Liz Machell Tutoring

I am a qualified teacher with 9 years' experience teaching maths and physics in a local grammar scho

Operating as usual


Thinking of all those sitting their maths GCSE this morning.

Timeline photos 17/11/2015

We were playing twenty questions with numbers today, this is even better!

This is clever... Play 'Guess Who?' with numbers!

Children play in pairs and try find each other's chosen number by asking questions, e.g. Is your number more than 10? Is your number odd?

Image from

What If Teachers Took Computation Out of Math Class? 02/09/2015

What If Teachers Took Computation Out of Math Class?

“[M]ath skills are crucial to many of the science, technology and engineering jobs expected to be ever more important in the future, but students’ math comprehension continues to stagnate.

…[M]uch of this angst is about how well students can compute by hand, not how well they understand math.

[In his TED Talk, mathematician Conrad Wolfram] breaks math down into four steps:

1. Pose the right question about an issue

2. Change that real world scenario into a math formulation

3. Compute

4. Take the math formulation and turn it back into a real world scenario to verify it

Math as we teach it now, he argues, is mostly about step 3 – computation, the one part of the whole process that can be automated.

…Wolfram would like to see more attention paid to the other three crucial steps, which he says play a much larger role in enhancing both practical and conceptual understandings of math.

He’d like to see students demonstrate understanding of the process and procedures of math through computer coding instead of computation.”

What If Teachers Took Computation Out of Math Class? Conrad Wolfram argues it's time to rethink why schools require math classes in their current form and what purpose they serve.

Mobile uploads 13/08/2015

We are really enjoying exploring the (soroban) abacus. Thanks for introducing us to it Ellen! So many reasons that this is a great way to visualise mental maths and practise key skills!

Mobile uploads 01/07/2015

Can't resist a bit of science on a day like today. Which ice cube melts first? (Which is the best conductor of heat?)

Photos from Liz Machell Tutoring's post 09/06/2015

Joanna was captivated by this way of practice times tables. Thanks Ellen for the inspiration. Sorry for the shocking photo quality. Here's a video showing how it works!
Now I just need to find a slice of tree trunk, some wool and 10 nails and make our own!

Preschool math lessons: A developmental guide for the science-minded parent 02/06/2015

Preschool math lessons: A developmental guide for the science-minded parent

Here is a great game you can make for preschoolers who are just starting to add by counting on.

Also here is a really interesting article about how young children learn maths.

Preschool math lessons: A developmental guide for the science-minded parent A developmental guide to preschool math lessons for the science-minded parent.

Photos from Liz Machell Tutoring's post 14/05/2015

We had fun with this nrich game this week. Great for practicing simple addition, and writing numbers but also great for thinking about strategy ("If I move there, what would my opponent do next?") and making predictions ("What is the smallest number of moves? , What if you change the starting number?"). And it's fun ;)


Exam season is fast approaching! Do get in touch if you'd like a couple of extra sessions to help with exam preparation!

Home Page : 14/04/2015

Home Page :

I love Nrich for interesting maths puzzles and investigations. There are activities for kids of all ages.

Home Page : The Nrich Maths Project Cambridge,England. Mathematics resources for children,parents and teachers to enrich learning. Problems,children's solutions,interactivities,games,articles,news.

Mobile uploads 31/03/2015

Number line (for help with addition) courtesy of a well known Swedish store!

Mobile uploads 29/03/2015

I've been making these for my own kids today. Exploring units, tens and hundreds, inspired by Montessori Golden beads. (I made some for my eldest a couple of years ago out of normal beads but never worked out how to make a square. Seems so obvious to use hama beads now I can't believe I hadn't thought of it before!)

Not sure Maria would have approved of all the colours but it does give an opportunity to visualise number bonds to 10 (pairs of numbers that add to 10, eg 2 and 8) which is another important building block in numerical understanding. (The far right 4 sticks show the number bonds).

Now I just need another 9 squares to make a 1000 cube!


Welcome to my new page to promote my maths tutoring business. If you know anyone local to Aylesbury looking for a maths tutor for students from upper primary to A level please send them my way. I am a qualified and experienced maths teacher and very approachable!






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