Love Maths

Find the nine mathematical words hidden in the love story below. The last letters of the hidden words form an anagram of the name of a famous mathematician.

Is love at first sight fact or fiction? Trudi Gittins first met Lee Smith at a popular cafe. She engaged him in useless small talk but offered genuine signs that she fancied him. She told him that she liked to read Dickens and preferred sombre rather than gleeful parties. He said he bought a brand new car each year as it helped him relax. Is love in the air for Trudi and Lee?

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day


Topics: Starter | Vocabulary

  • Transum,
  • A new starter for a new (northern hemisphere) academic year. Something quite different as a settling activity before the main part of your lesson. Something that might capture the interest of young people not expecting this kind of start to a mathematics lesson. Something to wake up the memories of the mathematical concepts the words relate to. Please let us all know if your pupils manage to do this activity without any of the words being revealed. Enjoy!
  • Pippa Tyler, Beaminster School, Dorset
  • I set this activity with my Year 10 Set 4 and Year 11 Set 1. They both loved it. The Year 10 class found about half of the words with no help but Year 11 found all 9 and then had great fun trying to unravel the anagram with some interesting names produced!! They did succeed in finding the famous mathematician and then we spent some time finding out what he had done for Maths. A really different starter; please can we have more like this.
  • Chloe Sheppard, Newcastleton
  • This was great if it showed the answers. Don't know whether it was just me who couldn't figure it out. 7 out of 10.

    [Transum: The answers to all of the Starters, online exercise and puzzles are available lower down the page but only appear when signed in]
  • AllontheBoard, Twitter

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.
Click here to enter your comments.

If you don't have the time to provide feedback we'd really appreciate it if you could give this page a score! We are constantly improving and adding to these starters so it would be really helpful to know which ones are most useful. Simply click on a button below:

Excellent, I would like to see more like this
Good, achieved the results I required
Didn't really capture the interest of the students
Not for me! I wouldn't use this type of activity.

This starter has scored a mean of 2.9 out of 5 based on 310 votes.

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Apple iPad Pro

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Before giving an iPad as a Christmas gift you could add a link to iPad Maths to the home screen.

Math with Bad Drawings

I had been tutoring the wonderful Betsy for five years. When the day came for our last ever session together before the end of her Year 13, I received this beautiful book as a gift of appreciation.

This a very readable book by Ben Orlin. I'm really enjoying the humour in the writing and the drawings are great.

Ben Orlin answers maths' three big questions: Why do I need to learn this? When am I ever going to use it? Why is it so hard? The answers come in various forms-cartoons, drawings, jokes, and the stories and insights of an empathetic teacher who believes that mathematics should belong to everyone.

A Compendium Of 	Mathematical Methods

A Compendium Of Mathematical Methods

How many different methods do you know to solve simultaneous equations? To multiply decimals? To find the nth term of a sequence?

A Compendium of Mathematical Methods brings together over one hundred different approaches from classrooms all over the world, giving curious mathematicians the opportunity to explore fascinating methods that they've never before encountered.

If you teach mathematics to any age group in any country, you are guaranteed to learn lots of new things from this delightful book. It will deepen your subject knowledge and enhance your teaching, whatever your existing level of expertise. It will inspire you to explore new approaches with your pupils and provide valuable guidance on explanations and misconceptions. more...

Online Maths Shop

Laptops In Lessons

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).

Laptops In Lessons

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

Here is the URL which will take them to another activity involving mathematical words.

Student Activity


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