Monthly Archives: October 2018

The Math Brain Myth

Maths was always a favourite subject of mine at school, however I suffered from maths anxiety. I only ever begun feeling anxious towards maths when i studied both national 5 and higher mathematics. I used to think that there was only one set way of doing each type of question and the only way i knew was they way that my teacher taught. I suffered from anxiety during my exams as I am a perfectionist and so I put a huge amount of pressure on myself to learn the exact method I was taught. I truly believe that I was not the only one, therefore I feel that it is important that teachers make students aware that there is not just one right method!

The University Of Cambridge (2017)  defined the term ‘Maths Anxiety’ as “a feeling of tension and anxiety that interferes with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in … ordinary life and academic situations”. I agree with this statement! Going to maths classes used to make me anxious and this was a barrier when it came to the learning of maths. I used to believe that I was not born with a ‘maths bairn’ and so this always stood in the way of my success. Kapner, L. (2017) states that J Boaler, a Standford Professor, believes that there is no such thing as a ‘math brain’. Kapner, L. (2017) further describes that by believing the math brain myth, this lowers students academic performance in mathematics. I truly believe that my under performance in mathematics in first to third year was due to thinking that i was not born with a maths trained brain. However this changed in fourth year! Lets have a look at how I changed my ways of thinking…

In order to overcome the maths brain myth, I used positive reinforcement. Willis, J. (2017) describe how enjoyment a positivity are essential for learning to effectively occur. It is further explained that by having a stressed mental state, this limits how focused you are on the task and restricts your learning ability. By changing my mindset towards maths completely, I felt that I was more open to learning different approaches to questions. By allowing myself to do this, I feel that this helped to relax me when dealing with maths problems and I could use a few different methods to approach the question.


University Of Cambridge (2017 ) What is Mathematics Anxiety? , Available at: [Accessed: 20th October 2018].

Kapner, L. (2017) The Myth of the Math Brain , Available at: (Accessed: 22nd October 2018).

Willis, J. (2017 ) Busting math myths to create math-positive attitudes, Available at: (Accessed: 23nd October 2018).

Learning Maths Through Play

To many individuals, maths and play are not connected at all. When it comes to maths many people describe it as ‘boring’, ‘torture’ or ‘something which was compulsory’. This is a devastating matter as, in reality, this should not be the case (Early Years). The Curriculum For Excellence has a huge focus on using active learning in order to help children engage with a range of different materials and also apply different concepts to real life situations. By introducing maths through play, this will help to get rid of the stereotypical views of the subject and will help students to understand how maths is a useful subject and relates to everyday life. Toys, games and other materials used to learn mathematics can help to relieve the pressure and intimidation of maths (Early Years).

It is seen that babies immediately react to the different shapes that make up the human face (Nursery Resources, 2018). This shows that the learning of maths starts from a very early age and is being learnt through simple activities.   Both sand and water are another two aspects which are used to enhance aspects of maths at a young age. Through playing which these features, children can begin to develop the idea of some mathematical concepts and language and also look at different patterns and shapes in which they can make using the materials (Early Years). This concludes that maths can be learnt through play in a variety of settings and not just at pre-school and school.

“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” (The Strong National Museum of Play,2018). I feel that this quote summarises how important it is that active learning is used during learning, in order for the children to understand what is being and learnt and also to allow the children to link their findings to everyday life.

Through my time at Primary School, I feel that my learning actively, this really helped to engage me in my learning and helped to change my overall opinion of Mathematics from a young age. To me, active learning was an important part of my learning and helped to me feel the enjoyment of maths and helped me to learn the basics of mathematics. Now, looking from a teachers point of view, I feel that it is important that a number of maths lessons are done actively as this will help to engage all children.


Early Years () Maths Through Play , Available at: (Accessed: 22nd October 2018).

The Strong National Museum of Play (2018) Play Quotes , Available at: (Accessed: 22nd October 2018).

Nursery Resources (2018) Maths and Numeracy in Early Years , Available at: (Accessed: 22nd October 2018).

Fibonacci Numbers, an exciting number sequence!

The Fibonacci Number Sequence is a number sequence that creates a beautiful pattern. The sequence starts with 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34… and so on! The number sequence was first introduced to Western European Mathematics by Leonardo Pisano in 1202 (Anirudh (2015 )). The sequence was also named after Leonardo as he was also known as Fibonacci.  Before his finding of The Fibonacci Number Sequence, he studied the Hindu-Arabic Arithmetic system as he was growing up in North Africa.

Now how do we work the pattern of the sequence?


All we have to do is add the two numbers before together in order to identify the next number in the sequence.e.g. –> 0+1 = 1, 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5 etc. We now then take the answers to our simple calculations and form a number sequence: 0,1,1,2,3,5…

The Fibonacci Sequence doesn’t quite sop there… we can transfer the sequence into a spiral! By drawing squares with the dimensions of the numbers, a spiral can be formed.

  E,J. Hom (2013)


(Benjamin, A. (2013))


Anirudh (2015 ) 10 Facts On Leonardo Fibonacci And The Fibonacci Sequence, Available at: (Accessed: 3rd October 2018).

Benjamin, A. (2013) The magic of Fibonacci numbers , Available at: (Accessed: 3rd October 2018).

E,J. Hom (2013 ) What Is The Fibonacci Sequence? , Available at: (Accessed: 3rd October 2018).




Last week we had a fun and exciting lecture which focused on tessellations and their link to Islamic Art. . Firstly, a tessellation is a pattern of flat shapes which is repeated. When the pattern is repeated the shapes fit perfectly together in order to cover a surface, with no gaps between the shapes. You can get a variety of different tessellations, some of which are regular and some are semi-regular. Regular tessellations are repeating patterns of a regular polygon.

The image above are the three regular tessellations. There are only three possible regular tessellations.


Semi-regular tessellations are patterns which are made up of two or more regular polygons. There are only 8 possible semi-regular tessellations;

The history of tessellations

The creator of the first tessellation still remains unknown and so the credit for the wonderful designs was first given to a Dutch artist named M. C. Escher. Escher experimented a range of different ways and patterns to create tessellations and this is where he came to the realisation that tessellations following one repeating pattern.

In Islamic Art, tessellations are used. In many of the mosaics which helped to to create tiles and floors in Roman buildings, tessellations were using in order to create a repeating, and symmetrical, pattern. Below is an example of a tile in a Roman home;