31 March 2016

5 Maths Gems #53

Welcome to my 53rd gems post. This is where I share five maths teaching ideas I've seen on Twitter.

1. Games
In Gems 51 I wrote about the brilliant game Is this prime? from @christianp. My colleague Greg currently holds the Glyn Maths Faculty record in this game (51 - after a lot of practice!). We're a competitive bunch and we'd all love to beat him! This week more games have been shared on Twitter, for the amusement of both maths teachers and students.

Hannah Fry (@FryRSquared) shared guessthecorrelation.com. In this retro-style game players have to guess the correlation from a series of scatter graphs (between 0 and 1, where 1 is perfect positive correlation). I'm better at this than the prime game! I might use it when I next teach S1 to add a bit of excitement to my PMCC lesson...

Bodil Isaksen (@BodilUK) shared the quick game 'How Well Do You Actually See Shapes?' in which you have to pick regular polygons. Have a go - see if you can get full marks.
Julie Morgan (@fractionfanatic) wrote a post 5 Minutes of Fun (or more) about strategy games to play with students - I particularly like 'Thirteen' in which the first person starts with 1 and then every person after that can say one, two or three numbers in their turn. The person who says 13 is out. I can imagine playing this in the car with my family when my children are a bit older.

2. MadAsMaths
Huge thanks to Colleen Young (@ColleenYoung) for sharing an amazing resource for A level students. MadAsMaths.com contains loads of helpful resources. I am particularly excited by the practice papers for C1 - C4. These are very useful for students who have already completed all the past papers, especially students aiming for a top grade.
 Read Colleen's post for full details.

3. Is That a Big Number?
IsThatABigNumber.com is a new website that may be worth exploring. It aims to put numbers in context, promote numeracy, share number facts and develop number sense. You can enter a number and get some interesting comparisons.
The quiz is fun too.

4. A Problem
I enjoyed this problem - it was shared by @Five_Triangles.

The green triangles are equilateral and you need to find the area of triangle A.

5. GCSE Revision
The maths department at Saint Aidan's (@SaintAidansMath) regularly tweets GCSE questions for its students. Its website is worth exploring - it contains lots of useful resources including GCSE revision cue cards which students can print back-to-back to quiz themselves and their friends.   
Straight after the Easter holidays my Year 11s have another set of mock exams - I've bought a new set of erasable pens to do my marking with. Thanks to Megan Guinan (@MeganGuinan1) for the recommendation - it has never occurred to me to use erasable red pens before (good for fixing marking mistakes!).

I recently wrote a post about the upcoming changes to A level - if you're an A level teacher do have a look at both my post and Tom Bennison's (@DrBennison) follow-up post.

Finally, this English/US grade/year classification (created by Kaplan and shared by @AceThatTest) is helpful. I sometimes find it hard to navigate US resource websites (like the excellent Mathematics Assessment Project) because I don't know age equivalences. I also read a lot of American blogs, so this will be useful for future reference.


  1. Thank you for doing the leg work! Can I follow you on twitter?