What are Classic Mistakes?
A mistake in Maths earns "Classic Mistake"
status if it is regularly made year in, year out, by successive classes
of pupils or students, in classrooms.
They even get to the point where teachers will often incorporate Classic
Mistakes into their lessons as teaching points.
If the students know where the pitfalls are, then they have a better chance
of avoiding them - well, that’s the theory at least!
Where have they come from?
Mainly from marking exam scripts, and observing which
errors were most prevalent.
Some have been suggested by students.
Others have arisen from sheer teacher frustration!
If you have a suggestion for a new Classic Mistake poster, then just make
What’s the Gallery all about?
In the Gallery
you can see at a glance each of the Classic Mistake posters and download
a single copy of either a colour or black and white poster.
Also you can listen to the mp3 audio file that accompanies it, or download
it for listening to later.
What are the mp3 files?
They are mainly the verbal explanations that might
be given to students who can’t spot what the mistake in each poster
They are presented here in the style similar to many podcasts that are
already available on the Internet - bit of music, bit of chat and ending
with a bit of music.
The 41 audio files that accompany the original 41 posters were created
over a period of 8 months, from November 2006 to July 2007. That's an
average of one every 6 days!
If you're a teacher, why not use the posters and audio files in your lessons
- it's one way of changing the pace of revision lessons.
The audio files can also be accessed as podcasts. See the Podcast
page for more information.
Wow, there’s tonnes of stuff here!
Yes there is.
There are currently over 170 posters on this website that you can download,
print off and decorate your maths classroom, maths corridor or whole school
Encourage your students to visit the website, check out if they can spot
the mistakes in each poster, listening to the mp3 commentary if they can’t.
Better still, have them subscribe to the podcast, so they can download
the mp3 files to whatever portable audio player they have and they can
listen to them on the move … and everyone will assume that they
are only listening to music!
Check out the Links
page that directs you to other podcast sites, if you’re into that
sort of thing.
How did you create this website, and all the stuff
All the posters were created in Microsoft Publisher
and converted to pdf format using Adobe Acrobat.
The .mp3 audio files were created using Audacity
via Sennheiser PC155 headphones with microphone.
The sound effects used in the podcasts were found here
whilst links to the music artists' websites are on my Podcasts
I've also recently been notified of a great new website for even more
sound effects, at Sound
this website work the way it does.
The pop-up window that displays large images whilst also playing the mp3
came from here.
A tutorial on how to use Cascading Style Sheets was found here.
Helpful websites about creating podcast feeds were here
Who are you?
My name is Nevil Hopley and I am currently Head of
Maths at a large independent school in Edinburgh, Scotland.
I've been teaching Maths in classrooms since 1993, creating websites since
2003 and maths podcasting since 2006.
I also have my own company that sells software for
TI Graphic Calculators to schools. Click here
to find out more.