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Maths Cafe

Why did we include this graphic?

Although each graphic in itself may not appear too mathematical, let your imagination fly. Challenge your students to create a wide range of possible questions related to each one.

Look at this hen. How many different  mathematical questions can you record in 1 minute?

How many hens can possibly fit in one square metre of a chook pen? Even so, what is the official number of hens allowed per square metre? How many eggs does a hen lay on average in one week. How many weeks would it take to lay 2 dozen eggs? How heavy is a hen? Is a rooster just as heavy or heavier? How long does a hen live? How many different breeds of hen are there in our world? What type of hen is the largest? The smallest?

How much food does a hen eat in one week? If a farmer has 100 hens, how much food is this in one month? If chook food costs $2.50 per kilo, how much does this cost this farmer for 1 month of chook food?

And I am sure there are plenty more questions you can think of!

Why did we include this photograph?

When you look at each photograph it may not at first be obvious why it can be used for maths. We will leave it up to your imagination in most cases.

If you look at this sign, how many different mathematical possibilities do you see?

How many kilometres will you travel if you leave Orange and drive to Cowra? Is it further to drive from Bathurst to Orange or from Orange to Cowra? If you start at Bathurst in which direction is Orange? When was each of the 3 towns established? What is the current population of each town? If you keep driving past Cowra, what town will you pass through next? How far from Cowra is this town? Where does Highway 33 go to and from? What about Highway 31? About where would you be if you are 49 km from Bathurst?

What other challenges can you create using this photograph as the stimulus?

Where to now with subtraction?

Bev wrote this article many years ago when she discovered so many students continued to find subtraction difficult to tackle even at the end of Year 6. It seems to boil down to 6 key issues that all schools need to consider.


The Gilded Image

In another life, Bev has been painting in her studio, The Gilded Image, since 1996, specialising in medieval-style images with gilded backgrounds, inspired by the beauty of gold-leaf and the luminous colours in medieval paintings. She is passionate about creating and recreating images from medieval life in general, archangels and angels in particular.

You can also browse through Bev’s non-maths photograph collections with favourite images from across the world.  

Click here to see examples of her medieval-style paintings at