13 December 2015

5 Maths Gems #45

Hello and welcome to my 45th gems post. This is where I share five maths teaching ideas.

1. Circumference
Don Steward has been writing lots of brilliant posts lately so do keep an eye on his blog. I love two of his recent posts - Pi Development and Circle: Introducing Circumference. The latter features animations such as this:

and a really nice set of circumference questions.
2. Pinpoint Learning
Causing quite a stir on Twitter over the last two weeks, @tom_quilter's new website pinpointlearning.co.uk provides students with personalised question booklets based on exam results. It's perfect for after a mock exam. You simply upload students' marks and the website automatically produces individual booklets featuring question on the topics that students need to work on. The website is free and is set up for Edexcel papers, so if you've recently done an Edexcel mock then do give it a go. I've seen many tweets from teachers who've already tried it and speak very highly of it.
3. Five Minute Mock Analysis
When you return mock exams to students you might like to use this excellent Five Minute Mock Paper Analysis from @MathedUp. The file is editable so you can customise it for your school.
4. C4 Integration
I'm teaching C4 integration to my Further Maths class at the moment. We've just done Volumes of Revolution and I enjoyed making use of props to explain the concept. Thanks to an idea from Chris Smith (@aap03102), I used paper decorations to demonstrate how a solid is formed when a plane is rotated around the x axis.
I used these alongside gifs such as those shown below.

I also enjoyed using constant characters for the first time. This is an idea from @edenspresence that I featured back in Gems 22. Students who forget the 'plus c' in their answers are asked to decorate a constant character. Hopefully this will encourage them not to forget again and will make an interesting display for the classroom wall. Here's a couple of examples of what my students came up with:
5. Snowflakes
These Star Wars snowflake designs are brilliant and even feature characters from the latest films.
Here's a video about how to fold them:

If you're planning to do some snowflake activities at school in the last week of term then it's a great opportunity to talk about fractals - read Gems 16 for more on this.

Snowflakes can be a bit tricky to make so you might like these Paper Snowflake Cutting Tips. And this video (shared by @WycHighMaths) from Vi Hart is awesome:

It's only one week until #christmaths15! How exciting. You can still buy evening tickets if you want to join us for the party. The party includes a maths quiz, puzzles, food and a disco - partners and friends are very welcome.

If you teach Year 10 then do check out my recent post about real-life graphs.

Right, I have mock marking to do and Christmas cards to write so I better get on. I'll leave you with this nice question from @OCR_Maths - what fraction is unshaded?

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