Bulletin September 2018


Finals time!

It’s September and the football finals are about to begin. Is your team in the final eight? If so, what is the probability of your team winning the Grand Final?

With your students, explore the construction of the top eight finals series and the probabilities of winning. Who gets the double chance? What is the first occasion that two teams can meet a second time? How can we improve the mathematical model so that it is more reliable? Run thousands of trials using the accompanying software to find long-term probabilities and the impact of different winning advantages.

For free access to Finals Time! (Sporting Finals), either the AFL or NRL lessons, go to www.maths300.com/sample.

Please note that you only need to install the software if you are not a current subscriber.

Maths300 consultants Kate Manuel and Matt Skoss watching the AFL Showdown between the Adelaide Crows and Port Power at the Adelaide Oval. Being a West Coast Eagles supporter, Matt was somewhat ambivalent about who won!



Several slideshows have been developed with the purpose of introducing teachers to features of the Maths300 website:

The slideshows are designed to be used by

  • individual teachers
  • school leaders in faculty or team meetings.

They can be viewed in Google Slides format, or downloaded for PowerPoint.

These resources are available on the Maths300 site at www.maths300.com/help.html.


Integrated lessons

The June Maths300 bulletin featured a webinar recording with Charles Lovitt.

During the webinar, Edwin Tomlins from Wahroonga Public School (NSW) shared his idea for using the Temperature Graphs lesson with an integrated unit about the First Fleet, and other areas of the curriculum.

Maths300 lessons are 'never finished' or set, and their open-ended nature gives teachers scope to integrate them into other units.

Email your great lesson ideas to AAMT and share with others!


Try this!

Before the days of TV and radio, puzzles were a popular source of entertainment. Puzzle books are a tremendous source of mathematical investigations for maths teachers, with Henry Dudeney (1857–1930), Sam Lloyd (1841–1911) and Martin Gardiner (1914–2010) being prolific in their contributions.

Number Tiles is an example of a puzzle with some wonderful opportunities to develop algebraic thinking.

Tear up nine pieces of paper and number them 1 to 9. Arrange the numbers to make a correct addition sum.

How many solutions are there? How could you convince someone you’ve found them all?


Anecdotal bananas

Bruce Nulty, a long time advocate of Maths300, recently shared the following anecdote:

Yesterday I learned that one of my granddaughters, Carla, was given the Monkeys and Bananas lesson to work on by her teacher. When she brought it home she was stunned to learn that I had contributed the lesson to the Maths300 collection in the early 90s. My excitement at her enthusiasm for the activity was surprisingly intense.

The Monkeys and Bananas problem was not mine. I found it in a maths magazine. My contribution was to try it with some classes and ask Charles Lovitt if it had the potential as an activity.

If you have a great lesson idea, then contact Kate Manuel or Matt Skoss at the AAMT office!


A service of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT) Inc.

GPO Box 1729 Adelaide SA 5001 | +61 8 8363 0288 | www.aamt.edu.aumaths300@aamt.edu.au