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Excel for Mathematics General

Sunday, 30 August 2015 ·

The Mathematics General (Stage 6, Years 11 and 12) syllabus in NSW includes numerous content points, considerations and suggest applications involving spreadsheets. But, I suspect, many teachers are not using spreadsheets in their lessons mainly because you get through the course without using them. Yet using a spreadsheet to complete some of the mathematical heavy lifting, can allow for the use of real-life data and the investigation of scenarios.

Pythagorean Dates

Tuesday, 18 August 2015 ·

Pythagorean Dates WorksheetMonday (17/08/15) was a Pythagorean Day (172 = 82 + 152).

Relative Frequency - Investigation

Thursday, 23 April 2015 ·

Probability is one of those topics where it's best to "see it".

Rounding Using Significant Figures - MathsFaculty

Sunday, 22 February 2015 ·

A resource I put together for practising rounding using significant figures.

Mathematical Symbols in PowerPoint for Mac

Sunday, 25 January 2015 ·

This screencast follows on from the previous Mathematical Symbols in Word for Mac.

In this screencast, I show a fast method for typing mathematical expressions involving basic symbols (like × and ÷). This method doesn't require the mouse to navigate a menu nor does it require an Equation to be inserted.

Mathematical Symbols in Word for Mac

Sunday, 25 January 2015 ·

This is an update to the second most popular item on this blog, Maths symbols in Word (Mac).

Self-checking Christmas Worksheet

Thursday, 04 December 2014 ·

Here's a self-checking, simple questions, as you get the answers correct the tree lights up.

Nothing fancy. Just needed something for a computer lab tomorrow.

Organising Lessons

Thursday, 24 January 2013 ·

Back in 2011 I wrote:

Some things I do… Keep a list of my lessons in Excel. Each lesson has a Topic, Title and Description – and I get Excel to make a “code” to identify that lesson.
To a new teacher…

Here is how I get Excel to create a lesson code.

Consumer Arithmetic - Spending - Electronic Worksheets

Monday, 17 December 2012 ·

This is part 2 of my electronic worksheets for Consumer Arithmetic. Part 2 focuses on Spending Money, in particular: profit and loss, discounts, purchasing, best buys and buying on terms (hire purchase). (Part 1 focused on earning money)

Consumer Arithmetic - Electronic Worksheets

Saturday, 03 November 2012 ·

Through the start of this term, I’ve been creating a series of electronic worksheets (in Excel) to cover the ‘earning money’ part of a Consumer Arithmetic topic.

Being too helpful?

Saturday, 25 August 2012 ·

As I said in an earlier post...

2012 is looking like a year of quiet reflection (i.e. maybe not much on this blog), contemplation and trial and error.

Here is some recent thinking, please comment.

Code Breaking

Saturday, 05 May 2012 ·

I recently received an email from the AAMT:

National Mathematics Day is Friday 18 May and looks at codes and code-breaking — to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing.

Smartie Statistics

Thursday, 08 September 2011 ·

Looking around, there are lots of activities for collecting and analysing data using small boxes of Smarties. Here is my version.

Making a self-checking worksheet in Excel

Friday, 15 July 2011 ·

I’ve had interest in how I make self-checking worksheets using Excel.

Index Notation/Laws Hot Potatoes Exercises

Monday, 11 July 2011 ·

Last term I had Year 9 review and learn index notation and the index laws through some self-directed activities.

New Section - GeoGebra

Wednesday, 15 June 2011 ·

I know there are stacks of GeoGebra files available on the Internet, but I’ve started putting my own here on the site.

Substitution Spider

Thursday, 21 April 2011 ·

Having made a Tables Spider this other day, I realised that I made myself a template for creating all sorts of “spiders”.

Maths for SRN

Thursday, 21 April 2011 ·

With Stu Hasic’s Student Response Network (SRN) virtual clicker software installed on the 2011 DER laptops that NSW public school students in Year 9 receive this year, I wanted to try it out.

Tables Spider

Monday, 18 April 2011 ·

In 2007, I wrote about a resource, a Number Spider, that I used as a lesson starter.

Fun with Coordinate Geometry

Wednesday, 22 December 2010 ·

Tanya Duffy shared a great coordinate geometry activity on a private forum earlier in December.

Term 3 2010 SDD

Monday, 19 July 2010 ·

Each year for the Term 3 SDD (Staff Development Day), the four schools (three 7-10 and one 11-12) in the collegiate I work in get together for a combined program.

Time - Self-checking Excel Resource

Friday, 11 June 2010 ·

This is a resource for skills in working with time.

Teaching Year 10 with Laptops

Sunday, 07 February 2010 ·

In 2009, Year 9 got their DER netbooks and now they are in Year 10. This year’s Year 9 does not have their netbooks yet, and so this gives teachers a little time to get their heads around the inclusion of netbooks into the classroom. This year, I’m teaching a 5.2 pathway Year 10 class (and a Year 9 5.2 class).

Make a roll book

Thursday, 07 January 2010 ·

Teacher’s all have their own way of keeping track of student attendance, and other aspects that are recorded in class. Here’s mine, it might give you some ideas.

Drawing in Excel

Monday, 30 November 2009 ·

A lesson for Year 9 students with DER laptops, or anyone really.

Computer Aided Homework

Sunday, 18 October 2009 ·

A Digital Education Revolution (DER) laptop in the hands of all Year 9 students changes everything… or does it?

End of term activities 5 - Patterns

Thursday, 01 October 2009 ·

Tomorrow is the last day of term… hurray! Here’s another end of term activity for use with your maths class.

Making a dice

Monday, 28 September 2009 ·

In my IST class, we’re studying Modeling and Simulation, and started to make a model of a dice using Excel.

Thinking about it, the technique involved in making this would also be of interest to Maths teachers.

Brisbane Broncos Number Plane Logo

Monday, 21 September 2009 ·

Last year, I posted the Melbourne Storm Number Plane Logo – and today, exactly one year later, purely by coincidence, I’ve made a Brisbane Broncos Number Place activity.

World’s Fastest Clapper

Saturday, 01 August 2009 ·

Here’s a quirky little activity that uses the DER laptops.

Using GeoGebra

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 ·

This article is not a “how-to” but rather some thinking about using GeoGebra (a discussion starter maybe).

Curriculum Support for DER

Monday, 20 July 2009 ·

For NSW DET teachers, the Curriculum Support web-site has been updated with resources for the DER, i.e. the laptops being rolled out to Year 9 students.

Time to learn

Sunday, 05 July 2009 ·

Teacher’s throughout NSW DET schools are starting to receive their DER netbooks.

Google SketchUp

Thursday, 02 July 2009 ·

Google Sketchup is one of the applications bundled on the DER netbooks being rolled out into NSW Public High Schools in Term 3. But as it’s free, you can download it now for Windows XP/Vista & Mac OS X.


Friday, 05 June 2009 ·

I wanted to play a multiplication bingo type game with a class the other day, so I grabbed two 10 sided dice (apparently you don’t need to call a single dice a “die” anymore) out of the cupboard. Then I thought… hey I have a projector and a laptop.

L4L Software Specs

Thursday, 04 June 2009 ·

The NSW DET will shortly equip Year 9 students with a Lenovo S10e netbook as part of a program called “Laptops for Learning” (L4L). To me, if we are going to do this – then it’s time to include some good software on these machines and help out schools who cannot afford some of the more exciting applications.

Drawing Mathematically

Saturday, 16 May 2009 ·

Are you drawing mathematical diagrams in Microsoft Word? You might even be achieving success doing this; once you’ve worked out how to wrangle Microsoft apps to do what you want, they can be powerful. But, for drawing mathematical diagrams there are better options.

FX Draw by Efofex is the application for drawing static diagrams for inclusion in worksheets, assessment tasks etc. The one down-side of this software is that there is no Mac version. (The rest of the Efofex MathPack is worth the money as well)

Parts of a Circle

Wednesday, 15 April 2009 ·

I need to learn to use GeoGebra because it looks like a fantastic app, it’s free and shortly our students will have their own netbooks, itching to use them. I find the best way to learn new software is to do something with it that you need.

Bearing and airports

Thursday, 05 March 2009 ·

As part of a unit on Trigonometry, we review compass and true bearings before working with bearings in Trigonometry problems.
To start this review lesson, we looked at some images from Google Earth.

Temperature Conversion Graph

Saturday, 10 January 2009 ·

As I was putting together a lesson on using conversion graphs, I couldn’t find a nice temperature conversion graph – so I created one.

Maths symbols in Word (Mac)

Saturday, 03 January 2009 ·

Some of the methods in this article do not work in Microsot Word for Mac 2011. Please see the updated post Mathematical Symbols in Word for Mac for a screencast describing the current best method (in my opinion).

Creating a maths worksheet in Microsoft Word without using the proper symbols does not present well – I’m sure you’ve seen 2 * 2 = 4 or 2 × 2 = 4 rather than 2 × 2 = 4.  My previous post, Maths symbols in Word is one of the most popular on this site.  In that post, I gave shortcuts for inserting mathematical symbols into Word – the post was specific to the Windows version of Word.  As I’ve been a Mac user for a year, it’s time to make a similar post for Mac users.

Melbourne Storm Number Plane Logo

Saturday, 20 September 2008 ·

Around this time each year, our programs have Year 8 and Year 10 looking at the Number Plane.  For the end of the term, it’s nice timing, because it allows us to draw some pictures on the number plane.  One favourite is the logos of various NRL


Generating random questions in Excel - Basic operations

Sunday, 11 March 2007 ·

In this second post about using Excel to generate random questions, the first showed how to make a question about money, I show the simple formulae used to generate questions using the 4 basic operations.

Generating random questions in Excel - Money

Saturday, 10 February 2007 ·

Excel, part of Microsoft Office, is great for working with numbers.  For a maths class, Excel can be used for standard applications like working with tables of data and creating graphs.  Other teaching and learning applications that I’ve seen include creating self-marking computer based worksheets, interactive worksheets using sliders and even randomly generating questions for paper worksheets.

Maths symbols in Word

Sunday, 14 January 2007 ·

Many teachers use Microsoft Word to create worksheets.  It’s not designed for the job, there are better options but Word is the easiest to learn and has the greatest compatibility – making it easy to share documents.  One of the problems I see is that many people don’t know how to insert symbols into their document.  For example, x (the letter) is not a good substitue for × (the multiplication symbol).  This post shows you how to insert symbols like ×, ÷ and π quickly, on most computers (a Windows PC running Microsoft office).

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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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