5 November 2017

5 Maths Gems #79

Welcome to my 79th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Percentages
Miss Konstantine (@GiftedBA) wrote a blog post about how she teaches percentages of amounts. In it she shared a lovely activity where the original amount isn't given but a different percentage is.
Don Steward liked this idea so much that he made a very similar activity, which is now linked in my resource library.

2. TES Freebies
I've never bought a resource from TES before but last week I found one that is going to save me a huge amount of time and printing budget... For my Papers Society I have to print a lot of GCSE papers, which is really expensive given that GCSE papers are usually around 20 - 30 pages long. Thankfully I found that a teacher (tpayne89) has put a lot of effort into cutting a selection of GCSE papers down to short A5 booklets - the resource is here

I know that some of you are so annoyed that TES now sells resources that you'd never contemplate buying one, but the rest of you might benefit from the fact that TES are offering a £5 voucher for first timer buyers to purchase a resource during November (use the code NOVEMBERNEWBIE).

3. Prime on a Lime
Inspired by 'Elf on a Shelf', Chris Smith (@aap03102) shared this picture on Twitter...
We had fun guessing the rhyming phrase for this picture and others shared by Chris... and then other people joined in and made their own. Julia Smith (@tessmaths) collected them together in a padlet - see if you can guess them all!

4. Key Stage 3 Support
Thanks to Lisa Pollard (@booleanmathshub) for sharing the NCETM's recent publication 'Teaching for Mastery: Questions, tasks and activities to support assessment in Key Stage 3'. It contains lots of useful question prompts that schools could incorporate into their Key Stage 3 Schemes of Work - here are two examples:

5. Mental Arithmetic
This is something that maths teachers will enjoy! Thanks to Paul Godding (@7puzzle) for sharing arithmetic.zetamac.com. This game is highly addictive! It's fun trying to beat your personal best.
In case you missed them, my recent posts were 'Success Stories: Core Maths' (thank you to everyone who commented on this!) and 'The Wonderful World of Maths Resources'.

If you're an A level teacher, do have a read of the post 'Blind spots in the new A Level Maths' from MarkIt. And if you work with trainees, check out Ed Southall's post 'Helping trainee teachers'.

Last weekend I had lunch with Lucy Rycroft-Smith and David Miles for a meeting of the MA Publicity and Media Committee. We have lots of exciting things planned for the year ahead.
The MA Publicity and Media Committee

If you're not a member of the MA then maybe you could put it on your Christmas list...  Gift memberships are now available to purchase (Primary £46; Secondary £62). If you're not sure whether it's worth joining, do have a read of my post 'Strength in Numbers'.

The MA is currently in talks with the other maths subject associations about amalgamation. I think that the creation of a single maths subject association would be a very important step forward for our profession. I encourage you to add your opinion here, whether you're a member of the MA or not. Thank you to everyone who has already done so.

If you're looking to change school this year (or for next September) and you live in Surrey or South London then please do drop me an email - my lovely school has vacancies. We have opportunities for trainees, NQTs and experienced teachers. We're happy to consider requests to work part time.

I'm off to my first ever MathsJam Annual Gathering next weekend! Exciting stuff. I'm looking forward to seeing lots of you there.

I'll leave you with this lovely puzzle, shared by Chris Smith (@aap03102) in his most recent newsletter. If you've not signed up, email Chris to subscribe.


  1. Is number 2 legal? I highly doubt Pearson would be very happy that someone is taking their exam papers and charging for them. I'm sure it would be a very useful resource, but so would photocopying a textbook and putting that on the TES.