27 August 2016

5 Maths Gems #62

Welcome to my 62nd update from the world of Maths EduTwitter. Here I summarise some of the latest ideas and resources for teaching maths.

1. A Brilliant Problem
If you have a Facebook account then it's definitely worth liking Brilliant.org's Facebook page for an ongoing flow of lovely maths problems in your news feed. I particularly like the problem below - I'd use it as a starter in a GCSE lesson.

2. Symbaloo
Emma Bell (@EJMaths) has created a very helpful Symbaloo of maths education websites. All you have to do is click on 'start using this webmix' and register for a free account. You can make it your homepage so whenever you open the internet you'll have a lovely set of maths websites, blogs, tools and resources to choose from. This will save teachers lots of time and help them discover new websites too.

3. Fraction Division
An approach to dividing fractions that doesn't involving 'flipping'... this method from @solvemymaths is worth a look.
4. Indices
@offpistemaths shared these indices questions from an Eton scholarship paper aimed at Year 8. I love these problems - more of our students should be given the opportunity to try challenging questions like this.
5. Interactive GCSE Questions
Here's a new free resource from MathsPad. These interactive GCSE exam-style questions are available for both Higher and Foundation. They would work well as daily lesson starters on an interactive whiteboard. It's easy to switch questions and display answers.

Summer is nearly over! A level and GCSE results days were particularly emotional and exciting for me this year (my first results at my new school). It's weird to think that this was our last GCSE results day with grades A* to U - next year we'll be seeing numerical grades for the first time. It's also weird to think that the coming school year will be the last time we teach C1 and C2, as modular A level comes to an end.

You might be interested in seeing the 'hardest' question on this year's Edexcel maths Higher GCSE, which was only answered correctly by 2.6% of students (thanks to @MathsEmporium for sharing this).
Earlier this week I went along for drinks at La Salle's #pieandmaths event - it was great to catch up with some Twitter friends and meet some new people. I'm really looking forward to #mathsconf8 in Kettering on 1st October (I've now submitted a workshop proposal) - book now!

Did you catch my recent post about Multiplying Negatives? If you're teaching addition and subtraction with negative numbers, you might like this post from @Ed_Realist.

I enjoyed reading these recent blog posts:

As the start of term approaches, you might find these 'back to school' posts helpful:

If you're not on Twitter then the start of the new school year might be a good time to join... The amount you gain from it is well worth the small investment of time. Email me for advice if you're not sure how to get started!
A Problem
I'll leave you with this lovely set of problems shared by @Mathematical_A, taken from 'A Square Peg in a Round Hole'. Find the fraction of the area of the quadrant occupied by each semicircle.


  1. I have a question. How do you find out about this stuff? It's great! Example: I appreciate the work of Anne Watson and want to read more of her work but she doesn't have twitter and I can't find a good way of keeping up with her.

    1. Hi Sarah. I see most of it on Twitter. I'm on Twitter quite a lot and I follow a loads of accounts (over 2000), all connected to maths education. I don't like to miss anything! For Anne Watson's stuff, follow @OxfordEdMaths.