This is the game of "Noughts and Crosses" or "Tic Tac Toe".

First Type Wins Record
X
O
Draws

In how many different ways can the first "X" and "O" be placed on the grid?

## A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day

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Topics: Starter | Combinations | Puzzles

• Transum,
•
• Another game which is isomorphic (same strategies) to noughts and crosses is the game of Fifteen. The numbers 1 to 9 are written on cards. Players take it in turns to take a card. The first person who can make a total of 15 with the cards they have is the winner.
If you arrange the nine numbered cards to form a magic square you will see the similarities with noughts and crosses.
We have invented a game called Trilett. Play it a few times and see if you can work out why it is isomorphic to noughts and crosses.

Here are links to the related interactive activities:

Noughts and Crosses | Fifteen | Trilett
• Miss Mears, Stockport
•
• A nice starter - we then extended the idea to the general case of an nxn grid and used some algebra as well.
• Mark, New Zealand
•
• Surely there are only three ways that the first cross can be placed: centre, side or corner. In any meaningful analysis of the game the sides are all identical and should not be distinguished.
• Mrs. S. Farragonda, Fernan Elementary, CDA, ID
•
• This game is very mental, and fun for both teachers and students! We now do the "secret student" thing with our class laptops. If the secret student is playing and X wins, the class wins. So everybody is motivated to do well.

[Transum: There's no better way to select a 'secret student' than to use the Random Student Generator.]

How did you use this starter? Can you suggest how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.

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This starter has scored a mean of 3.1 out of 5 based on 656 votes.

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## Have you read Craig's book yet?

Craig Barton must surely be the voice of Mathematics teachers in the UK. His wonderful podcasts interviewing the industry experts have culminated in this wonderful book. As Craig says: "I genuinely believe I have never taught mathematics better, and my students have never learned more. I just wish I had known all of this twelve years ago..." more...

"How I wish I'd taught Maths" is an extraordinary and important book. Part guide to research, part memoir, part survival handbook, it’s a wonderfully accessible guide to the latest research on teaching mathematics, presented in a disarmingly honest and readable way. I know of no other book that presents as much usable research evidence on the dos and don’ts of mathematics teaching in such a clear and practical way. No matter how long you have been doing it, if you teach mathematics—from primary school to university—this book is for you." Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment, UCL.

## Casio Classwiz Calculator

There is currently a lot of talk about this new calculator being the best in its price range for use in the Maths classroom. The new ClassWiz features a high-resolution display making it easier to view numerical formulas and symbols but it isn't a graphical calculator as such (it has the capacity to draw graphs on your smart phone or tablet, via a scannable QR code and an app).

As well as basic spreadsheet mode and an equation solving feature you also get the ability to solve quadratic, cubic or quartic polynomial inequalities and the answer is given just as it should be written down, using the correct inequality symbols!

This calculator has a high-performance processor and twice the memory of previous models ensuring speedy operation and superior computational power.more...

 Teacher, do your students have access to computers?Do they have iPads or Laptops in Lessons? Whether your students each have a TabletPC, a Surface or a Mac, this activity lends itself to eLearning (Engaged Learning).

Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.

Transum.org/go/?Start=November7

Here is the URL which will take them to a similar activity.

Ultimate Noughts and Crosses is the new game that I get really excited about playing. It's magnificent, have a look!

Transum.org/go/?to=Ultimate

The javascript for this game above was kindly made public by Stephen Ostermiller (GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation) who also provides an excellent description of Tic-Tac-Toe Strategy.

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