– A Great Math Program for Self Motivated Teens


This is a guest post by Stephanie from

For those who need a math education program that can allow high school students to work at their own pace, may be what you’re looking for. Subject material from basic math skills to more advanced forms of linear algebra are present and ready for you to explore, as well as science and computing courses. While there are some materials that can be tested for free, a subscription is needed in order to take advantage of the courses at this website.

How Detailed are the Courses?
Each course is divided among several sections each carefully going through various aspects of the material. Videos are accompanied by notes, sometimes practice questions and downloadable slides in order to allow you to work on your specific section offline. Each section also provides an area that allows students to leave comments about each lecture.

Each section can have several hours’ worth of video content that students can watch in order to learn the material. Since this is a work-at-your-own-pace environment, you can watch these videos as often as you wish in order to help you retain the knowledge.

What Kind of Interaction Can be Expected?
The content provided at is geared more towards the self-starter who is able to learn well from watching video. There is no interaction within the courses save for the comment section that every student has access to. Although there are a few quizzes that can be useful to help you determine if you are understanding the content, the actual interaction regarding the material is quite nominal. If you thrive on social interaction to achieve a common goal, may not be the best of choices.

How Professional are the Lecture Providers?
Those that provide the video content of the website are seasoned professionals in his or her field. The video delivery is well performed and is spoken in a clear and understandable tone. Each professional seems to be well versed in his or her topic and provide detailed information. During the lecture, you can see the speaker on the right while he or she is working the content on the left in a larger window. While this gives the sense of interpersonal connection, the video can easily be paused reminding you that it’s not a live stream. Check out the sample video below:

What is the Cost of this Education? has several plans for those that may be interested in learning at his or her own pace through video content. While some may view the subscription plans as steep in comparison to other online educational materials, the quality of the content you will be receiving could be worth your investment. has a wide range of material covering math, science, programming and more. Each is quite detailed and can be broken down to specific areas of need. Whether you are looking for a brush-up on your mathematical skills or need in-depth tutoring and knowledge, the courses available can help you accomplish your goals. As with all work-at-your-own-pace themes to education, your success using this site will be ultimately determined of your own level of commitment. Keep a strong momentum and you will be successful learning additional mathematics.

Author Bio:

Stephanie has many years of experience as a nanny. She has always loved children and has continuously been involved in childcare activities. Currently she is one of the writers for If you want to get in touch with her, you can email her at stephanie. Houstonnanny @ gmail. com.


Pretend Mind Reading – A Way Of Learning Algebra by Lawrence Ball


This is a guest post by Lawrence Ball

Here’s a way to pretend you read someone’s mind.

It’s also a way to get familiar with algebra.

I want you to do some calculations for me, are you ready?

mind reading math


  • Think of a number between 1 and 5, don’t tell me what it is, but remember it for later. OK? Got one?
  • Now double it. OK?
  • Now add 10.
  • Now halve it (or divide it by 2 – same thing)
  • Now take away the number you started with.

Your answer is 5.

Well it should be, if it isn’t you made a mistake!

Lets try another one.

  • Think of a number between 1 and 5

The reason I keep it between 1 and 5 is because if you try this on someone who’s not so good at arithmetic, and they make a mistake, then it backfires on everybody, so keep the numbers small, many adults make mistakes on this, and younger humans too.

Anyhow, again

  • Think of a number between 1 and 5, (don’t tell me what it is, but remember it for later. OK? Got one?)
  • Now, multiply by 3. OK?
  • Now add 12.
  • Now divide it by 3.
  • Now take away the number you started with.

Your answer is 4.

Lets do one more, to show you more how the numbers can be varied each time, in fact you can make these up as you go along, which is what I am doing at this moment.

  • Think of a number between 1 and 5, don’t tell me what it is, but remember it for later. OK? Got one?
  • Now multiply by 5. OK?
  • Now add 10.
  • Now divide by 5.
  • Now take away the number you started with.

Your answer is 2.

Now, welcome to algebra…..

Lets see how this pretend telepathy actually works.

I often teach this at the beginning of learning algebra, partly as a way of entertaining my students, why not have fun learning?

We start off with a number we don’t know. Now in algebra, its actually useful to have a way of referring to something we don’t know. It might seem strange to you, but that’s what we do. This is a stage removed from maths so far, which we now refer to as arithmetic. Algebra is a kind of maths where we deal with not only numbers that we know like 6 or 3.2 or a quarter, but also numbers we don’t know (at least not yet). We use letters, often x, or another letter.

In this number trick, I think “x” when I consider your chosen number, and when I ask you to double the number in the first one, I don’t know what number you have now, but I do know that whatever it is, its twice the number we started with, so at this point in the trick we have


twice the number we don’t know. We still don’t know what it is.

Then I ask you to add 10. In algebra we represent this as


We still don’t know what the number is at this stage, but we do know, that whatever it is, it is twice what you started with, with 10 added on extra.

Now here’s the clever bit. What we now do, is halve the number you’ve got now, the 2x+10, and we can do that by halving the 2 pieces separately. Half of twice the number (2x) we don’t know is just the number (x), and half of 10 is 5.


Now this is clever because no-one really notices that the 10 and the 5 are connected (unless they know the trick), so we now take away the number you started with, which is the x, and guess what – you’re left with…


Apparent magic.

No matter what you started with, any uncertainty has now been removed. We now know exactly what the number you finished with is.

That’s how the first one works.

Now, lets look at the other 2 versions I created. Again you think of a number between 1 and 5, we write


A number we don’t know.

I’m very fond of this little phrase I tell my students, it makes them laugh (and me too). x is a number we don’t know, but we can still talk about it, even though we don’t know what it is!

Its easy to forget what x and these letters mean, we can end up with a pile of mumbo-jumbo and turns into a lot of nothing, if we forget the richness and clarity of what we’re doing.

Then I ask to multiply by 3, because I don’t know what the number is, (in fact you could have a whole roomful of people with different numbers). Its now three times the number you started with.


Now I ask to add 12, so we have 3 times the number I don’t know with 12 added on extra.


Now, cleverly we divide by 3, by dividing the 2 pieces separately. 3x divided by 3 is x. 12 divided by 3 is 4.


Then, we say take away the number you started with, (the x), and your answer is


Give people plenty of time to do this, as you’re trying to impress people, particularly people who don’t know the trick, you want to make sure the answer comes out right, because if someone sees this for the first time they can get a real fun shock at this point.

Lastly, again you think of a number between 1 and 5, we write


times by 5


add 10


divide by 5


Then, we say take away the number you started with, (the x), and your answer is


I hope that clarifies this trick, what you have to realise is that the number you multiply and divide by must be the same – 5 in the last case – otherwise its not going to come back to x at the end. The number you add on needs to be a number that that number goes into – in this case 10 must divide by 5, you couldn’t add 11 and have the answer come out to be a whole number.

You must always remember to take away the number they started with at the end. It may help to remember you have one of each of the 4 operations, a times, a plus, a divide and a minus, in that order.

For more clarity see my video on this trick:

Mind Reading by Algebra from Lawrence Ball on Vimeo.

If you havn’t seen this before I hope you found this interesting and fun, and hopefully now, or soon (you could always reread to clarify) you can play this trick on your friends and family, and even better your maths teacher which might impress them no end, and may even cause a creative diversion in the classroom.

Lawrence Ball, London, UK    July 4 2013

Find Lawrence on Adrian Beckett’s Maths tutoring site. 

Lawrence Ball is ( a long-term maths tutor (but also composer and musician), with a history of helping with motivation and difficulty, as well as with maths material. He has tutored privately including extended royal family, and all 4 children of Lady Helene Hayman, and has had big success in helping pupils with dyslexia.

He has developed ways to teach basic arithmetic which are innovative, and that promote relaxed concentration. He lives in North London.

Start Celebrating Maths: 5 Fun Resources for Learning Maths

This is a guest post by Clare Evans

Maths. It’s one of those subjects your children either love or hate.


For some, getting their head around number patterns, learning their times tables, and mastering long division is just too much to bear. But maths has been considered ‘boring’ for far too long.

It’s such a valuable subject, that teaches your children skills for life. Skills they will need to employ almost every day in their adult life. So it’s time to start a revolution. It’s time we started celebrating maths and making it fun.

Here, are five fun resources you can use – either at school or in the home – to make learning maths a blast:

1. Apps

Zoom app

We’re witnessing a technology boom, and children of all ages know their way around an iPhone or iPad better than many adults. If this sounds like your kids, you should embrace their tech-savvy nature and make maths fun with an app or two.

There are plenty of apps for children of all ages and abilities, making this a great aid for many parents. A quick browse of the app store on your mobile or tablet will bring up a plethora of free and paid for apps, designed at teaching different skills.

If you’re not sure what you’re looking for though, this post from Maths Insider lists some of the best.

2. The Internet

If you don’t own a tablet but still want to make the most of these more modern methods, the World Wide Web is by far your biggest ally.

There are a whole host of websites and online games designed to make maths fun; many of which, your children won’t even see as learning. Again, do your research and find out the best ones for your child’s age and ability, but you won’t be short on options.

Mashable recently posted their pick of ‘5 Fun Ways to Help Children Learn Maths Online’. You can check that out here for some inspiration and places to start.

3. The TV

Believe it or not, your kids can get clued up on maths by watching the TV.

Children’s television has always had a strong focus on learning, but this has only increased in recent years. Now, your kids can watch some great programmes that are all geared towards making maths – and other subjects – fun and interesting.

There are also a number of dedicated revision services and programmes available via your television which can be a great aid for older children. The TV is a great maths teaching aid as it doesn’t really feel like learning, but you’d be surprised at what your children pick up on.

(Check out Maths Insider’s cool and funky You Tube maths recommendations for Kindergarten kids.)

4. Games

Dino math board game

Some children learn better by ‘doing’, which is where these more tangible maths aids come in. Games like Times Table Snap, Primary Numbers Bingo and Fraction Towers are all great ways you and your children can play and learn together.

There is also a lot to be said for ‘playing shop’ with your children. Write a price list for things you can buy from their ‘shop’ and ask them to be shop keeper. Do your shopping and ask them to tally up the amount in their head. You can then get them to work out how much change you’re owned and what coins they could give you.

This is fun and something you can do for real if you take your children along when you do the weekly shop. These aids can be brought online or in local toy stores and are a must-have for parents looking to make learning maths more fun.

(Maths Insider shares some excellent parent tested maths board games here)

5. Books

Never underestimate the power – or fun – of a good workbook.

Some children will prefer this method of learning as it is similar to how they’re taught at school. You can get loads of work books aimed at different age groups online, and go through them with your little ones.

Choose ones with bright colours, loads of images and plenty of variety. If you can work through the more fun games and puzzles, you will be able to foster a love of maths. You should also buy puzzle books like Sudoku’s and other number puzzles for your children. They keep the brain active, and are a great way of learning new skills.

There are plenty of fun resourcess for learning maths that you can purchase for your children, and a whole host of ways you change your kids’ perception of the subject. Sure it can be hard at times, but it is a hugely important subject and one that can be fun when you look at it a new way.


Clare Evans is writing on behalf of Core Assets, the  largest private agency for fostering in the UK, and recent winner of the Global Diversity Award 2013.

Back to School Math Goodies Giveaway!


My 4 kids went back to school this week.

I’m glad that we’re back into some sort of a routine, but am wondering how I’m going to survive yet another 9+ months of getting up super early.

Whether you’re homeschooling or sending your kids to school, it’s likely that you’re reading the Maths Insider blog to find out how to put some spice in your child’s relationship with math!

Well as a Back to School gift to you, I’ve got together once again, with Bon Crowder, fellow math blogger extraordinaire, from  Math is Not a Four Letter Word to bring you some math inspiration freebies.

Once you’ve signed up (oh! and btw we won’t share your email with anyone else!) You’ll get 9 days of fresh math ideas including:

The Maths Insider Interviews – steal ideas from real life maths teachers

The Four Facts of Math Video – If you don’t put these 4 facts into action you risk another year of maths hating

If You Give a Man Some Hands – the coolest little hand drawn cartoon ebook to share maths ideas with your child

Bumper High School MatBumper Preschool Math Pack

The Super Math Giveaway Preschool and High School Packs – the coolest apps, You Tube channels and podcast for teens and apps, hands-on activities and toys and games for little ones

and much more…..

Click through to the Super Math Giveaway website to find out more and to start receiving your free maths gifts!

p.s. Don’t forget to like and share this on Facebook and Tweet out this rockin’ offer!

p.p.s. If you’re already signed to Super Math Giveaway  from 2 years ago, you’ll get the additional content sent to you. No need to sign up again!

Questimate! – Quite Possibly the Coolest Math iPad App! [Giveaway]


I came across Questimate! by Motion Math a few weeks back when I carrying out some research for my post iPad apps for preschoolers.

You see Jacob Klein and his team at Motion Math have produced some of the coolest IOS apps from the cute Motion Math:Hungry Guppy for little kids to the zoomingly fab Motion Math:Zoom for kids young and old.

Questimate! and Questimate Pro are the latest apps from Motion Math to use their zoom technology to show just how cool math really can be!

 Questimate iPad App

Questimate!  is an estimation game where kids make their own questions:

  • How many giraffes would be as tall as the Statue of Liberty?
  • How fast is the world’s fastest train?
  • How many jelly beans would it take to fill up a soccer ball?
  • In what year was the cell phone invented?

and lots more questions based around the categories of Amazing Animals, Need for Speed, History of Awesome, and GeoOdyssey.

Estimation skills are a really important part of kids math development and are a requirement in the Common Core Standard. Questimate makes estimation fun!

Questimate iPad app

This cool math app is aimed at kids aged 9 and upwards, but you’ll see from the video below of my 6 and 12 year old boys playing Questimate (with some help from their 14 year old sister and their 4 year old brother) that the app has broad appeal.

You can also see from the banter in the video that my kids loved Questimate!

Questimate! is the free version, which you can see my kids playing. There’s also Questimate! – Pro  which gives access to the full range of cool questimation questions!

Motion Math have given me 2 promo codes  for Questimate! – Pro for the iPad worth $7.99 each to give away to Maths Insider readers.

For a chance to win:

  1. Like the Maths Insider FaceBook page
  2. Download the FREE  Questimate! by Motion Math app
  3. Take a photo or screenshot of one of the cool questions that your child makes on Questimate
  4. Upload the pic onto FB and Tag @Maths Insider with a message (e.g Playing Questimate iPad app, recommended by @Maths Insider)

I’ll pick 2 random winners from all entries submitted by midnight GMT Sunday 8th September 2013.

Help your Bookworm Child Start Loving Mathematics


This is a guest post by Davis Miller:

As far as math is concerned, most kids in the U.S. are not making the grade. Former math teacher at Stanford, Jo Boaler, published  What’s Math Got to Do with It?: How Parents and Teachers Can Help Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject in which she offers great advice for parents struggling to help their children love math. She outlines practical solutions meant to change perspectives including study strategies and tips to make even the keenest book lover appreciate math. Boaler believes that kids could be interested in mathematical ideas as long as they’re fascinating and eye-catching. Games, easy puzzles, and patterns are great ways of making bookworm kids fond of math.

everyday math

Math fun with M&Ms

Who doesn’t love M&Ms? They’re colorful, fun to play with and of course, delicious. Kids will love to sort them by color, count them, and eat them. It’s equally important for parents to ask their kids questions like: “How many green M&Ms do you think you have?” “How many M&Ms are in total?” Appealing to their senses and tricking them into getting out of their comfort zone is an excellent way of helping them love math. A lot of parents think that there’s no way to make their bookworm children appreciate mathematics. As far as kids are concerned, remember this: there’s always a way to catch their attention, you just have to find it.

Every day chores may lead to math opportunities

Most every day chores involve math skills. Therefore, as a loving parent you should find the best ways to make your kids love it. Shopping, cooking, planning trips, cleaning, they’re all related in one way or another to mathematics. For example, you should start by including daily activities that include numbers, but try not to scare your kids away with demanding tasks. Make a pie and ask for help from your kid. Let him measure ingredients and the experience won’t just be educative, it will also be entertaining. Your toddler may be a book person, but still, who can say No to pie?

Math and literature are like yin and yang

While that may be true, we all know that opposites attract. Did you ever think of recommending your child a book with math concepts? It doesn’t have to be something obvious, and as long as the text is perfectly combined with the math, your kid will love it. Parents must constantly find ways to draw their children’s attention. Check out the math related story books in the Go Read Some Math post. You could organize weekly ‘book clubs’ and spend more time together. Appeal to his logical side and try to see if you can make him more curious about math. Early childhood brings about an array of hobbies, so your kid will want to be doctor today, a pilot tomorrow, and who knows, maybe he will end up an engineer 20 years from now.

Math and chess

Teach your kids to play chess

Rather simple at first, chess is a really complex strategy game. It requires great analytical skills, so you can’t know if your kids have them or not unless you teach them. Take things slow and make them understand the rules first. Try as much as you can to do it in a fun way, and try not to put pressure on your toddlers. To make them feel good about themselves, let them win every once in a while. It’s really important for parents to be supportive as far as learning math is concerned, and board games are a fun, engaging way to make such an exact science seem more laidback.

Math is everywhere

We cannot help but admit that math is everywhere. As a parent, you need to take advantage of that if you want to make your bookworm kid love numbers more than his beloved Juggle Book by Kipling. Numbers are constantly present in our daily lives, and to make things interesting for kids you need to come up with facts. Watch morning weathercasts together and calculate simple equations, use fractions for fruit divisions, and if you just bought a lottery ticket, allow your kid to fill in the numbers.

As parents we cannot force our kids into liking math; what we can do is make use of smart techniques that will make them like it. You may not realize it, but fun learning methods could awaken your child’s interest in math. Without proper encouragement you won’t be able to convince a bookworm child to give up reading.


Author Bio: Davis Miller is a fun loving guy who loves to play with children. He is a writer and his articles are mainly focused on school-going children. Apart from that, he also works for a site which is an ultimate guide to Exam success.


Is Thinkster Math a Real Alternative to Kumon?


Each month thousands of people come to the Maths Insider blog looking for unbiased information about Kumon. When it comes to math tuition, Kumon have cornered the market for center based tuition, but if the high cost and the mixed reviews from parents and teachers alike have you searching for an effective alternative, then Thinkster Math could be exactly what you’re looking for.

About Thinkster Math

Thinkster Math is an online program which, like Kumon, offers an individualized K -Grade 8 math program, except using digital worksheets and video tutorials. One of the major added benefits of Thinkster Math is that a real life math tutor not only checks over your child’s work, but provides feedback to you weekly about their progress. The Thinkster Math content is aligned to the Common Core which all states in the USA use in their math programs. It’s also based on the Singapore Math program which is one of the world’s most respected math program. There are also worksheets tailored for the UK and  Australian curricula.

Tutor feedback tight shot

I tested the Thinkster Math program for 2 weeks with my 6 and 12 years olds. Initially I was cynical, as to how Thinkster Math would be any different from the thousands of math apps available, but my kids are used to being guinea pigs for testing out new math programs, and the fact that they could do their work on an iPad while slouching around the house really appealed to them.

How Thinkster Math worked out

After signing up and my kids doing their diagnostic tests, a welcome email from my kids Thinkster Math tutor landed in my inbox giving me some insightful feedback on their tests and inviting me to connect on Skype to discuss my kids study plans. Cool! Throughout the trial any questions I had about Thinkster Math and my kids work were answered quickly and efficiently. It was obvious that my kids Thinkster Math tutor was personally overseeing their work and making adjustments to their study plan when needed. [edit: The Thinkster Math program now also offers one-to one coaching sessions with experienced math coaches]


Being a busy mom, I didn’t read all the detailed instructions on how to use Thinkster Math, but the simple interface on the iPad made it easy for my kids to work it out for themselves. I was worried that the lack of game play and avatars that many online math programs and apps have, would be a turn-off for my kids, but there are a few unexpectedly simple things that my kids liked about Thinkster Math: 

  • they seemed satisfied with the simple audio and big tick that announced a correct answer,

  • they loved the second chance they got if they got the answer wrong first time and the chance to go back and try questions they’d missed out.

  • they appreciated the immediate feedback that the app gave at the end of the worksheet,

  • they liked the personal feedback from the tutor the next day after she’d reviewed the work,

  • my 6 year old also loved the detailed breakdown of how long it took to answer each question, looking to see his fastest time! 

My kids didn’t use this, but there’s the ability to “flag” a question so that they can get more detailed feedback and help on that particular question.


Other things we liked about Thinkster Math

Our Thinkster Math tutor spotted that although he’d got all the questions correct, my older son had used an over-long method, and suggested he watched the video tutorial before the next worksheet. Also she could see that my younger one did know his number sequences, even though he got the last few wrong, because he wanted to go out to play and just typed random numbers to get the worksheet finished! The things that make Thinkster Math a good alternative the Kumon are:

  • No marking your kids work, the system does it

  • The clear video tutorials that your child can watch if they want

  • It’s half the price of Kumon

  • No traveling to a center (Yay!)

  • Thinkster Math covers the whole math curriculum including problem solving. Math is more than just arithmetic and algebra

  • The flexibility to discuss and change the study plan

  • A real math tutor to guide your child through the program, way cheaper than the $30+ per hour for a private tutor and $80 per hour at a specialized learning center

  • A system that tracks the speed of work to show your child’s confidence level for every question, just as teacher observes students in class

  • The individualized but flexible study plan based on your child’s actual work as well as on their results



Thinkster Math free trial

Thinkster Math offers a 1 week trial, which is definitely worth checking out if you have a 5 – 14 year old. Over that 1 week period you’d get a pretty good idea whether Thinkster Math would suit your child’s learning style. After the free trial Thinkster Math plans start from $60 but Thinkster Math are offering Maths Insider readers a 10% a month discount on their subscription for the first 3 months. To grab your free trial and 10% discount for 3 months, click here 


Disclosure: After writing this Thinkster Math review, I was invited to join the Thinkster Math team as a part time instructor. (I might even be your child’s Thinkster Math instructor if you sign up from Europe) After seeing behind the scenes of the Thinkster Math system I’m even more impressed, but I’ll still be continuing to share plenty of other cool math ideas and resources here on Maths Insider!  

Click here to grab your FREE 13 page sampler of The Ultimate Kumon Review

How to Pay Off One Trillion Dollars – Math Video


Caught my 12 and 13 year old’s watching this cool math video last week titled How to Pay Off One Trillion Dollars and had to share it with you!

head squeeze you tube math

I’ve written recently about Fab Math and Science You Tube Channels which keep me away from the cooking and my kids away from their homework! The Head Squeeze Channel’s Number Hub episodes (released every Tuesday) are math videos that definitely present math in a fun and interesting way for pre-teens, teens and adults.

Check the Trillion Dollars video out below:


Say “Thank You” With One of These 13 Marvelous Math Teacher Gifts

Whether it’s your child’s math teacher, math tutor or Kumon instructor who has helped build a love of math in your child, sometimes you’ll want to say thanks by buying your child’s math mentor a gift. When I did my stint at the whiteboard teaching math to 11 to 18 year olds, my students would often give me scarves as gifts since they knew I loved wearing scarves with unusual designs, but I also loved the mathy gifts I was given!

If you’re stuck for math teacher gift ideas, check out these 13 marvelous math teacher gifts, suitable as a holiday gift, an end of year gift or an “I just want to say, “Thank You”” gift.

math teacher gifts

Mathematical Formulas Mug$16.95

This mug is great for catching out other teacher’s who steal your mug, or at the very least a cool statement of math love (especially if your math teacher actually understands all these equations!) Featuring the Theory of Relativity formula and 19 other formulae to make even the most part-time mathematician look smart!

Pi Symbol Ice Cube Tray $9.95

It was a close tie between this Pi ice cube tray, a Pi baking mold, and a Pi cookie cutter, but the “coolness” of this gift combined with the fact that everyone, not only those who love baking, will love making Pi ice in this silicon ice cube tray.

 3 Pi Pewter Earrings $24.99

These handmade Pi pewter earrings get great reviews on Amazon. Customers talk about not only how cool they look, but also vouch that they’re high quality. They are also small (0.5 inches) which helps math fans make  a subtle statement.

Abacus Keychain $9.95

For a nice discreet gift, take a look at this metal Abacus Keychain. Math teachers can use this for keys or as an ornament for that bag full of math papers that need to be marked by tomorrow.

Set Square and Protractor Cufflinks  $24.95

If geometry has been at the forefront of your child’s math learning this year, these metal, chrome finished cufflinks will make a great gift.  The cufflinks come in a small velveteen gift box.

Math Number & Symbol Soap – Handcrafted in the USA $10

These  multicolored number and symbol soaps are a cute gift for a math or elementary teacher. The 14 soaps come in a gift wrapped, reusable galvanized tub, are hypoallergenic and haven’t been tested on animals.

Math Teacher Gifts Weapons of Math Instruction Refrigerator Magnet $4.99

Fridge magnets are a great value gift. This humorous fridge magnet features math formulae, math expressions and math equipment. It also has a glass-like finish embedded with UV protection to protect against fading.

Keep Calm And Teach Math Coffee Mug Teacher Appreciation $6.99

This 11oz ceramic mug features a nice reminder (printed on both sides) for math teachers for when the going gets tough in class. This “Keep Calm” mug is both dishwasher and microwave safe.

Keep Calm And Love Math, iPhone 5 Premium Hard Plastic Case $6.99

Yet another “Keep Calm” product (yes, as a mom of 4, I am a fan of these!) This black iPhone 5 case has an aluminum outer shell coated with a crystal enamel.

 10 Mathematical Pi Symbol Pie Plate  $39.99

A higher priced, high quality gift features rather a lot of the digits of Pi. This 10″ stoneware Pi plate is microwave, dishwasher and also oven safe, so can actually be used to bake pies!

11 Möbius Swirl Napkin Rings (set of 4) $39.99

Based on the cool one sided math shape, these napkin rings are a classy gift. Made from polished nickel and designed by a German artist, the Möbius Napkins come ready packed in a gift box.

12 Teacher Neckties E=MC²  $14.95

This quirky necktie is one of a range of neckties especially designed for school teachers. The math teacher necktie features E=mc² along with various math and science symbols and equations.

13 Science/Math Coffee Gift Basket  $44.99

The whole class loves your child’s math teacher? Try collecting gift money from other families and use the money to by this lovely gift basket. The gift basket is made up of a huge 15oz mug, 4 soft coasters, 5 – small bags of gourmet coffee and a Biscotti cookie. Yum!

For more marvelous math gifts check out The Maths Insider Ultimate Gift Guide AND 12 Cool and Quirky Math Teacher Gifts

Listen Up! 8 Fascinating Podcasts to Spark a Love of Math in your Teen

MATHS INSIDERS bloggs (11)

I’ve calculated that I spend around 14 hours a week in my car, with school runs, and shipping my kids to after school activities. During these trips, we spend a lot of time chatting (If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?) and also a little time  staring at the traffic out of the window as well as a lot of time bickering.

One of my favorite in-car activities when I’m on my own in the car is listening to podcasts. I’ve even spent a few dollars and bought the amazing Downcast app so I can easily search, arrange, queue, and play my favorite podcasts. It’s way better than the built in podcast app on my iPhone and is well worth the $1.99.

As well as the Freakonomics podcast which almost always gets played as soon as it’s released and is popular with my teen and preteen as well, we also love the How to Do Everything podcast. I’ve only been listening intensively to podcasts for the past few months and as with any new hobby, I can’t help thinking, “Everyone should be doing this!”

Listening to podcasts is a great way of taking in new information and taking a fresh look at old information for anyone with a busy lifestyle, like parents and teens. So whether you’re a fellow podcast fan or have yet to discover this cool way of filling in dead time; here’s a list of 8 fascinating podcasts to help spark a love of math in your teen:


Photo courtesy of Olly Hart

Freakonomics Radio

In their books “Freakonomics” and “SuperFreakonomics,” Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explore “the hidden side of everything,” with stories about cheating schoolteachers, self-dealing real-estate agents, and crack-selling mama’s boys. The Freakonomics Radio podcast, hosted by Dubner, carries on that tradition with weekly episodes. Prepare to be enlightened, engaged, perhaps enraged, and definitely surprised.

This is my favorite podcast of all. The mix of statistics and economics and psychology brought to life by the 2 Steve’s makes this a must listen-to podcast series. Episodes range from just a few minutes long to up to an hour, but the professional editing and storytellinh=g makes those minutes whizz through in a flash.

Maths Insider pick: Women Are Not Men

Equality of the sexes has long been a goal, and in many ways that goal is being met. But, as you’ll hear on this program, the variance between men and women on some dimensions is still large. … We’re not trying to start any arguments. We’re just trying to look at the data that show differences between men and women to figure out why those differences exist, and how meaningful they are.

Math Dude Quick and Dirty Tips

The Math Dude’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Make Math Easier seeks to undo those years of classroom pain and suffering. Find tips and tricks to make math fun—and useful—again.

Part of the Quick and Dirty Tips team which includes my other favorites, The Get Fit Guy and The Mighty Mommy, The Math Dude unravels the mysteries of math in these short podcasts. (each episode is usually less than 10 minutes long)As a teacher and mathematician Jason Marshall holds the listener’s hand as he cuts through the math jargon.

Maths Insider pick: How to Use Percentages to Easily Calculate Tips

Learn the power of ten percent to easily calculate the tip next time you visit your favorite restaurant.


More or Less: Behind the Stats

Tim Harford investigates numbers in the news. Numbers are used in every area of public debate. But are they always reliable? Tim and the More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics which surround us.

More or Less is another podcast which I love listening to with my 13 and 12 year olds. It’s made by the BBC which as an expat Brit reminds me of home. Highlighting the way in which math and statistics can be used and misused, each episode will leave you with a great talking point as to why the statistics you’ve heard recently in the news may not be all they seem.

Maths Insider pick: Are there more black men in college or prison in the US?

Only last week Ivory Toldson heard the speaker say there are more black men in prison in America than in college. ‘Here we go again’ he thought. Only the week before he had written his second article on why this statistic is not true. This week Ruth Alexander looks at where this ‘fact’ came from and why it is still being used.

Math Mutation

Welcome to Math Mutation, a podcast where we discuss fun, interesting, or just plain wierd corners of mathematics that you would not have heard in school.

I only came across this podcast while rearching this post, but it’s such a nice little podcast that I’ve added it to my Downcast podcast list. An independent podcast presented by engineer and teacher, Erik Seligman, these 5 minute podcast episodes are a mix and myth-busting and math, with some jokes thrown in.

Maths Insider pick: Perfect Maps

The various complications in creating 1 to 1 scale maps.

perfect maps podcast episode

Travels in a Mathematical World

Travels in a Mathematical World is a mathematics (or maths or math, if you like) podcast by Peter Rowlett, Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, featuring mathematicians talking about their work as well as features on maths history and maths news.

Peter Rowlett has taken a break from making these podcasts for the time being, but there’s plenty of cool episodes in the back catalogue to entertain anyone with even a small amount of interest in mathematics. I really like the short interviews with real-life mathematicians explaining how they use math in their careers.

Maths Insider pick: Interview with Sarah Norton – Systems Engineer

Sarah Norton talks about her work in systems engineering and a specific application for fire engines responding to mobile phone emergency calls.

Inspired by Math!

As the blogger at Wild About Math! Sol Lederman interviews people who are inspired by math and are inspiring others.

When I first started Maths Insider nearly 3 years ago, Sol Lederman was kind enough to publish my guest post (Sneaking Math Into Children’s Diets) on his wildly popular Wild About Math! blog. Sol interviews a variety of folks who in one way or another are helping to dispel the idea that math is a difficult and boring subject.

Maths Insider pick: Leila Schneps & Coralie Colmez

An interview with the mother-daughter team who authored “Math on Trial: How Numbers Get Used and Abused in the Courtroom.”  Talking about inspiration for writing the book, flaws in mathematical thinking, how justice is derailed by bad math in the courtroom, a number of examples of cases from the book, and more.

Pop-Up Economics

Economist Tim Harford weaves together economic ideas with some remarkable personal histories, telling short stories about fascinating people in front of a live audience in some unusual locations.

Another cool BBC podcast, this time linking math, economics and really interesting storytelling. These 10 minute episodes are great for teens and adults alike as the relate how individuals have made use of math to achieve some fascinating results.

Maths Insider pick: The day the geeks took over poker 

The story of Chris Ferguson who applied game theory to poker and won. Big time. But, as Ferguson would find out, there’s always a bigger game.

A Brief History of Maths

Professor Marcus du Sautoy argues that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. Ten fifteen minute podcasts that reveal the personalities behind the calculations from Newton to the present day. How do these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world?

These stand alone episodes  take a peak inside the lives of some of the most notable mathematicians through history. Sit back and listen to Professor Marcus du Sautoy and his guests tell the stories behind these famous mathematicians including how they started on their path to math greatness and how they overcame the obstacles they faced.

Maths Insider pick: Evariste Galois

Professor Marcus du Sautoy on his favourite mathematician, an angry, young genius who did his best maths in prison and died in a duel, aged 20.

Do you listen to podcasts? Have you listened to any math related podcasts recently? Which are your favorites?