There are a number of problem sets. The aim is to start at number one, work through that and get the solutions. Then move onto set number two and so on. There is no set time span to complete any of this.

The first set of problems you should not find too difficult.

Do make a solid attempt at each problem. One way to make progress in mathematics is to spend enough time on problems which initially seem difficult.

A numerical answer is not enough. Always explain your method and your reasoning.

The explanation need not be lengthy. Often your first solution will be by trial (and error). That is a good starting point but then try to find a systematic mathematical method.

Try to take not more than three weeks before sending for solutions. If you cannot solve all the problems that does not matter, give it a go, you will learn by looking at the answers and seeing how those problems are done.

These problems are not intended as some sort of test or examination. They are meant for your enjoyment, being, we hope, somewhat different from the more regular work which you meet at school. So, feel free to tackle them in collaboration with a friend if you feel like doing that. But if you do arrive at a solution together, it is important for your own development that you write out the solution in your own words. If there is something you do not understand, then ask your teacher.

Finally, the most frequent fault that occurs with work, is the lack of explanation.

A correct answer (often just a single number) is not enough. You should always include an explanation of your method and reasoning. Then, even if your numerical answer is wrong, it becomes possible to see if you have a fundamentally correct solution.

Once you have completed a set of problems or about 3 weeks is up. mail your solutions to : John Neale 34A Grants Road, PAPANUI, CHRISTCHURCH 8053 Any queries, e-mail poochnbones@xtra.co.nz. Specify which problem set you have attempted your name and school, and your school year level.

NCEA Forum

Collection of four online Professional Learning Communities for secondary mathematics teachers