About mathsticks


mathsticks.com is owned and operated by John Duffty. It was originally set up as a library of ideas, strategies and resources for trainee and Newly Qualified Teachers.

mathsticks was formally launched in January 2010 as a means of sharing mathematical resources with other teachers around the UK, and beyond.

The site offers to support teachers, students, parents, carers and children develop their mathematical teaching and learning.The fundamental aim is to make learning meaningful (and to make maths stick!). The materials, strategies and activities here are based on the need for children to be fully involved in their learning; to have fun, and to enjoy and achieve while developing their mathematical skills. The resources are the result of practical experience, research and the firm belief that effective mathematical learning is best achieved through:

  • the use and application of mathematics
  • high quality talk within mathematics
  • purposeful and effective group work
  • clear and meaningful use of oral & mental work

This means that you will see a lot of games, visual aids and interactive materials here together with valuable strategies and lesson ideas. However, you won't find worksheets or drill-and-practice activities.

Please note: this is a 'no-pipedream' resource site... by this I mean the material isn't just empty thought exercises: it works! It has been tested, trialed, adapted, tested and retested with real children in real classrooms.

A Note About Copyright

With only a small number of exceptions, all of the resources on the site are covered by a Creative Commons Licence and are completely FREE to download, use and share. However, you cannot use the material for commercial purposes or adapt it without written permission, you should also leave all mathsticks.com lables and/or logos intact.


A Note About Feedback

I hope you enjoy looking around and find something of use here. Feedback so far has been very positive, and I am always happy to hear from anyone who uses the resources... Please also feel free to let me know if you have found a different way to use the resources or if you want to share an idea for developing or extending the material here. Use the Contact mathsticks tab at the top of each page for general feedback, or, to discuss a specific resource, post a comment using the form at the bottom of each resource page. Comments are moderated before being published.


Notes About the Illustrations

People ask me why the illustrations on the resources are so simple. I say, the simplicity is both deceptive and deliberate. I chose to use stick figures because (apart from giving me a useful name for the site), they are the first basic 'people' illustrations most children develop. I wanted (and have seen) children use the mathematical resources and then take their inspiration from the simple drawings and go on to produce their own. The stick figures also owe a great deal to Rich Burlew's Order of the Stick illustrations.

People (well, children mainly) also ask if the stick characters have names. I say, 'yes'... but walk quickly away because it isn't the time to reveal that - yet.

Some people (okay, not many) have asked what techniques I use to create the stick figures. I tell them I use a high powered and very sophisticated vector design and drawing program - this is true. However, I sometimes neglect to tell them that the program is free: inkscape.org

A Note About Viruses

Be assured that the site and resources are completely virus free.  All the files I upload are scanned for viruses and the server technology ensures it is safe to download and use our products and software.



If you find this site useful please tell your colleagues about it via the 'share' button; you can also follow us on twitter or Subscribe via RSS Feed to receive news of our updated content.