2 November 2019

5 Maths Gems #117

Welcome to my 117th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Ratio 
My favourite maths blogger Paul Rowlandson has written another brilliant blog post - this one looks at various ways of thinking about how to make functions and equations out of pairs of equivalent ratios.
2. Berwick Maths
Joe Berwick (@BerwickMaths) launched a new website berwickmaths.com where he shares the worked examples he uses in lessons from Key Stage 3 up to Key Stage 5. Read the homepage and Joe's blog for more information on what it's all about.
3. Interleaving
Jason Steele (@steelemaths) shared a set of tasks where topics are interleaved - for example the task below is about expanding and simplifying but also gives students the opportunity to revisit fraction operations. You can download this from TES. Check out Jason's Twitter feed for more of his resources.

4. Normal Distribution
Holly Morgan (@Hollymog) made a Fill in the Gaps activity for standardising normal distribution.  It's great to see these ideas in use at A level.
If you're looking for some really challenging normal distribution questions to test your brightest Year 13s then try searching for 'normal' in the STEP database.

5. New Lesson Resources
In my last gems post I featured some new resources from TES author cparkinson3 (@CP3fxy). He has now shared 12 lessons on shape transformations.

Richard Tock (@TickTockMaths) shared a couple of great lessons for teaching equations of parallel lines and equations of perpendicular lines.
These resources have been added to my resource libraries.

I'm ridiculously lucky to work at a school with a two week October half-term. It's a game changer.

On 12th October I went to #mathsconf21 in Peterborough. As always, it was lovely to catch up with so many maths teachers. Here's me and Sheena (@Sheena2907) in matching maths dresses from Popsy:
I presented on the Calculator Crisis. If you attended that talk then you can download my slides here. Since then I've read this blog post from Andrew Gael (@bkdidact) about calculator use for students with disabilities. It includes an interesting flow chart from ⁦‪@NCTM‬⁩.
At the conference I was lucky enough to watch a demonstration of Bruno Reddy's new website numbots.com which I will definitely be using with my youngest daughter once it's available for families to purchase. I also particularly enjoyed exploring Exploding Dots with Rebecca McAndrew (@MathsMcBec). It was fun to play with binary and polynomial division.
If you missed this conference then don't worry - there's always plenty going on. Check out my events page for maths education conferences in 2019/20.

The Peterborough conference was the day after the Harris Federation October Conference at the ExCeL Centre in London. Here I am with three out of my four maths colleagues from Harris Academy Sutton (yes, we are currently an all-female maths department!):

In the first part of my half-term break I had a lovely chilled out week at home with my daughters. The second week of half-term (when my daughters were back at school) was full on. Craig Barton and I ran two Marvellous Maths courses (one at my school and one in Halifax) and I also spent an afternoon recording two of my Topics in Depth workshops, video-podcast style, at the TES offices in Sheffield.
Marvellous Maths was a lot of fun to run. Thank you to all the 200+ delegates who joined us. I promised I'd share my presentations, which you can download here. A lot of you were asking for a copy of the brilliant AQA quiz - you can download it here and the answers are here.

Thank you to everyone who supported us this week. It was the first time Craig and I had run our own course. We felt it went well so we might do it again next year. Special thanks to AQA, John Catt, White Rose, the MA and Izak9. Primary and prep school teachers should check out Izak9 (@AbacusandHelix) - really interesting classroom resources that I'd never seen before.

Finally, an update on some recent posts and some things that are coming up:
  • It's Maths Week England on 11th - 16th November.  There are a number of competitions that your students can get involved in, listed here. For example MEI are running a Desmos Maths Art competition - students and teachers can win a Desmos T-shirt and a pizza party for their class. 

  • At only £1.99  for many hours of maths entertainment, you'd be crazy not to download MEI's Sumaze! Adventure app. Like the other Sumaze! apps, it's brilliant.
  • Cambridge Maths launched a new app called Define It. Every week they publish a mathematical word with several possible definitions for you to rate. They want users to help them find the best definitions.
  • I'm very excited about Big MathsJam which takes place four weeks today. It is my favourite event of the year. And not just because the food is so good.
  • My book is still in production but I'm hopeful it will be out before Christmas (fingers crossed!). You can order it and read early reviews here

22 October 2019

Easter Awesomeness for Maths Teachers

A couple of years ago I went to BCME for the first time. I loved it! Having been a regular Saturday-maths-conference-goer for a few years, it was my first big residential maths conference. It was a totally different experience to one day events. I enjoyed the social stuff (we won the quiz! I may have mentioned that a few times...) and I also liked the pace. One day conferences can be intense - I feel like I rush around all day - whereas at residential conferences everything has more time. I loved BCME so much that the following year I braved going to the ATM/MA Easter conference on my own. It turned out to be brilliant. It really gave me a lot to think about and probably had a bigger impact on my teaching than any event I'd attended previously.

Quizzing at the ATM/MA conference 2019

I noticed that there were a large number of trainee teachers at the ATM/MA conference this Easter. I was hugely impressed by their enthusiasm. There they all were, embracing their new career and having a thoroughly good time surrounded by mathematics. When I was training I had no idea these things even existed.

For decades the MA and ATM Easter conferences were the biggest events in maths education. Everyone went. Maths teachers flew in from all over the world. These days lots of teachers can't attend the Easter conferences because a) it's too expensive and b) they don't like losing almost a week of their Easter holidays. I have young children myself and totally sympathise with these reservations. Both times I've attended conferences in the Easter holidays I have been lucky enough to be awarded a bursary to help with the cost, plus my husband has taken annual leave to spend time with my daughters.

This year the MA has decided to take an innovative approach to give the conference wider appeal. For as long as anyone can remember the MA Conference has run over four days. This year it's shorter and cheaper and - hopefully - accessible to all. It's also at a beautiful spa hotel (Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire), which is a bonus.

So this is how it looks:

Day 1: Tuesday 14th April
The conference starts at lunchtime on Tuesday. There's a keynote from MA President Ems Lord followed by a linked workshop, and then a practical session run by the Nrich team. At the 2019 conference the Nrich workshop was one of my favourites so this is guaranteed to all be brilliant. In the evening there'll be a quiz (yay!).

Day 2: Wednesday 15th April
This day will be jam-packed with 40 sessions run by amazing speakers, plus a keynote from the one and only Chris Smith (I am so excited about this!).  Workshops will be in four strands (Primary, Secondary, Post-16/Community and General). In each of the five sessions you can choose one of eight workshops - so there's plenty for everyone. The day ends with a Maths Jam and a BBQ.

Day 3: Thursday 16th April

The day starts with a keynote from me, followed by a keynote by Craig Barton. If you were at Craig's keynote at the MEI Conference then I'm sure you'll agree that it will be worth staying for! Then everyone goes home at lunch.

You can download the full programme here.

If you're not a member of the MA then join now (from only £2.50 per month) to save lots of money on conference rates.

To attend the whole conference from Tuesday lunch to Thursday lunch, including hotel room and food, it's only £299. But you have to book by 31st December to get it this cheap. If you've never been to a residential conference before then now's the time to try it!

If you're an NQT or a trainee teacher then you can go to the whole conference from just £229, which is insanely cheap when you consider what it includes in terms of food, accommodation and top quality CPD.

Also, if family commitments mean you can't do a residential so you only want to come to the middle Wednesday (five workshops plus Chris Smith's keynote plus lunch) then it's only £99. That's great value for so much CPD.

Finally - if you're a member of the MA and you've never been to the MA's annual conference before then you can apply for a bursary which will cover the entire cost of the conference! Go on, apply - you might get lucky. Details of this bursary are here.

Get your request into your school now! I look forward to seeing you there.

19 October 2019

Classroom Reflections

It's been a long time since I last wrote a blog post reflecting on what I've been doing in the classroom. I remember writing one when I returned to work after maternity leave in 2015. During maternity leave I'd joined Twitter and became hugely inspired and excited about maths teaching - I returned to work raring to try out loads of new approaches and resources for the first time. My current situation feels like that one all over again. I've gone back to proper teaching after a year in limbo. Last year I was still in the classroom - but not my own classroom. I was teaching various Year 11 intervention and withdrawal groups in a number of different schools. I really missed belonging to a school community. An opportunity arose to move to a brand new school in the same MAT, only five minutes from my house, so I seized it. I've always wanted to be involved in setting up a new school and it's turning out to be just as exciting and wonderful (and exhausting!) as I expected. I absolutely love the school's vision and culture. It's very frustrating that I live in a grammar school borough, and I'm so happy that there's an amazing comprehensive school that I can guarantee my daughters have a place at. On Open Day we had parents tell us that their children had passed the local selection tests but they were putting our non-selective school down as their first choice. I'm so proud to be part of it.

My classes
I teach 8X1 and 8Y4 (also known as Cardano and Leibniz). Because we only have two year groups, in some subjects (e.g. a subject that only has one lesson a week) teachers might teach every single Year 8 class, which is a time saver in terms of planning. There is no overlap in planning for my two Year 8 classes because they are very different groups. I also teach a totally mixed Year 7 class, though we've reviewed that and we're re-grouping all of our Year 7s after half-term. My current Year 7s are the most delightful class I've ever taught! People warned me that I'd miss teaching GCSE and A level, and in fact that's what stopped me from applying to work at the school in its first year when it was in a temporary building. I haven't been missing them at all. I've been enjoying focusing on developing my Key Stage 3 teaching, and I know I'll teach A level and GCSE again in the future. It is so nice to teach maths without the constant exam focus. I've taught Year 11, 12 and 13 every single year of my teaching career so this year is totally different. Change is good.

I've been using MathsPad in most lessons, as well as plenty of Don Steward and some things from variationtheory.com. Here I'll share a few examples of resources that I felt worked particularly well.

When I taught percentages to 8X1 I used mixed percentage multipliers from variationtheory.com. There are three sheets, starting with this one:
and ending with this one:

This was a really good level of challenge for my students.

For my 13 students in 8Y4 I created a different set of sheets with a lot of structure and scaffolding. I decided to teach them multipliers (that in itself was a difficult decision). I started with increasing using this resource:
This is nothing special or new, but it had the right amount of structure and direction as a starting point for them. We ended up doing parts of mixed percentage multipliers too, it just took us a bit longer to get there.

When I taught reverse percentages to 8X1 I made good use of MathsPad. I like the structure of their slides on this topic:
The associated worksheet starts with a couple of examples and some accessible questions, leading on to a really high level of challenge. I've only shown extracts from these resources because these require a subscription to access the full resource.
I've just moved onto algebra with both my Year 8 classes. 8X1 particularly enjoyed this expanding activity from Don Steward:
I was delighted when I spotted a pattern in the answers and they got all excited about it. It made it really easy to check answers too.

We also had a lot of fun with MathsPad's Number Tricks resource.
For Year 7 I used MathsPad when teaching negative numbers. I particularly like their Number Line Journeys activity (again, this is just an extract - not the full resource):

MathsPad also have a lot of nice little tasks that you can dip into for extension work. For example their sheet Negative Number Puzzles: Addition and Subtraction has pyramids, magic squares and all sorts of little puzzles involving negative numbers.

I could go on about resources all day. I'm enjoyed using lots of activities I've not used before. Some have gone well, some haven't. It's always good to try new things.

We are fortunate to have Hegarty Maths which I'm a big fan of. My 8X1 class are completing a MemRi task for homework every week. MemRi tasks automatically ask students questions on topics they have studied in the past. By moving most of their retrieval practice from classwork to homework I've got more time to focus on the topics I'm teaching in the lesson.

8Y4 really need support on retrieval. They often have trouble remembering the previous day's lesson. I'm investing a lot of time on revisiting learning from Years 1 to 7. They also respond very well to set routines. We had a Discovery Day in October and we had to move our seats into a new arrangement for a day - I hadn't expected them to respond so negatively to a change in routine, and it made me realise how important it is for these particular students to know what to expect so they feel safe in maths. For retrieval and routine - and to help these students to experience success in maths - I've started using the 'Five for Five' model I wrote about here. They are responding very well to it. Obviously I'm not able to say if it's having any effect on their long-term retention - we'll have to wait and see.

I make my own set of questions each lesson but it only takes a minute. An example is shown below - these questions are the right level of difficulty for this particular class. Four questions are from primary school or Year 7 and the final question relates to their current topic. The questions change subtly each day but are always on the same topics. On the first day we go through it in great detail, on the second and third day they refer to their notes before we go through it together and on the last day I give it as a test that I mark. By the last day they really want to get full marks.

The other thing I've introduced is Memory King - inspired by something Dani Quinn said years ago which I mentioned in this blog post about teaching Foundation.  In the first week of Memory King I challenged 8Y4 to learn their first twelve square numbers. They all had to recite the numbers to me - and those who wanted to could also enter a competition where they recited them at the front of the class, and we timed them to see who could do it fastest. It all got very exciting and they got really into it (they were practising in the playground!) so I invited the Principal to come and watch them perform their square numbers. It was amazing to see students who lack confidence in maths get so excited to show the Principal what they know. The winner was a boy who managed to recite all twelve in about 2 seconds which was insane. I then set them the task of learning the names of polygons from triangles up to decagons. I think the whole class had a tear in their eye when the girl who doesn't speak much English stood up and so beautifully recited 'triangle, quadrilateral, pentagon, hexagon, septagon, octagon, nonagon, decagon'!  After that I set them the seven times table. This might seem like an odd one, but I know that they are not all fluent in times tables and if I can get them excited about learning and reciting them then I will.
The final thing I want to reflect on is timings. A few years ago I started a writing a series of presentations about teaching topics in depth rather than rushing through them. This year is my first time teaching a Scheme of Work that is written by a MAT and used in a large number of schools. I'm struggling with it. Because we had a whole week of Inset at the start of term (owing to us opening a new building) we started the term behind on the timings. We then only had three weeks to teach Year 7 algebra from scratch including simplifying, expanding single brackets and sequences. This is about half the time I needed! Everything was rushed, which makes me really unhappy. We lost a few days to school events and then I ended up with only three lessons to teach the whole of negative numbers! Argh. Such a fundamental topic in such a short time. In the last lesson I gave them this exercise from TeachIt Maths:
The amount they struggled (with adding and subtracting negatives, not the substitution) confirmed what I suspected - I had taught negatives way too quickly and it needed another week or two. I just don't know where I'll find that week.

We don't have to do MAT assessments until January but the topics are packed in really tightly and nothing is getting the attention it needs. After half-term I have one week to do the whole of written methods and order of operations! I need a whole week on order of operations alone. But when will I find time to explore all the wonderful multiplication methods I want to do with them? It's all very frustrating, and I know that I probably have many readers in the same situation, having to constantly rush through teaching because of assessment deadlines. I haven't worked out a good solution for this, but I'm just letting you know that I share your pain!

Anyway, it's half-term for me now so I get time to reflect and re-energise. I'm looking forward to all the fun maths I get to teach after half-term, but for now - I need a rest!

5 October 2019

5 Maths Gems #116

Welcome to my 116th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. New Resources
I featured TES author cparkinson3 in Gems 110 back in May. He has now joined Twitter (@CP3fxy) and has been busy sharing lots of lovely free resources. For example check out his collection of ten lessons on expanding and factorising and his collection of four lessons on algebraic fractions.

2. Dice
Ed Southall (@solvemymaths) noticed that if you just google 'D6' (or 'D4, 'D20' etc) then this cool interactive dice tool comes up. I love how geeky the internet is.

3. MathsPad
Having taught nothing but A level and GCSE for a few years, it's quite a change for me to be teaching only Year 7 and 8 this year. I'm loving the fact that most of my lessons now feature resources from my favourite website MathsPad.

Here's an extract from one of their latest Stem and Leaf resources.
MathsPad's full October 2019 resource update is here - I love the look of their new real-life graphs resources and look forward to using them one day. Plus there's a load of lovely stuff on metric units which I'll be teaching soon.

4. A Level
A level teachers might be interested in these new resources:
  • Jack Nicol (@geomathsblog) shared a website made by one of his Year 13 students. It searches through WJEC exam papers and returns results by keyword for A level subjects Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Economics, Business and Psychology. This might be helpful to both teachers and students. Try searching for 'parametric' to see how it works.
  • Tom Bowler (@Ridermeister) of the Exeter Mathematics School has shared a collection of interview questions to help prepare candidates for the mathematical questions that might be asked in university interviews. 
  • CrashMaths (@crashMATHS_CM) updated their resources for the Edexcel Large Data Set.

5. Trigonometry Task
Another one of my favourite resource writers, Dan Walker (@360maths), shared a rich task for consolidating trigonometry with Year 11.

My school workload is insane at the moment, but I'm hopeful (!) that things will calm down a bit after half-term. September is always tough isn't it? I have a new job that's totally different to anything I've done before, plus I'm teaching topics I haven't taught in a decade. I'm very much enjoying my new job - it's so exciting to be in a brand new school. You might have seen on Twitter that I'm excited about my classroom equipment (a fab new visualiser and a lovely Classwiz emulator) and I've been really enjoying teaching proper maths again, free from all the exam pressure. For one of my classes I've been trying Memory King and Five for Five - they seem to be working well, and I will blog about these things soon (if I get time...!).
I recently blogged about my book 'A Compendium of Mathematical Methods' which is available to order now for delivery in December. I sent a draft version to Emma McCrea, Craig Barton and Ben Sparks and was delighted by their feedback.

I need to reclaim some of my weekends to spend more time with my children so I've turned down the opportunity to speak at a number of conferences this year, but I will be at #mathsconf21 in Peterborough next weekend. I'll be sharing some awesome resources in my workshop 'Calculator Crisis'. It's fab that one of my favourite maths authors Alex Bellos will be there too (I suggested he come along so I'm delighted that it's happening!).

I recently presented a couple of workshops at #mathsconf20 in Edinburgh. It was nice to be given the opportunity to say a few words to all delegates about the benefits of joining The Mathematical Association.
You can now join the MA for only £2.50 a month - that's such a small amount of money to be part of the oldest subject association in the world! And it comes with a large discount off our awesome Easter 2020 conference. If you decide to come for the whole conference (2 nights/3 days) then members save £50 on tickets - so it's well worth joining even if just for that.

Speaking of CPD, the 'Marvellous Maths' course I'm running with Craig Barton is fast approaching. It's shaping up to be a really exciting day - there are a few tickets left so book now if you want to come!

Here are a few more bits and pieces that you might have missed:
  • I shared an algebraic function machines resource that I made for my Year 7s. It drew out some key misconceptions and generated some useful class discussions. 
  • I had a lovely evening at Rob Eastaway's book launch for his brilliant new book 'Maths on the Back of an Envelope'. 
  • Did you see that a London school boy came up with a new divisibility test? 'Chika's Test' is such a great story to share with your pupils.

I'll leave you with this fun game from Christian Lawson-Perfect (@christianp) based on @DavidKButlerUoA's 'number dress-up party' puzzle. All the numbers have come to a party in fancy dress. Which numbers can you correctly identify?

18 September 2019

Why Methods?

About 6 years I happened to stumble across a blog post about matrix multiplication. I was teaching FP1 at the time. I was surprised to discover a method I'd never seen before, and I showed my class the very next day. They liked it and asked why I hadn't shown them this in the first place. I admitted that I hadn't known about it.

I later showed this matrix method to my colleague Mariana. In that same conversation she showed me another method I hadn't seen before - the Factor Method for finding a Highest Common Factor and Lowest Common Multiple. It was a method that one of our students had introduced to us, and it turned out that some of my colleagues were already teaching it. I loved it.

I pondered these two methods - new discoveries for me - and wondered whether there was a book or website that had them all in one place. Where could I go to learn new methods? How could I find out what other teachers did? How could I share the two methods I'd just discovered with other teachers? It seemed unfair to keep them to myself when they'd surely be of interest to others.

I couldn't find anything about methods online, and this is what prompted me to start a blog. I thought that gathering together alternative methods in one place would help me remember what I'd found, and if anyone else happened to read it then it might help them too.

My first blog post - when I was just about to start maternity leave with my second baby in April 2014 - was about matrix multiplication. A couple of weeks later I wrote about Highest Common Factor. At that point a friend told me that people blogging about education should join Twitter, so I did. It was eye-opening. I immediately become immersed in the wonderful world of maths EduTwitter. There I found a community of teachers to discuss maths with. I learnt so much from them. It was a game-changer.

I didn't know enough interesting methods to only write about methods, so I started blogging about resources and pedagogy too. Resources began to take over because that was what people seemed interested in, but my curiosity about methods continued.

I went to my first maths conference in September 2014. I loved it. I noticed that the workshops were mainly about pedagogy rather than subject knowledge. So I decided that at the next conference I'd do my first ever conference presentation - I'd tell everyone my cool way to find a HCF and LCM, along with a few other methods that they might not have seen before.

At the next conference I was ridiculously nervous as I delivered my session but it was wonderful to hear a room full of teachers talking about methods. However at the end a man came up and told me that he'd already known all the methods I'd spoken about. This one little comment made me lose confidence in my idea to collect and share methods. I started to wonder if I was embarrassing myself by sharing stuff that was already widely known.

So I focused on resources for the next couple of years. I blogged about methods only occasionally, but I continued to think that subject knowledge development was the most important CPD maths teachers could do.

Back in December 2017 I was at an MA meeting in Leceister and picked up a few old textbooks from the archives. I was blown away by the quality of the questions in the exercises compared to many modern exercises. I immediately began to collect old textbooks, and quickly realised that they were full of fascinating methods and subject knowledge that had long been forgotten. This is what re-ignited my interest in methods. And this is what inspired me to bring all this fascinating stuff together in a book. I'd been saying for years that I'd never write a book. But I was overwhelmed by this big idea, and I couldn't stop myself from getting it all down on paper.

I started writing the book back in February 2019. It's not just about methods - it's a whole lot more. You'll have to wait and see what I mean when it comes out (I can't wait for you to see it!). I've never worked so hard on anything before. I worked on it every day of the summer holidays, and have been busy trying to get it finished off in the last couple of weeks, which has been really tough because I teach full-time and September is crazy busy. It was worth the effort though - I'm really excited about sharing it. I learnt so much writing this book, and now feel pretty confident that I know way more about mathematical methods than most people! My subject knowledge is miles ahead of where it was when I first qualified as a teacher.

I sent all 70,000 words of the book off to my publisher on Sunday. It might be out in December, but I'm not making any promises!

I've been on a five year journey from the day I first stumbled upon that matrix multiplication method. I've created something that didn't previously exist that I feel will be of great benefit to maths teachers. I really hope my readers like it. And if they don't, at least I will finally have what I wanted, for the benefit my own teaching - a plethora of awesome mathematical methods, all in one place.

28 August 2019

5 Maths Gems #115

Welcome to my 115th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Distributive Law
Miss Konstantine (@GiftedBA) shared a set of questions on the distributive law. Visit her blog to download the PowerPoint.

2. Frayer Models
@MrMattock@JoLocke1, @MisterRapley, @timdolan and @StudyMaths have created the website frayer-model.co.uk. Here you can download editable Frayer Models for a large number of maths topics (there are currently over sixty on there). 

3. Area Mazes
I know I've featured Area Mazes in my gems posts before but here are a few more...  While on holiday I played some of the Area Quiz app on my phone. Most of the problems in this app require a bit (or a lot) of reasoning. They are suitable for people of any age as long as they know how to work out area. A lot of these problems would work well at school to deepen pupils' understanding of area.

4.  Photo Signs
I'm not crafty enough to make one of these myself! Howie Hua @howie_hua‬⁩ made this sign for his pupils to hold up for photos. If you check out ⁦‪his Twitter timeline you'll see his pupils proudly sharing photos of themselves meeting their new maths teacher and embracing the idea of being a 'math person'.
Inspired by this, other teachers have made signs for their maths classrooms. Here's an example from Alice Aspinall (@aliceaspinall).

5. Starter Questions
Thanks to Mary Atherton from Carmel College in Darlington for emailing me about the pack of Starter Quizzes she intends to use with Year 10 this year. She tried a similar daily activity with other year groups last year and found that pupils responded well to the routine. Ahead of each lesson Mary will put one sheet of questions into each pupil's document wallet (her form will help her do this) and then every pupil will get started as soon as they arrive at the lesson. They get 10 minutes to answer the questions in any order - when the buzzer goes off Mary calls out the answers and the students mark their own work, recording their marks out of 10 on the record sheet that's glued to the front of their document wallet. Thanks to Mary for sharing her quizzes.

I've had very little time for blogging over summer. As well enjoying a lovely (if slightly rainy) family holiday in Jersey, I've been busy trying to write my book 'A Compendium of Mathematical Methods'. It's really hard work! I hope people like it. I've only got one chapter left to write. If all goes well it will be out in December or January. I've learnt a huge amount of new maths through researching interesting, unusual and antiquated methods. I can't wait to share what I've found.

In other news, thanks to Jamie Frost for hosting another lovely evening for maths teachers at his house and local pub.
And thanks to TES for hosting a great TES Maths Panel meeting in Sheffield with a delicious lunch in the sunshine.
Another thing I've done recently that I highly recommend is visit the MA library at the University of Leicester. All MA members are allowed to visit the library. I went with friends Ed Southall and Tom Bennison. MA librarian Mike Price very kindly showed us round and gave us access to the amazing books in the Special Collection. It was incredible!
If you plan to go to any events in the next academic year then do check out my updated conferences page. In September I'll be at #mathsconf20 in Edinburgh where I'm presenting on methods and adfected quadratics, and in October I'll be at #mathsconf21 in Peterborough where I'm presenting on the 'Calculator Crisis'.

If you want to attend the one day training course 'Marvellous Maths Teaching' with Craig Barton and me then it would be a good idea to get your request in at school soon before it sells out. 

I pulled together the MA's August 2019 eNews which came out yesterday, sharing news, puzzles and resources for maths teachers. Do check it out, and subscribe to receive future issues here.

I visited my brand new school building last week with my daughters.

Here's my five year old being a teacher in my new classroom.
I've planned first lessons for a couple of my classes but I am fortunate to have four Inset days before my pupils start so I'm leaving most of my work for then rather than do it in the holidays. I can't wait to get started with lessons! I'm really excited about meeting my new classes. Though of course I'm a bit sad about summer coming to an end.

If you're not back at school yet and you're planning first lessons for September then you might find some of my posts from previous years helpful, such as Year 7 Maths Activities. Also, check out my large collection of maths displays.

If you're back to school soon, good luck with the start of term.

I'll leave you with this puzzle that your pupils might enjoy - it was shared on Twitter by @theexperttutor after she spotted it in a magazine. There are lots more like this here - thanks to @Caminomig for the link.