The Sheaf Valley Maths Trail is a short walk starting outside Sheffield City College on Granville Road, along the footpath to Sheffield Station and the steel blade sculpture, behind the station to the steel steps and the amphitheatre, up the hill to the Cholera Monument and then back to college via Clay Wood. Along the way you will answer questions on many different aspects of mathematics. It is suitable for school groups, college students studying Functional Skills, home schoolers and their parents or anyone who would like to have a go!

Download the student booklet here. It is best printed as a booklet.

There are also a teachers booklet and a powerpoint which I will send to you on request. Email graham@mathswithgraham.org.uk to request these. Please let me know who you are planning to use it with.

Topics touched on on the trail include

Number

Counting

Multiplication

Fractions

Time calculations

Calculating journey cost

Speed Distance Time calculations

Shape and Space

Measuring length

Estimating length and weight

Symmetry (Line and Rotational)

3 dimensional shape

Angles

Circle calculations

Volume of a cuboid

Area of irregular shapes

Data Handling

Averages

Feel free to adapt the trail by missing out some questions and adding others to make it suitable for your students/pupils.

Split your group into teams of 3 or 4 people. Make sure less able students are paired with more able students. Each team will need a DIY tape measure, a large ball of string, a large protractor, a pencil and a calculator. You need to work out the logistics of ensuring there is someone to help at the various stopping points.

Tell your students to stay together, look after each other and take extra care when crossing roads. If this is a school/college outing you will need to fill in a risk assessment.

Hopefully you already know how to change a fraction to a decimal.

For instance ²⁄³ =2 ÷ 3= 0.6666… This is a recurring decimal. But changing a recurring decimal back to a fraction is a little more complicated.

UK maths teacher have produced a great video on this.

If you prefer a written explanation Study maths have produced a good introduction of how to convert a recurring decimal to a fraction.

http://studymaths.co.uk/topics/convertingRecurringDecimalsToFractions.php

There is also an interactive worksheet to make sure you can do it.

http://studymaths.co.uk/workout.php?workoutID=50

Here are the highlights of the 2015 Mens Final.

Can you use your skills to answer the questions? They range from easy Entry Level to GCSE questions involving data handling,  time, distance, speed and Pythagoras. There is a Scale Drawing task that is very good practice for Level 1 students.

This is one in a large series of short videos from NCETM showing how people use maths at work. See the others here.

When you have watched the video see if you can convert time into decimals and work out how much employees should be paid.

Interactive Worksheet

Pdf worksheet

Here is a great phone app that will help you with your arithmetic so you don’t need to be afraid when you are faced with that non-calculator exam. It’s called Maths Tricks and shows you lots of short cuts to performing calculations and gives you endless practice to improve your speed and accuracy. Best of all it’s free!

You can find it on Google Play. I am recommending this because it is good, not because I have any connection to the app.

This activity is about a wind turbine in Norfolk. Watch the video first, then try to answer the questions. You will need a calculator.

You can either do the activity on-line, or download and print the worksheet.

In these days of austerity, benefits are being cut and prices continue to rise. It has never been more important to be careful with your money, as getting into debt can spiral out of control and have dire consequences. A first step in taking control of your finances is to understand what you spend your money on. This sheet will help you work this out. To do it accurately you will need to record your spending carefully for several weeks but you may be able to estimate figures until you have got more accurate information.

Fill the figures in for an average month. So for example if you pay an MOT fee of £54.85 each year this would be recorded as 54.85/12 = £4.57 a month. If you spend £10 at the pub once a week that would be recorded as 4 x £10 = £40.

There is also an on-line version which does the sums for you here.

Do you understand those letters that come through the door offering you a credit card? Have a go at this exercise to find out more.

Here is a worksheet version.

(I have used Sainsbury’s Bank as an example of a typical credit card provider- this exercise does not insinuate that Sainsbury’s Bank is any worse than other credit card providers.)

Many people on a low income are not able to open a bank account. If they need to borrow money they can be offered loans with massive rates of interest. This exercise looks at how to calculate interest rates and compares different ways of borrowing money.

The video mentions two businesses in particular. Wonga.com and Quick Quid both charge interest rates in excess of 2000%. Do you know of higher rates of interest? Please comment below to name and shame the loan sharks!

The same exercise is here in worksheet format.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation research into the minimum income standards for the UK.  The Minimum Income Standard for the UK shows how much money people need, so that they can buy things that members of the public think that everyone in the UK should be able to afford.

• Figures are based on public views about a minimum standard that nobody should fall below.
• It does not show you what you require to meet all your individual needs, and is not suitable for use as a personal budgeting tool.

By entering a few details about your circumstances you can compare your income with the MIS, and see how this is made up. For instance  my children are now all grown up and have left home, so I live with my wife. When I have entered details about my rent/mortgage. gas/electric/water bills etc it tells me the minimum income I require is £23,099. They break this down into how much I need for food, alcohol. council tax, clothing etc. It makes very interesting reading!

The picture shows the results for a single person.

Go to http://www.minimumincome.org.uk/ and enter your details to see what it suggests for your household.

Try this exercise to find out about a single persons minimum income. It will also help you to calculate percentages.

Everybody is feeling the pinch at the moment. Try this interactive  Money Saving Transport Quiz to see if you can save some cash! Here is the same exercise in worksheet format.

There is a worksheet version of the activity or an interactive version.

This video shows how to divide by a decimal.

When you’ve watched the video try this quiz to see if you’ve got it.

Download, print and cut out the triangles. Work with a friend to try and match all the questions with the correct answers and make a shape

Decimal Calculations Jigsaw