Celebrity multiples of five

6th July 2007 at 01:00
I was interviewing the other day. Interviews are never the easiest things to do, but this one was quite enjoyable because I was interviewing the number 15 for a fictitious maths magazine. Here are some examples of our exchanges:

When were you happiest?

On holiday with my friends 1, 3 and 5

What is your greatest fear?

Being divided by 10. The idea of being one and a half again frightens me.

What is the best sum you've ever been involved in?

Well, it has to be the square root of 225. I was the product.

What don't you like about yourself?

I hate the fact that my unit's digit is a prime.

What makes you depressed?

Knowing I'll always be an odd number.

Personification is an underused strategy in maths, but great fun because it allows children to engage with concepts on a new level. It gives them the opportunity to make creative connections between properties, step into the shoes of something quite abstract, and helps them to be more playful

John Dabell is a numeracy consultant and teacher trainer

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