GMG arrangements for Ed Sheeran Concerts

All classes are as normally scheduled. We remind clients of Galway Maths Grinds on Friday evening and Saturday to keep the car pass you were issued in the car when coming to class. It might be a good idea to put it in the car now rather than risk forgetting it on the day. Have the pass on the dash of the car as you approach a control barrier and you will be waved through.

Note also that a one way traffic system will be in place in accordance with the details on the map below. The direction of traffic flow will be from Threadneedle Road down Dr Mannix Road and towards the Prom via Rockbarton Road or Dalysford Road. Click on the map to see a larger version.

Traffic system for concerts

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Tech Week 2018

Tech Week is a nationwide festival of technology made up of a range of classroom and community activities taking place across Ireland – in libraries, schools, community centres, and many other locations. These activities give students a chance to develop their interest in technology subjects, examine potential career prospects, learn new skills, be creative in a fun environment.

This year’s Tech Week is the fifth annual one and takes place from April 22nd to 28th. Students and parents are encouraged to take part in various events such as the following.

 School Events

  •  Career talks

  •  Technology workshops

  •  Plan a Tech Week activity in the classroom

  •  Run a competition or quiz

  •  Show inspiring videos such as the Smart Futures videos

 Family Events

  •  Bring your children to a Tech Week activity in your area

  •  Plan a Tech Week activity at home using our Tech Week activity sheets, Cliste primary school resources or Scratch programming lesson plans.

 Industry Events

  •  Invite your local school to an open day at your organisation

  •  Organise an event with hands-on activities or workshop

  •  Re-visit your old school and tell students about your path into IT

  •  Get involved in IT Professionals Day

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A useful easy to use Graphing Calculator from Desmos

I have just come across a beautiful, free, easy and intuitive to use online graphing calculator from

graphing calculator

It instantly plots functions, lets you create tables, add sliders, animate your graphs, and more, making it a valuable resource for teachers and students. The key is learning by doing. The calculator can instantly plot any equation, from lines and parabolas up through derivatives and Fourier series. Sliders make it easy to demonstrate function transformations. One can change parameters and instantly see the changes on the graphs making experimentation easy, quick and without the hassle of doing a lot of manual calculations to see what happens.

Features include:

Graphing: Plot polar, cartesian, or parametric graphs. There’s no limit to how many expressions you can graph at one time – and you don’t even need to enter expressions in y= form!

Sliders: Adjust values interactively to build intuition, or animate any parameter to visualize its effect on the graph

Tables: Input and plot data, or create an input-output table for any function

Statistics: Find best-fit lines, parabolas, and more.

Zooming: Scale the axes independently or at the same time with the pinch of two fingers, or edit the window size manually to get the perfect window.

Points of Interest: Touch a curve to show maximums, minimums, and points of intersection. Tap the gray points of interest to see their coordinates. Hold and drag along a curve to see the coordinates change under your finger.

Scientific Calculator: Type in an equation you want to solve and Desmos will show you the answer. It can handle square roots, logs, absolute value, and more.

Inequalities: Plot Cartesian and polar inequalities.

This is one I will be using with my students.

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Happy Christmas

Christmas Greetings

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Chain Rule for Differentiation made easy

Page 25 of the Formulae and Tables booklet gives a table with some standard functions of x and their derivatives as shown below left. Below right I have added a version that shows how these can be applied to functions of functions of x. In these cases we need to use the chain rule.  In the blank box in entries on the table on the right the inner function is placed. The shaded box represents the derivative of what is placed in the blank box. Some students might find this more visual representation of the chain rule useful.

Chain Rule Visual For example to get the derivative of cos(3x+5), the outer function is cos (   ) which has as derivative -sin( ).  The inner function is (3x+5) which has derivative 3. Using the chain rule the derivative of cos(3x+5) is -3sin(3x+5).

You will find this and lots more in the downloadable PDF file “Making the most of the Formulae and Tables Booklet” which can be purchased at

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Polynomial Long Division Calculator

Found a nice little calculator for polynomial long division at

Polynomial long division calculator

Simply enter the polynomial to be divided into the dividend box.

Enter the number you want to divide by in the divisor box.

Check the “Show steps” box if you want the steps shown. Leave it empty if you just want the answer without an explanation.

It is fairly self explanatory but if you need guidance on how to enter the numbers using acceptable notation click the “show instructions” tab.

Then click the “calculate” tab to set it to work.

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Another Year of Excellent Results

CAO points comparison chart

Proud and delighted with the results obtained  by Galway Maths Grinds students in their Leaving Cert again this year.

For example James got a H1 in each of higher level maths, physics and applied maths and is about to start Medicine in NUIG.

His mother gets an equally impressive mark for the cake that arrived to my door freshly baked and piping hot after the results came out.


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Making the most of your Casio Scientific Calculator

cover for calculator pdf

Apart from what is in your head the only resources you can bring into your Junior Cert and Leaving Cert exams are the Formulae and Tables booklet and your calculator.

Your calculator is an invaluable and even necessary tool when doing maths. As a student you need to become proficient in its use.

Reducing the time spent in entering calculations into your calculator means more time is available for actually answering questions in your exam. Entering them in an efficient manner also means less mental effort is required to combine various sub calculations correctly.

I have finally gotten around to producing the document on the use of the scientific calculator. The aim of this booklet is to help you to be more productive in your studies and more successful in your exams by pointing out ways in which to use your scientific calculator both efficiently and effectively, and to help you avoid pitfalls by pointing out its limitations.

This document uses the Casio fx-83GT PLUS or fx-85GT PLUS as an example because the vast majority of my students use these models.

To buy now click on the link.

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A little help can make all the difference.

I 8 some pie maths humour

Just a few weeks left. Serious effort should be going in now, but keep things in perspective. A little humour is no harm. And if you need help the sooner you get it the better.

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Strong enough to compete, and still care.

Price before Easter Holidays:

Dunnes Stores   11.99          Galway Maths Grinds  €9.99

Price After Easter Holidays:

Dunnes Stores   13.99          Galway Maths Grinds  €9.99

GMG do not increase prices just because exams are near. If you find it cheaper anywhere else let us know.

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