My Dear Watson

So, the producers of the new Sherlock Holmes movie went to real Oxford mathematicians to give a blackboard full of maths look authentic, but they go got more than they bargained for. They developed a code based on clues left for Moriaty’s interests and specialisms and even scripted a lecture he is shown giving. Now imagine the possibilities for the classroom. The desire to keep it real, consistent and authentic, even though no-one would ever check. That’s the real mathematical mind at work!

We have a neat double sided version of an old pub game called shut-the-box. You roll two dice and flip down numbered pieces totaling the dice score, your score is what’s left when you cannot go. There have been two types of response from secondary maths teachers to this:

1. That’s much too easy for our kids.

2. How could I analyse and describe the structure of this game.

I think we can call this the shut-the-box test to find out where people actually teach mathematics.

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