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I bought some items at the shopping centre yesterday and the bill came to £28. I noticed the prices of the items were each different and each a factor of the total. What were the prices of the items I bought?

So that was the puzzle of the month but there are also some other puzzles lurking in the text below. The answers are at the end of this newsletter but before we get there here is the news of the new resources that appeared on the website during this last month.

A new video has been uploaded about Rotational Symmetry. This topic typically creates beautiful display work for your classroom. At the end of the video there is an ambigram similar to those made famous in Dan Brown's novel "Angels and Demons". Your challenge is to make a mathematical equation with rotational symmetry of order 2 (a mathematical ambigram).

I also made a video called Maths Kim’s Game which is quite different to the ‘help’ videos I usually create. It lasts almost 15 minutes and contains three different memory challenges with a mathematical themes.

A new Binary Numbers exercise has been added. You can count to ten using your fingers. You can count to twenty if you take your socks off but if you know binary you can count up to 31 on only one hand! There are 10 types of people in this world: those that do and those that don't understand binary.

More Mixed Angles questions have been added to the collection and appear as Level 5. There are three help videos in the help tab making this quite a substantial resource. I hope you find it useful.

Did you know that you can listen to this month's podcast which is the audio version of this newsletter. You can find it on Spotify, Stitcher or Apple Podcasts. Talking of podcasts I enjoy the More or Less podcast from the BBC. Last week they were discussing the question how many holes does a drinking straw have? They then went on to ask how many holes a pair of trousers has and wonder why different people might give different answers. What do you think?

When I was quite young, many, many years ago I soaked up a lot of vocabulary from the lyrics of songs heard on the radio. One of those old songs was played on the radio on Sunday beginning with the line “I love you, a bushel and a peck”. Hands up if you know what a bushel and a peck are!

Unfortunately in my opinion, under plans unveiled by ministers recently it will once again become legal for shops in the UK to sell their goods using only Britain’s traditional weighing system, imperial measures. I don’t think this will help even the highest attaining people calculating out Best Buys when weights may be given in metric for one item and imperial for another brand.

Even before metrication mistakes were made. I remember in 1969 on my very first Scout summer camp in Abadaron, North Wales, my Scout leader ordered 30 links of sausages from the local butcher. The following days 30 pounds of sausages were delivered to our camping site much to the delight of us Gannets (that was the name of my patrol).

A working knowledge of measuring units is included in the Maths curriculum so I think I should continue to develop the resources while eating my foot-long subway sandwich.

While we’re talking imperial measures let your pupils know that Pietro’s Petite Pizza Palace is offering a special for the month of October: Two seven-inch pizzas for the price of a ten-inch pizza. Get those developing mathematicians to work out how good a deal this is; they may be surprised.

I was thrilled to see on Twitter a photograph of a full Spanish classroom in which each of the students was sitting in front of a computer screen. The photograph was taken from the back of the room allowing me to see that every student was working on a Transum Combinatorics activity. Once again technology has broken down the language barrier. Fantástico!

Did you know that as a subscriber you can register your school’s IP address with Transum so that the system can remove adverts from pages students access. There is also a way that you can modify the URL (web page addresses) that you email to students or store in your learning management system so that those using those links (even at home) don’t see ads either. There is more information on a recently updated Frequently Asked Question.

The latest Scheme of Learning to be added to the Curriculum page is for Year 6. Again thanks to White Rose Mathematics for permission to use their planning and I hope these pages help you more quickly find relevant Transum resources.

Answers:

- Academics believe a drinking straw has two holes but one is merely the negative of the other. Regarding the trousers I hear that cutting extra holes in jeans is fashionable!
- A peck is 2 gallons and a bushel is 4 pecks.
- Two seven-inch diameter circles have a combined area of 76.97 square inches while one ten-inch diameter circle has an area of 78.54 square inches. Not much of a deal then?
- Mathematical ambigram: 88 + l l = l l + 88
- Puzzle of the month: 28 is a perfect number, it is the sum of its factors excluding itself so the prices of the items were £1, £2, £4, £7, £14.

That's all for now,

John

P.S. Most numbers are very large.

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