New Zealand Association of Mathematics Teachers

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Maths Week 2012

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Mathsweek 2012 August 13th - 17

Mathsweek 2012

• Mathsweek is sponsored by the Ministry of Education and the N.Z.A.M.T. It is available to all students and teachers.

 • The aims of Maths Week are to keep students interested in mathematics and to give teachers resources which they can use in the classroom.

 • The resources are written to give extra emphasis on the joys of mathematics and where it is used in our society. It compliments and updates mathematics textbooks and gives teachers resources which require research which may not be readily available to them.

 • Maths Week resources are available to teachers, parents and students via the web-site from Monday August 13th to August 19th.

 • Hard copy for teachers Is available in PDF in the week before Maths Week this year. This includes the answers to all except the Millionaire Challenges.

 • ‘Trade Me’ type auctions for prizes using Maths Week Dollars will take place for students during Maths Week. Over five hundred dollars worth of prizes are available in the auctions.

 • This year the auctions will be run for students of each Year group. There will be five different sets of auctions. Each will have their own prize lists.

• Last year there were over 73 000 students and teachers who registered on the site. This year registration is much easier and will be a requirement of all who want to use the Maths Week site.

• Maths Week is for all mathematics students from Year 1 to Year 11.

The past few years have been expensive for us to mount this project. We need some support to continue with this in 2012 and beyond. We are asking each school to send us a $20 donation to help cover costs. This is not a compulsory entry fee and is not pupil number related. Just $20 per school. Surely extremely good value for schools.

Please pay this direct into our account named

NZAMT Incorporated. The account number is 03 0166 0203131 01

Please specify your full school name in the reference box so we know who had donated.

The Challengers for Maths Week this year;

Daily Dollar Questions.

The Year 1 topics are

Counting Keira’s dolls Adding unusual animals Recognising shapes

Largest size of shapes Estimating numbers from pictures.

The Year 2 topics are

Sharing ribbons Multiplying with toys Polyhedra dice problems

Combinations with factorial key Navigating through two villages.

Level 3 topics are

Chocolate shapes Olympics times Codes and countries

Logic with families Darts –easy problems.

Level 4 topics are

Olympic problems Trains –timetable and times Numbers –variety problems

Polygon shapes Darts –tricky problems.

Level 5 topics are

Olympic country result tables Trains –speed and time Exponents –tricky problems

Jessica’s trip –navigation Darts –difficult questions.

Maths Millionaire.

This section has been very popular in the past two years. It is modelled on the very popular T.V. programme, except the questions are mathematical or have some connection with maths.

This year there are again three “Maths Millionaires” for each day of the week.

One set is for Senior Students, one set is for Junior Students and one set is for Families.

Each set involves 11 questions which gradually get harder but still able to be understood by students.

Some of the harder questions have been written so that it is difficult to get the answer easily from Google. Maths Week Dollars are awarded for each stage successfully answered.

Each set of the “Maths Millionaire” has been programmed into interactive Flash. This creates much interest and is a real plus for this game. The “helps” as in the real Millionaire of “ask a friend”, “ask the audience”, “50-50” has now become interactive and entertaining!

This will again be the most popular section of Maths Week.

The Family Maths Millionaire is written with the whole family in mind – including grand-parents, parents, little brothers and sisters! This does create a lot of fun in the family home!. It is mathematical – sort of!

Some of the questions require discussion and many require grand-parents advice!!

The Senior Maths Millionaire has themes on Thursday and Friday. The Thursday theme is my flying to Australia on Air New Zealand and questions from the trip. They have a navigation slant.

The Friday theme is variety maths and answering from pictures. The questions for all the days have been written with calculations involved and so are difficult to get from Google.

The Junior Maths Millionaire will have themes on two days too. This hasn’t been written yet.

The Amazing Maths Races.

This section is very popular with all students. Again this year there are five new “races”. This section is an attempt to relate maths with the world outside the classroom.

The five races planned for this year are

• To the five main centres of New Zealand and working out their Maori names probably by codes. The aim of this is to reinforce the Maori aspect into our students lives.

• Another race is around several towns of New Zealand. The towns have Maori names. Clues will be given as well as mathematical clues. Again it is to make students aware of our Maori culture.

• The third race will be through solving some algebra equations. Working will be insisted on and examples of the “proper” way of setting out will be given with each task.

• The next “race” will be the train trip on the Alpine Express from Christchurch to Greymouth. This will be spectacular and attractive as a trip!

• The fifth “race” is a trip around the Olympic Games venues in London. These will be known to some students by the time maths Week is on.

At least two of these “races“ will be quite easy and will give younger students opportunity to achieve.

The Survivor Series.

Level 1 is written by Mrs Kate Simmonds, teacher, Waimari School, Christchurch.

The theme this year is “everyday things”. It is still being written and tested.

The tasks will involve counting, adding and subtracting, skip counting in 2’s, geometry, halves.

More tasks will be included this year to cater for the wide ability range of this level.

Level 2 is written by Mrs Tamara Jones, teacher, The Gardens School, Auckland.

The theme is “an astronaut in space”. The tasks are being tested at the present time.

The tasks will involve addition and subtraction, skip counting, multiplying, geometry, converting mm to m, place value, halves.

Level 3.

Making snowflakes number sequences 1 task

Fibonacci sequence number sequence 5 tasks

Codes transition codes 5 tasks

Pythagoras theorem proving by area cut-outs 1 task

Upside down words calculator cross word 1 task

Level 4.

Finding Pi what pi is and calculating it 6 tasks

Famous mathematicians word-find from signatures 2 tasks

Olympic games athlete’s speeds and times 6 tasks

Pascal’s triangle famous number table 8 tasks

Championship darts number problems 3 tasks

Level 5.

The five friendly solids platonic solids Euler’s formula 4 tasks

Shot put Olympic games event 4 tasks

Continued fractions calculating and making 4 tasks

Maths stamps word-find famous mathematicians 2 tasks

The Collatz conjecture testing numbers and making table 4 tasks

This gives Teachers the popular classroom resource it has been for several years. It is written for Teachers to use in class and can expand if they wish into much larger activities.

It is up to Teachers to choose which Level or Levels students work in their classes. The aim is that all students should be able to do and enjoy the Survivor Series.

It is possible and Teachers are encouraged to have different Levels being worked at by students in the same class.


This section has yet to be put on to the website. I anticipate the questions will be from the Cantamath competition. The questions that will be used come from the first Cantamaths about 40 years ago.

The section is programmed in interactive Flash. This makes it like the real thing and attractive for participants. There will be four Cantamath races this year.

Race one is for Year 7 teams, Race two is for Year 8 teams. Race three is for Year 9 teams.

Race four is for Year 10 teams.

No Maths Week Dollars are awarded to members of the teams which complete their set of questions this year. The time for each team to complete is taken and a leader board displays results for New Zealand. The fastest teams during Maths Week are awarded prizes.

Te Reo Maori.

This year there will be some sections available in Te Reo. These were written into Te Reo by Mr Brian Tweed from Massey University.

They have been done outstandingly well and are a real asset to Maths Week.


The games section looks fresh to attract the hordes of players it does. The points students gain here are recorded onto leader-boards for each game and at the end of the week several prizes are awarded to the top players in each game.

This year the games are

Raining Money, Canyon Splatter,

Savings Game, Balancing Act,

Rotate Translate, Square Bricks,

Jigsaw, Ordering,

Algebra Rules.

Family Maths.

The family Maths Millionaire is written with the whole family in mind – including grand-parents, parents, little brothers and sisters! The questions create a lot of fun. It is mathematical – sort of!

Some of the questions require discussion and many require grand-parents advice!!

This has been a very popular section of Maths week in the last three years.

Famous Mazes.

Again this year the maze section has been revamped and modernised. The catchy name now is Maze Craze! There will be several mazes which should appeal to the younger students. The mazes are easy for teachers to copy for their classes.


The aim of Maths Week is to help Teachers to give Mathematics an identity within their school.

The maths should be attractive, useful, practical, interesting and fun.

Much effort has been made to relate the maths here to the practical world of the students.

I hope that Teachers will enjoy Maths Week this year as much as their students do and that they all find it worthwhile.

Please support us by sending the $20 school donation to help us cover the costs associated with this event.

Yours sincerely,

Jennifer Hudson, Bill Ellwood,

President N.Z.A.M.T. Writer and coordinator Maths Week.


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