General Life and Personal Interest (Other sources of ideas)
A collection of resources which provide ideas and inspiration for teaching mathematics in the context of general life and personal interest. The resources included in this collection require some adaptation to make them appropriate for the particular audience.
Links and Resources
he Applied Maths Pack has activities which have an emphasis on investigation, discussion, practical work and problem solving.
Applied coursework contains ten tasks. Each task contains a number of problems relating to a mathematical theme. Themes covered are:
• calculating lengths and areas when wallpapering a room;
• listing all the matches in a sports event;
• using trigonometry to calculate lengths and areas when wrapping parcels;
• using ratio to calculate odds when horse-racing;
• drawing cumulative frequency graphs and probability to investigate birthdays;
• finding the gradient and equation of straight lines to predict world records;
• comparing the surface area of cylinders when designing a tin can;
• using equations to calculate shoe sizes;
• nets, surface area and volume to design a box;
• investigating planar network.
Extended projects contains thirty tasks. Each task explains the background to the problem, the problem itself and suggests possible extensions.
Mathematical topics covered include:
• designing a questionnaire, collecting data, displaying and interpreting the results;
• calculating averages;
• exploring symmetry;
• using formulae to plot graphs;
• percentage interest rates;
• using formulae to calculate braking distances and reading ages;
• direct proportionality;
• investigating codes;
• reading information from tables.
This activity uses a recurrence relation to work out how long it takes to pay off a credit card loan and how much it costs.
After working through the given example, where a customer spends £1250 and repays £80 per month at a monthly interest rate of 1.2%, students are asked to investigate how long it would take to pay off another debt with different rates of interest or different regular payments.
This resource contains sixteen instant maths ideas covering a whole range of suggestions that may be used as starter questions, extension questions or probing questions to assess understanding. Areas covered include: scaling up recipes, investigating paper sizes, value for money, proportion questions, rates and what does '24 carat gold' mean.
In Building a town students are encouraged to consider the mathematical shapes which form the net of a building. Some simple models are shown and students could use these to construct their nets, before building the models themselves.
This activity could be extended so that students produce models of buildings from their area. Buildings with sloping roofs will offer opportunities for experimenting, measuring, or applying Pythagoras’ theorem, in order to draw accurate nets, whilst conical roofs could provide opportunities to work with the formula for the circumference of a circle