24 April 2015

5 Maths Gems #28

Hello and welcome to my 28th gems post. This is where I share five teaching ideas I've seen on Twitter.

1. Math Snacks
I spotted a tweet from @fawnpnguyen about the website mathsnacks.com. The website's tagline is 'Smart educational animations, mini-games, and interactive tools that help mid-school learners better understand math concepts'. Check out the animation Atlantean Dodgeball which is all about ratio. The video is clever and funny and the associated resources are very good.

The other animations are also worth a look. Number Rights, in which a passionate fractional activist rises up and demands equity for all numbers, is lovely (if a little bizarre).

2. Election Graphs
Cav (@srcav) wrote a post 'It's election time again' in which he presented some of the terrible graphs that have been distributed as part of the general election campaign. The example below is part of Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland's (@gregmulholland1) campaign. I happened to be teaching graphs to Year 7 this week so I showed them this example. I asked them to identify the errors and discuss why someone would produce such a misleading graph. It was a really good discussion.
Adam Creen (@adamcreen) had a great idea for a related lesson - he produced a Mulholland Graphs activity in which students were asked to produce corrected graphs.
3. Two New Blogs
Stacy Brookes (@Stacy_Maths) has started a lovely new website www.missbrookesmaths.co.uk. She very helpfully writes blog posts featuring recommended resources. Stacy searches the internet so you don't have to! For example if you're planning a lesson on expanding single bracketsratio or plans, elevations and isometric drawing then you're in luck - she has a post for each of these topics. There's plenty more on her website (and lots still to come!) so do explore.
Miss Norledge's (@MissNorledge) website www.norledgemaths.com is also excellent. Miss Norledge shares loads of great resources and teaching ideas - for example check out this post on Pythagoras' Theorem, this post on completing the square using algebra tiles and this post on multiplication methods. She also does a regular 'Pick of Twitter' post. 

Both websites are fantastic for a resourceaholic like me and I look forward to seeing them grow. Do make sure you're following @Stacy_Maths and @MissNorledge on Twitter.

4. Resources for the New GCSE
Here's an example of a topic that's new to GCSE Maths from September:
We now need to teach 'Fibonacci type sequences, quadratic sequences and simple geometric progressions... and other sequences'. I fear that we are under-resourced here. For some new topics, such as quadratic inequalities and compound and inverse functions, we can use existing iGCSE and A level resources. But some topics currently have very little available so we need to start creating resources. Ed Southall (@solvemymaths) has started the ball rolling by creating these lovely activities - Geometric Sequences Card Sort and Geometric Sequences Worksheet.
I want to start adding resources for new GCSE topics to my libraries so do let me know if you make or find something good.

5. Classroom Practice
I love it when teachers share photos of interesting work their students have done in class. This is what Twitter for teachers is all about - sharing and inspiring. Here's a small selection of student work that caught my eye in the last week.
3D enlargements from @ThetfordMaths
Interesting approach from @mburnsmath's student

Fractional representations from @surreallyno
Number bonds activity from @LttMaths...
...and solution from @BucksburnMaths
I'm ridiculously busy at school at the moment. I teach four exam classes (Year 11, Year 13 and two Year 12 classes) so I'm doing a lot of final exam preparation. If you're in the same boat, you might be interested in my recent post about Higher GCSE Revision Resources. My resource libraries also contain revision resources for both GCSE and A level.

Last week my department had an Inset in which we looked at questions from the new GCSE and discussed our schemes of work. Looking at the Sample Assessment Materials made me realise how much work we all have ahead of us. Some of those new GCSE questions are very challenging. I hope to support teachers in delivering the new GCSE, starting with my recent post about quadratics.

#mathsTLP (Twitter Lesson Planning) continues to go really well (read my post about it here). Lots of teachers are enjoying finding ideas and resources through #mathsTLP - do join in at 7pm on Sundays, all welcome.
Last Friday I attended the UK Blog Awards 2015 (no, that's not my husband in the picture above! Just the Mad Hatter). I had a lovely evening and was incredibly pleased that my blog was Highly Commended in the Individual Education category. I haven't stopped smiling yet! Thank you all for your support.

I'll leave you with this puzzle, which was originally shared by @mathsExplorers back in October: "To solve this multiplication grid, place digits 1 to 9. You have to use each digit once and only once".

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