – Spring Block 5 – Lessons 3, 4, and 5 for advanced learners ready to calculate the area of different triangles.
Magic of 3 – Word Problem Wizardry
MathShed provides a range of word problems that encourage critical thinking and application of mathematical concepts. These problems often revolve around real-life scenarios that involve “3” in various ways, helping pupils see the practical relevance of the number. Solving these word problems is a fantastic way to celebrate the magic of “3.” Three is also often the magic number in nursery rhymes. MathShed looks at the number 3 in nursery rhymes in Reception when focusing on place value. (Autumn Lesson 1 – Number and Place Value – Number to 5 – One, two, three.)
Magic of 3 – Thematic Worksheets
MathShed offers themed worksheets specifically designed for Maths Week England 2023. These worksheets incorporate the number “3” in creative ways. This allows pupils to practise their skills while staying in tune with the event’s theme. The workbook is a FREE resource you can use with your students.
Magic of 3 – Interactive Challenges
MathShed’s interactive challenges provide a competitive and engaging platform for pupils to test their mathematical prowess. You can organise friendly competitions in your classroom, making use of the number “3” as a special theme for your challenge questions.
You could also present your pupils with a statement. For example, three is a prime number, a triangular number, a Fibonacci number and a Lucas number. Challenge students to find out the meaning of one or all of these statements and to prove that they are correct.
Promoting MathShed in Your Classroom
To make the most of MathShed during Maths Week England 2023 and beyond, here are some tips for promoting its use in your classroom:
- Set Goals: Encourage pupils to set personal goals for their maths skills, focusing on the magic of “3” in multiplication, geometry and more.
- Incorporate Competition: Organise friendly competitions or challenges, using MathShed as a platform to highlight the magic of “3” in various mathematical contexts.
- Celebrate Achievements: Recognise and celebrate pupils’ achievements in maths using MathShed. Highlight their progress in multiplication, geometry and problem-solving.
Follow EdShed on social media to enter our Maths Week England art challenge. Create a poster using the medium or mixed medium of your choice. The theme is ‘3 Is the Magic Number’. The winner will be announced on socials and will receive a small prize. Follow EdShed on Facebook, X and Instagram to stay in the loop.
Finally, one to wow your class with! You could either do this as a mental maths activity or provide paper to those who require support.
- Ask the children to think of a number between 1 and 10.
- Multiply this number by 2.
- Multiply their answer by 5.
- Divide their current number by your original number.
- Finally, subtract 7.
- 3 is the magic number!