I have just read Making Britain Numerate by Kevin Norley.

It begins with a 27 page rationale in which he describes how he goes about teaching adult numeracy students, his thoughts on the dumbing down of maths qualifications and the improvement the introduction of Functional Skills should bring. He is scathing about the use of computer initial and diagnostic assessments which he thinks lead to the de-skilling of the teacher, and is also very unhappy about the standards of numeracy amongst people teaching maths in FE , but gives no numerical study to back up his hypothesis, apart from his “observations” and “understanding”. I suggest Kevin needs to  provide some hard evidence before rubbishing such a large group of teachers.

Following the rationale there are a series of exercises. A Level 1 Numeracy Assessment, Level 1 Practice Questions, Level 2 Numeracy Learning Guide, Level 2 Functional Skills questions, Level 3 Numeracy Learning Guide, and then the answers to all the exercises.

The exercises are good, and the text is very easy to read. I like the topics for some of the questions- forinstance I doubt if you have seen a question on trans-gender issues before in a maths text book. A Level 2 question is posed as follows.

” There are currently 5000 transgender adults living in Britain. Taking the adult population of Britain to be approximately 45 million adults, calculate how many non-transgender adults there are for every one transgender adult.”

Although I disagree with Kevin on some important points, this book is a must read for Numeracy teachers in FE and work based learning.

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I chose a Penrose Triangle to be the logo for Maths with Graham. Look closely- it’s impossible! Lots of people think maths is impossible because they had such a hard time with it at school. But usually when they get the help and attention they need they are able to learn, make good progress and even pass exams! The impossible is possible!

If you visit this website you can make your own 3-dimensional Penrose triangle and see photographs of them.  You can read more about the Penrose Trianglee here.

Solving simple ratio problems.

How to add and subtract fractions.

www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise

I like the new Skillswise site, especially the videos which are great for discussion starters in class. Unfortunately it hasn’t been proof read very well and I am finding lots of errors in the quizzes and activities. If you find an error please comment on it here so the BBC can correct it!

This site is primarily for students of Numeracy or Maths, so I am not going to bore you with educational philosophy or anything like that. But I hope the users of this site can help me help others find good resources to help them with their maths. So if you know of a good interactive resource or video please let me know about it and I will eventually upload it to my site. At the moment I am still developing the layout of the site and adding the many resources I have already got. But I will be very pleased to hear from you with your suggestions.

To complete this quiz you need to be able to order decimals. Here is an example to help you.

Which is bigger, 0.3 or 0.25?

Ever so many people make the mistake of saying 0.25 is bigger because 25 is bigger than 3. This is very wrong!

Remember the place value of decimals.

0.3 means three tenths.

0.25 means 2 tenths and 5 hundredths.

Three tenths is bigger than 2 tenths, so 0.3 is bigger.

Converting between decimals and fractions

Thanks to John Ford for this quiz.

You need to be able to convert fractions to decimals and decimals to fractions.

To convert a fraction to a decimal divide the numerator (top number) by the denominator (bottom number).

eg 3/4

3÷4 = 0.75

To change a decimal to a fraction think what place value the number on the right hand side has.

eg 0.45

The 5 is in the hundredths column, so the denominator will be 100.

The numerator is 45

So 0.45 = 45/100

This cancels down as both numbers divide by 5.

45/100 = 9/20

A 2 player/team quiz with fiendishly difficult rounding questions. Choose your level of difficulty, harder questions earn more points.