Geogebra is a free dynamic geometry program, linking graphical and algebraic concepts in Maths.   It can be downloaded here.

Dynamic Applets can be uploaded to Geogebra Tube. You will need to register your email address and create a signon to use these resources. It is well worth it. There are lots of great resources on GeogebraTube




Some other great blogs with excellent Geogebra resources include

Geogebra Applet Centre by Guillermo Bautista

Tutorials at Mathematics and Multimedia by Guillermo Bautista

Workbooks by the University of Limerick

PDF lessons by Guillermo Bautisto

Chris Sangwin’s page







10 Tips to Ensure Success in Maths

What can you do to be successful in Maths?

 Ask Questions.  Keep asking until you really understand. Try to make your questions specific …. Rather than “I just don’t get it” to which the teacher can only go back over what they’ve just said and the result will be that you still “don’t get it”, try to explain what line of the solution you don’t follow, or what word you don’t understand or try to link it to something.

Be organised. Keep your notes labelled. Use a black or a blue pen to write. Red pen for headings. Use a margin. Stick your worksheets in your books. Keep a folder for review sheets and tests. Set your work out neatly. Make sure your work is marked.

Create an organised deskspace. Like not on your bed … or on the floor!


Study with a friend or create a study group or a study network.  Organise to do your review sheet together or go to Maths help together. It might be once a week when you get together, it might be on the phone. Have someone who can help you when you need it. If you are away, find out what you’ve missed and complete the exercises.


Get rid of distractions. Turn Facebook off for an hour. Turn the radio off. Get rid of the boyfriend… Step away from distractions… Whatever they are for you…. Set yourself a time limit and get the work done.

 Maths is learned by doing. Don’t spend all your allocated time writing notes out. Do a chapter review. Do a chapter review from another textbook. Do your review sheets. Do a past paper.


Everyone needs help at some point. Know when to ask for help. You control the help you get. Maths Help is available. If there is a type of problem you find difficult, keep practising it. Get more problems and keep at it.


Do your homework. Behind every genius is a kid who did their homework on time!


Did I say do your homework! Don’t cram for those tests the night before. Do your homework and you can sleep calmly knowing you have done the work.


Believe in yourself and NEVER, EVER give up!!!



I’d also like you to challenge the stereotypes you set for yourself in this subject…. Stereotypes like “My parents were never good in Maths, so I won’t be either”… like “I’m much better at English, Maths just isn’t my thing”… like “I just don’t like Maths” . More about that later.

Finally Saint Louis University publishes some ideas about how to be successful in Maths. In particular there are some good ideas on how to go about solving problems in Maths.

What do you think it takes to be successful in Maths?

How to ask a good question……

All questions are good questions….  

But how can you make a question a really amazing question. Because a really amazing question will get a really amazing answer!

Saint Louis University makes some comments in a piece on “Success in Mathematics” ….. about asking questions.

Asking Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Any question is better than no question at all (at least your Instructor/tutor will know you are confused). But a good question will allow your helper to quickly identify exactly whatyou don’t understand.

  • Not too helpful comment: “I don’t understand this section.” The best you can expect in reply to such a remark is a brief review of the section, and this will likely overlook the particular thing(s) which you don’t understand.
  • Good comment: “I don’t understand why f(x + h) doesn’t equal f(x) + f(h).” This is a very specific remark that will get a very specific response and hopefully clear up your difficulty.
  • Good question: “How can you tell the difference between the equation of a circle and the equation of a line?”
  • Okay question: “How do you do #17?”
  • Better question: “Can you show me how to set up #17?” (the Instructor can let you try to finish the problem on your own), or “This is how I tried to do #17. What went wrong?” The focus of attention is on your thought process.
  • Right after you get help with a problem, work another similar problem by yourself.

It’s so hard to answer a student who says “I don’t get it” …. I can go over it again and again… probably reinforcing what they don’t get. I just need a clue, a hint, the line, the phrase, the question, the answer, Something to work with… !

Why Maths?

Why Maths is important? Watch this Youtube on why Maths is important

Check out the IBM Maths commercial

Mathematicians land the top job in the Best and Worst occupations in the US in a survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal 2009.

Maths teachers Rock… by Kerry Cue

Maths and the Movies

Numb3rs – Wolfram Research have done a breakdown on the Mathmatics and Physics in each episode

Maths in the Movies – has a helpful rundown on the maths and also the gist of the movie.

Songs and Teaching Maths – so many good songs here!

Maths and The Simpsons – gives a rundown on good  episodes with mathematical concepts

Maths in Futurama – some of the links on this site are broken. eg Benders Big Number

Simple Interest and Compound Interest

Maths and the Movies

Understanding compound interest  – Fabulous introduction!

The Bank – movie scene. Flash animation

Teaching kids Compound Interest only the first part is relevant. It is American and uses yards and inches…. after the intro

Double a penny every day for 31 days 3 minute animation to music

The magic of Compound Interest 30 second intro

Grow your brain

brainI have talked a little about what you can do to be successful in Maths.

Larry Ferlazzo has written a very positive and motivating article entitled Now I know my brain is growing when I read every night. Its about getting students to realise that they are not just born with innate intelligence. That in fact the brain is like a muscle and that it must be exercised to grow.    
I also love the visual analogy used  in Ms Mercers blog Which do you think your brain and intelligence is?  Grass or Glass.
Image: ‘BrainSpot

Classifying Quadrilaterals

parallelogramTake the challenge and do the webquest on Classifying Quadrilaterals.

Classifying Quadrilaterals with a tree – rap song on you tube

Parallelogram song

Polygon song – not directly related to quadrilaterals but always a good one.

The sum of exterior angles of a polygon – java applet

  Image: ‘Pinwheel tessellation, version 2
Pinwheel tessellation, version 2