# number systems

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by tassiekate, Apr 13, 2011.

1. ### tassiekate

Hello I need to create a game using the maya number system? can anyone help

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This system uses lines and dots to represent numbers.

Numbers after the number nineteen are written in powers of
twenty.

Maya numerals can be illustrated using face glyphs or
pictures, although they not commonly used.

thank you

2. ### PaulDGOccasional commenter

It's our mainstream teaching qualification.
I think in England we'd be asked what "learning" this is supporting for the children?
Why do you think it's of value to them?
At that point, we'd find it hard to justify the use of their time when it's believed to simply teach our National Curriculum completely takes at least 120% of the time actually available.

3. ### Betamale

There is a difference between being cynical and giving a *********** about kids education. Why not?
Because many of my year 7s cannot do basic numeracy in their own lingo let alone some obsolete South American (IIRC) counting system.....fast forward to my y11s who are still garbage at number work
Teach it to them at lunch, invite them to after school clubs but please dont substitute this joke teaching for solid numeracy in a limited number of hours allocated to mathematics teaching.
Too many primary school teachers simply dont realise that there their 'play tme' learning followed by washing their hands of kids after a fabricated y6 Level 5is killing maths in secondary schools. Dont get me wrong, their are plenty of issues at secondary level but teaching 8 year olds this is not maths.
Until a kid is fully fluent with all mental maths (all four operations) then maths should not even be taught to them IMO.
At 8 years old, kids should not have their education tampered with by people who are trying to be pedagogically-cool

4. ### florapost

i teach gob-smackingly bright kids
i lok at roman numerals in y3, because they study romans then - but roman numerals are base 10 (well - maybe base 5, but that isn't so difficult)
we look at egyptian maths (works like greek maths - base 10 without place value) and victorian maths (base all over the place) in y5 (age 9-10) and maybe transposing to base 8 or 12 in y6 - but my kids really are the elite and need the stretching
i echo betamale - why on earth would you do this with an average kid, who just needs to cope with maths as it is?

5. ### tassiekate

I wont make the mistake of asking again, i only wanted some ideas. i thought this forum was meant to be supportive.

6. ### Betamale

Grow up, please. Responses like this on the pity quest are weak.
My posts have merely stated that the whole idea is not suitable for kids of this age
Guidance is support. Suggesting your idea is good (which I believe you call being 'supportive') will go against all logic and suggest this teaching should be encouraged.
I feel you are not happy with the delivery of the message rather than the content.

7. ### Polecat

There is some mileage in looking at Egyptian mathematics.
Multiplication is interesting, based on doubling (binary arithmetic
in disguise). Decomposing general fractions into sums of Egyptian
fractions is also a possibility.
Both of these can, in the right hands, provide some useful practice
in the elementary operations of arithmetic..

8. ### NazardNew commenter

Hi tassiekate,
This forum is generally supportive, but I am afraid you have touched on three things that don't generally go down particularly well:
1] You have asked people to help with your homework without giving any indication of your own ideas.
Many of the posters on this forum like to be given the context to a question like this. In the past a number of us have spent a long time typing answers only to find that the OP meant something completely different.
If this is for a PGCE assignment, for example, it seems perfectly reasonable for you to post your current ideas for us to comment on, but not for you to ask us to do it for you from scratch.
2] The idea of doing something fluffy that maya (!) not help pupils learn numeracy does not meet everyone's approval. If you woke up this morning and thought to yourself: "I know - I'll make something with Mayan numbers" then it is fair enough for people to ask: "why?".
If you are a pupil asking for help with their homework then I suggest that posting in a largely illiterate way on a forum for teachers is not a particularly good plan.
If you are a trainee teacher asking for help with their homework then I suggest that posting in a largely illiterate way on a forum for teachers is not a particularly good plan.
If you are a qualified teacher asking for help then I suggest that posting in a largely illiterate way on a forum for teachers is not a particularly good plan.

You are very welcome to post here and will find support and advice in abundance, but do give us a starting point to work from!

9. ### Betamale

Nice post Nazard

10. ### AnonymousNew commenter

I did Chinese maths with year 2. They naturally got the system as it is the way of writing numbers is based on partitioning. Adding up is easy with this system and it just really helped with their concept of partitioning.

11. ### NazardNew commenter

That's interesting.
As I understand it the Chinese way of saying numbers is to say the numbers from 11 up to 99 is to say the number of tens, the word for "ten" and then the number of units.
This strikes me as having a number of uses. It avoids the very strange system we have in English for the numbers 11 to 19, where we start with two extra words (eleven and twelve) and then have a sort of "four-and-twenty blackbirds" thing going on, where we say "three-and-ten", abbreviated to thirteen, etc after that.
I think this is desperately confusing. First of all it breaks the link between the names of the numbers and place value, which is absolutely explicit in the Chinese version. It also leads lots of young children to write fourteen as 41 (you say the four bit first).
The next daft thing is that the names for the multiples of ten that we use are silly. Aurally they can be difficult to distinguish from the numbers 13 to 19 ("did you say 15 or 50?"). The spellings are not standard either (why is there a 'u' in fourteen but not in forty?).
The Chinese system is far better and I have read that it gives Chinese children a significant head start in number work.

Here comes a crazy idea from someone absolutely ill-qualified to offer it (I teach secondary maths) :
We should start young children off with numbers the Chinese way (translated into English and using arabic numerals, obviously). Having counted up to ten we would continue with "ten-one, ten-two, ten-three ...", eventually reaching "two-tens". This would be followed by "two-tens-one", etc. Once they have got this we can later use the silly names of the numbers.

Go on then - how crazy is this?

12. ### Maths_MikeNew commenter

Not crazy at all.
It provides a more natural way of learning as you say and then at some point you simple say well actually one ten and one is called eleven.

13. ### Maths_MikeNew commenter

I would say one ten and one (not just ten one though) then two tens and one etc.

14. ### ResourceFinder

Would you have to say No Ten and One as well?

no

16. ### Maths_MikeNew commenter

The point is that eleven and twelve (in particular) are completely unique and do not follow a logical convention.
teaching children to count using different words to begin with makes the logic and progression of the numbers more apparent.
Once they get the idea changing the name of one of the numbers isnt to big a hurdle.
1-9 (no need to mention tens - there arnt any)
one ten and one -- one ten and 9 (if you just say ten one then it is not logiacl that the next number will be two tens and one)
two tens and one ---
three tens and one
etc
I am not saying its the right thiong to do - i am just saying it isnt crazy.
I have no experience teahning children to count but if they find it difficult the above might (for all i know) help - or it might not!

17. ### NazardNew commenter

Cool - I am impressed that Mike (and others) don't think this is completely nuts!
One reason for my caution was the Initial Teaching Alphabet that was used for a while in England in the 60s and 70s (by my understanding). This gave a simplified version of English for children to learn and was supposed to get them more quickly to the stage where they could then take on real English. It didn't work. Whether this was because parents couldn't understand the point, or that the time that was spent on the ITA could have been better used studying phonics, or whatever, I don't know. Or maybe it was too hard to make the bridge between the two.
Anyway - the Initial Teaching Numbers are looking good so far ...