Ardnamurchan Maths Champions!


Huge congratulations to Ardnamurchan High School for winning the Scottish Mathematical Council Enterprising Mathematics in Scotland final – what a fantastic achievement!

Follow this link for more details:

It All Adds Up for Ardnamurchan Pupils

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STEM week at Newtonmore!


Thank you so much to Newtonmore Primary for inviting me to their STEM week! This was a fantastic way of promoting STEM subjects and involving the wider community. The atmosphere was buzzing, and it was wonderful to see such enthusiasm and excitement from all the children!

We had lots of fun playing Annie’s mental maths games – I just wished that I could have stayed for all the other visitors’ fantastic activities too!

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The importance of fingers in maths learning

Bunny ears

Follow this link for interesting research on the use of fingers in maths development:

Perceiving fingers in single-digit arithmetic problems

This study found that finger use was an important factor in developing connections between numeral quantities and symbolic representations, as well as giving support for making sense of calculations.

Jo Boaler refers to this research in the article, Why kid should use their fingers in math class:

“Teachers should celebrate and encourage finger use among younger learners and enable learners of any age to strengthen this brain capacity through finger counting and use.”

Look in the Early Years Support Package for lots of ideas on using fingers in class, such as Bunny Ears – one of my favourites!

Finger Patterns

Jo Boaler also gives great ideas for activities using fingers on:


Have a look at these ideas:

YouCubed finger patterns2YouCubed finger patterns

It would be great to hear comments on your experience of using fingers in maths and numeracy learning – please comment or email me on if you’d like to share!

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Fibonacci fun at Scourie!

Thank you so much to Sian Curley at Scourie Primary for sharing these photos from their Fibonacci Day yesterday!

They had lots of fun introducing the sequence, then exploring what happened when they squared the numbers in the sequence and looking for examples of the Fibonacci pattern in nature as you can see.

Sian also shared these great links for teaching ideas with Fibonacci:

Fibonacci Numbers in Nature

Mensa for Kids: Fabulous Fibonacci

Also this book by Emily Gravett:

Rabbit Problem

It’s fantastic to see the ways that schools are making maths fun and relevant to children, while exploring numbers and patterns in different contexts – thank you again Sian! Please do share any more photos or ideas from your settings by comment or email.






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Fibonacci Day!

The 23rd November is Fibonacci Day – a great opportunity to explore patterns and sequencing in maths!

November 23 is celebrated as Fibonacci day because when the date is written in the mm/dd format (11/23), the digits in the date form a Fibonacci sequence: 1,1,2,3.

Have a look at these websites for ideas:

Fibonacci Day


Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Section

Why not try?

  • Learning more about the Fibonacci sequence and how it works
  • Identifying and continuing patterns
  • Exploring Fibonacci in nature
  • Find out who Fibonacci was
  • Explore what happens if we square the numbers
  • Investigate what the Golden Ratio means

It would be great to hear how you celebrate Fibonacci Day in your settings – please comment, tweet or email!

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Action enquiry reseach to close the gap


New research is available to practitioners working on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. Educational psychologists from across Scotland have assessed some of the techniques being used, in particular in the fields of numeracy and health and wellbeing.

Follow this link for  examples of action enquiry reseach aimed at closing the gap in numeracy and health and well being:

New Scottish research on the poverty-related attainment gap

I found this example focussing on conceptual understanding in numeracy and mental agility from North Lanarkshire particularly interesting:

North Lanarkshire Council EPS: Numeracy support document

Please comment or email your thoughts.


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Making sense of numerals in Lundavra Primary

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Thank you to Diane Gilchrist and Maree Nairn from Lundavra Primary for sharing these fantastic resources for developing knowledge of numerals.

These help develop understanding of  what each numeral represents, using visual and concrete materials, such as Numicon, dice patterns and fingers to support. They then extend understanding of number structure and patterns, leading to early partitioning and knowledge of number facts.

These are excellent examples of using the Highland Numeracy Teaching Model – follow the link for more information on this.

This link will give more examples of using Think Boards – a great way of representing thoughts, ideas and developing conceptual understanding.

Thank you again to Diane and Maree – it’s wonderful to see fantastic numeracy practice in action! Please comment or email me any examples of great resources or practice you would like to share from your setting.

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