21st September 2001 at 01:00
Problem pictures. By Richard Phillips. pound;28 + pound;2 pamp;p. With educational site licence: pound;84. Richard Phillips, 4, High Street, Badsey, Evesham WR11 5EW. E-mail: Phillips@badsey.netwww.badsey.netpp.

The technique of presenting pictures to a class as a stimulus is very common within the arts subjects, much less so in maths and science. Yet, for a student of maths, one of the most important abilities that needs to be prompted is that which asks questions about a situation in such a way that the use of maths is essential to the answers.

But where do these situations come from? How can they be brought into the classroom in a meaningful way? Do maths teachers have to take a camera with them wherever they go?

Richard Phillips has put together a fine collection of these situations through a library of colour photographs, attaching a different mathematical question to each, and targeting 11- to 16-year-olds. Navigation is simple and effective.

Links between groups of photographs are exploited fully and the teacher can easily extract high quality worksheets from the CD-Rom if access to computers is limited. The answers are provided for the teacher, and they are protected from the enquiring eyes of the students. However, should they be discovered, this CD-Rom still has a great deal to offer both the teacher and the pupil with mathematically enquiring minds.

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