Maths on the inside

“Why is this one cheaper?”  “Actually it isn’t!”

According to a quick search on my computer today, the average level of interest on a credit card for any payments not cleared by the due date is around 25%.

I’m sure many people with cards already know that, but I must admit it came as a shock to me. 

Fortunately, I haven’t wasted huge amounts of my money by borrowing on a credit card, but I was reminded that we do need those getting a card for the first time to be aware of just how quickly interest payments can mount.

And, of course, they should also know that if the payment rate is quoted monthly, the cost at the end of the year is going to be more than the monthly charge times 12!

Of course, one doesn’t study maths just to be wary of credit card companies, but this simple example surely does show why such learning is vitally important.

And it is not just about money – it is about buying the right size table to fit into the kitchen, or knowing how to compare the price of vegetables in different shops that sell in different sized packages.  They may seem cheaper, but are they?

All of which is why “Open-ended Maths Investigations for Primary Schools: Problem-solving Strategies and Activities for Years 1–6” was created.  To help young people come to terms with solving problems that have never presented themselves in this form before.

The book contains, in addition to a wide variety of introductory materials, a series of copiable pages that contain increasingly complex investigations of different levels of difficulty which can help children understand the whole nature of problem-solving strategies.

Through this they will also come to understand that for every problem there is normally a range of approaches that can be used to find a solution.  And through seeing these different approaches they can learn how to evaluate the strength and weakness of each way of seeing a problem.

Six separate examples of the issues approached in the book are included on our website and can be downloaded and used free of charge so that you can appreciate the breadth and scope of this unique series.   Details of all the volumes in the series are also to be found there.

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