28 October 2015

5 Maths Gems #42

Hello and welcome to my 42nd gems post. This is where I share some of the best teaching ideas I've seen on Twitter.

1. Resources
To start, a few new resources that you might not have seen.

Miss Norledge (@MissNorledge) drew inspiration from a Maths Feast problem to make three coordinate geometry problems of her own. These lovely 'Triangle Regions' tasks are suitable for GCSE students or Year 12s.

The clever folks at MathsPad continue to produce excellent resources - this Always/Sometimes/Never True activity for Fractional Indices is excellent. The solutions provide very helpful explanations too. I've added this to my resource library.
Here's another great new resource from MathsPad - How many ways can we write 1 million? These are excellent activities for consolidating knowledge of indices and standard form.

Check out mathspad.co.uk for more fantastic resources. And if you're on Twitter, Nicola (@MathsPadNicola) and James (@MathsPadJames) are well worth following.

2. Enrichment for Sixth Form Mathematicians
Thanks to Graham Colman (@colmanweb) for sharing his list of Maths Beyond the Curriculum activities. This list is written for Year 12/13 - it would be particularly useful for a student who intends to study maths at university. It could easily be adapted for other year groups too. Here's an extract:
3. m4ths.com
Steve from m4ths.com teaches at Thomas Clarkson Academy in Wisbech. He has been sharing some brilliant new resources recently. Here's a few examples.

His 'Find me a home' activity works well as a starter or homework. There are more of these to come.
His 18 GCSE Maths Misconceptions worksheet gets students thinking about common mathematical misconceptions.

He also has a number of topic worksheets that are very teacher-friendly. They print efficiently (multiple sheets per page) and contain a good range of practice questions. For example he has a worksheet on reverse percentages and a worksheet on algebraic fractions.

I also like this '10 Quick Thinking Questions' (extract below) on primes, squares, factors and multiples.
If you teach A level then you'll be pleased to hear that Steve has an A level page too.

4. Target Stickers
Target grades are an obsession in many schools. I'm not a fan. I tell my students to aim for top grades regardless of what their target says. After all, targets are largely based on sweeping generalisations and dodgy data.

Most teachers (myself included) are regularly required to report on progress against targets. I like the sticker idea below from Charmayne Bailey (@MissBaileyMaths). The scale makes it really clear to students where they stand, what their minimum target grade is, and where they're heading.
5. GCSE Revision Ideas
I love this idea from Mel (@Just_Maths). In her post 'Keeping Time...' she shares a sheet (shown below) for printing on A3. In a GCSE revision lesson students are given 12 questions (each worth 4 - 6 marks) to complete on the sheet, one question per section. This is a great way of practising working under timed conditions ahead of the exam. It also helps keep students focused throughout the lesson.

Another great resource for a GCSE revision lesson is this activity from @DJUdall. He uses it at the start of a GCSE revision session - students are asked to put the values in order.

Hurrah for half term! Time to catch up on hundreds of tasks that I didn't have the chance to do during term time. Here's a few things you might have missed from recent weeks:
  • I've written three posts since my last gems post:
  • I enjoyed participating in the second Maths Journal Club chat - you can read a write-up of the discussion here.
  • I used the fractions activity below with my Year 7s (I first featured this activity in my post Thoughts on Teaching Fractions). I was quite taken aback by how revealing this task was - it uncovered some serious misconceptions.
Ticket sales for my exciting Christmaths Party are going well.  There's only 25 day tickets left so book now! It's going to be a fantastic event - see christmaths.weebly.com for details.

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