4 October 2020

Recent Talks and Resources

This is just a quick post to share some links that you might find helpful.

On Thursday I did a short talk for the North-East Hampshire and Surrey Maths Hub on 'Teaching Maths in 2020: Challenges & Opportunities'. I don't have a recording of the actual presentation, but I did record my practice run (it's almost the same, but without the Q&A at the end).

In that presentation, I talked about my warm-up booklets (which are one of the best things I have ever introduced to my lesson routine!). I wrote about the idea in this post over summer. In the Q&A at the end of Thursday's presentation, I promised I'd share all my booklets (Year 7, 8 and 9). They can now be downloaded here. Just bear in mind that the Year 8 and 9 booklets are very specifically aimed at my particular classes (in terms of both the pitch and the topics).

On Saturday I attended La Salle's #mathsconf24, which was fantastic. I presented on Key Stage 3 Teaching. The slides can be downloaded here. As always, I think the slides are of limited use without hearing my commentary, so if you missed my workshop then (if you had a ticket to #mathsconf24) you will be able to watch my presentation on La Salle's website soon. 

I would like to share the video on my CPD channel once it's ready, but I don't know if La Salle will let me do that - I will find out.

After #mathsconf24 I recorded a conference takeaways podcast with Craig Barton. You can listen here.

In this podcast we announced our new CPD course which will be available online at the end of October (I'm lucky I get a two week October half-term - that should give me enough time to produce it!). More information will be available soon.

If you enjoyed my CPD this week then do check out my CPD playlist on YouTube.

And don't forget to check out my book, A Compendium of Mathematical Methods, which was published in 2019.

And finally, if you want to buy me a drink to say thanks for all of this, the link is here. 😃

Have a great week at school!

27 September 2020

5 Maths Gems #135

Welcome to my 135th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

I think we have a winner for the most intense September of all time! I can’t believe I complained about how busy I was during lockdown - September 2020 has been a whole new level of exhaustion! I’m sure many of you are in the same boat. I haven’t had time to blog, or even tweet, because I've been working until I go to bed every evening. But it’s ok, because I know September is always a killer, and I know it’s doubly difficult this year because of a global pandemic which is outside my control, and I know it will get easier. 

Anyway, on with the gems… I have ten for you again today.

1. Booklets
Thank you to Ben Sinclair (@mathsacharya) for starting to share the GCSE and A Level knowledge booklets that he uses in his teaching. These are high quality, and it's really interesting to see a booklet approach in action. Ben has borrowed lots of excellent tasks for these booklets, including plenty of Don Steward.

2. Ultimate Scheme of Work
Craig Barton (@mrbartonmaths) has launched the Eedi Ultimate Scheme of Work for Years 6 to 11. It's free to use. I've just had a play with it by selecting the White Rose Year 7 Scheme of Work. The Scheme of Work comes up in a calendar format, and I can then click into each topic to see the associated multiple choice quizzes. These quizzes can projected on the board for use during lessons, or set as quizzes for students to complete online.

I love the new feature where each quiz question displays previous results and explains a common misconception. 

3. Corbett Maths Books
If your school uses Corbett Maths 5-a-day exercises on a daily basis, it will save you a lot of time and effort if you buy the new Corbett Maths 5-a-day books instead of doing all the printing yourself. These books are available to buy here, and John Corbett explains how they work in a video here. These are great for both exam revision and for ongoing retrieval practice.

4. The Maths Masterclass Tutorials
Simon Singh is offering free weekly online maths masterclasses to increase the diversity and number of excellent mathematicians. Parents and teachers at non-selective state schools can nominate children from Year 8 to 11 to be part of this. The deadline is 9th October and there is more information here.


5. Backwards Fading
Chris McGrane (@ChrisMcGrane84) has shared a task on trigonometric equations that would be suitable for A level students. This is a great example of a task which uses a backwards fading approach, with self-explanation prompts.

6. Key Stage 3 Resources
Richard Tock (@ticktockmaths) shared a great lesson on adding and subtracting fractions. It features this fractions function machine task which I thought was rather nice.

Another useful task was shared by Siobhan McKenna (@ShivMcKenna55). Often students claim that 'division is much more difficult than multiplication' - this task aims to help students make sense of the connections. 
7. Indices
George Stone (@DrStoneMaths) used this task in his first A level maths lesson with his new Year 12 class. The questions are taken from variationtheory.com.

George says that highlights of the lesson included students noticing that Question 1 (a), (b) and (c) are the same and the base doesn't matter, and students getting stuck on Question 2 (e) until they noticed that 1 = (1/20)0. He also said that the challenge question blew their mind. What an engaging set of questions. I like the way that George includes an answer box on his slides - this is a really helpful technique, allowing students to check their understanding when working independently.

Another task shared by George is this set of inequalities questions for developing fluency. Students often find it quite challenging to say these statements out loud. 

8. NCETM Resources
Thanks to Debbie Morgan (@ThinkingMaths) for tweeting about the Key Stage 1 and 2 video lessons which were created by Maths Hubs and published by the NCETM during lockdown. The PowerPoints have now been shared on the NCETM website so other teachers can borrow and adapt the lessons. Thank you to the teachers who have shared these resources.

Something else worth checking out on the new NCETM website is a one hour CPD session which secondary school maths departments can use in a department meeting. This CPD encourages schools to review their Year 7 provision in the light of new DfE primary maths guidance which I blogged about in Gems 132

The new NCETM website is considerably better than the previous one! The content is now available without a login.

9. Exam Preparation
Thanks to Mr Strachan (@MrStrachanMaths) for sharing this video from Eddie Woo (@misterwootube) which models what exam preparation looks like in maths:


Eddie then shared a blank copy of the sheet he gives to students to support this process. I particularly like the exam review page which encourages students to consider the reasons why they lost marks.

10. Perimeter Task
Miss Konstantine (@giftedHKO) continues to share great tasks on Twitter. A recent example was this task that she used with Year 10 to help them remember to find the perimeter and not just the arc of sectors and semi circles.
I have two online presentations coming up this week. The first is after school on Thursday, when I'm doing a short talk on "Maths Teaching in 2020: Challenges and Opportunities" for the North-East Hants and Surrey Maths Hub. 

On Saturday I will be speaking about my experience of teaching Key Stage 3 at #mathsconf24. If you haven't booked yet, tickets are available here. I'm also looking forward to recording a conference podcast with Craig Barton at the end of the day.

Congratulations to the team at Just Maths and Kangaroo Maths for launching their new crossover GCSE revision book. Check out justaroo.co.uk for more information and to order.

Finally, congratulations to Jamie Frost for his nomination for the Global Teacher Prize, which has received a lot of publicity this week. I first featured drfrostmaths.com in Gems 41, back in October 2015. It won one of my Gem Awards in 2016. I have blogged about this website numerous times, but it no longer needs any introduction from me. It is incredibly popular among teachers and students, and it's great to see Jamie get the recognition he deserves for his tireless efforts. 

I'll leave you with this wonderful video from @Ayliean. If you're having a tough time at work, watch this. It will cheer you up.

30 August 2020

5 Maths Gems #134

Welcome to my 134th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

This is a double gems post! Lots of ideas and resources have been shared on Twitter in the last few weeks and - given it's the calm before the storm (i.e. the weekend before the start of what might be the craziest school year yet!) - I better post them all now, before things get too busy.

1. Games
Thank you to the wonderful @Ayliean for sharing her favourite short classroom games. They’re suitable for use with a whole class whilst the students sit down and the teacher runs the game on the board from the computer - this is good when social distancing measures are in place. I can imagine that some of these games might work well when getting to know a new tutor group. Open the file here for clickable links, and also check out the teacher guide with tips and curriculum links. 
I've just played some of these games - lots of fun!

2. New Resources
Thank you to @Miss_R_Em for sharing some some great angle reasoning worksheets on Twitter.

3. Quotes Display
I love this 50 Mathematical Quotations display from @nathanday314. I have added it to my Displays Page.

4. Videos
In Gems 133 I shared a video made by @McGuirea499. Mr McGuire has now made his own Youtube Channel. He's shared a number of new videos recently including a series on ratio tables. Here's an example:

@McGuirea499 has also launched the website makeemthinkmaths.com which features resources, ideas and videos.

5. Further Maths Resource
@MrsMathematica spotted a helpful resource on TES for anyone who teaches A Level Further Maths. Revision 4 Questions for AS Further Maths by Mel Murray is a set of tasks that could be used as starters for Year 2 students to revise AS content. 

A Level teachers might also be interested in @mathsaurus's new pages of A level exam questions by topic for each chapter of the Year 1 and Year 2 textbooks. All questions are from sample and 2018 papers for Edexcel, OCR A and B and AQA for the new syllabus. 

And whilst on the subject of A Level, I love this task on related binomial expressions from @360maths

6. White Rose
Those of you who follow the White Rose Scheme of Work will love @mrshawthorne7's spreadsheet for Years 7 to 9. It contains hundreds of links corresponding to the White Rose small steps, including tasks from Don Steward, ⁦‪@giftedHKO‬⁩ and ⁦‪@ChrisMcGrane84‬⁩. The link is on Charlotte's website

White Rose users will also like @BenBent05826467's work on linking UKMT questions to the White Rose scheme of work. 

7. Primary Resources
In Gems 132 I wrote about the publication of the Department for Education's of Mathematics Guidance documents for the Key Stage 1 and 2 national curriculum, and the accompanying CPD videos. 

The NCETM (@NCETM) has now shared a set of resources to accompany the ready-to-progress criteria. Written in collaboration with Nrich, the first of 79 PowerPoints can be downloaded from the NCETM's newly revamped website.

8. Vocabulary Map
@MissACMaths created a lovely map of maths vocabulary showing how it all links together.

9. Mr Carter Maths A Level
@MrCarterMaths has launched an exciting new A Level website which will be free for at least the first year.  
You can watch a video here to see how a pupil uses the site, and one here on how a teacher uses the site.

A similar site for GCSE is planned for next September.

10. Timers
I love a slick, professional PowerPoint. Thank you to @DrStoneMaths for sharing some transparent timer gifs for use in PowerPoint, based on a design by @nathanday314. They range from one minute up to ten minutes. 

On the subject of good resource layout, do have a look at this thread where @nathanday314 makes some great suggestions:

For those of you who took the summer off and have missed some of my posts, here's what I've written since July:

I also updated my popular Year 7 Maths Activities post with ideas for first lessons with Year 7.

Another change to my blog was the addition of a 'buy me a drink' button! Thank you so much to the lovely people who have already used this - I am really touched by the kind messages.

Earlier this week I ran two webinars for The Mathematical Association called 'Preparing for September'. A global Zoom outage meant that the Monday afternoon session couldn't go ahead, but I was able to rearrange it for Wednesday. Thank you to everyone who joined me for one of the two webinars. The recordings can be viewed here and the slides are here.


Another thing I did over summer was made a resource based on the old textbook exercise below. I like the way it presents the problems in pairs: one with numbers, one with algebra. I've done this in class discussion before but not as an exercise. 

I've started planning my workshop for #mathsconf24 which will be run online on Saturday 3rd October. I'll be sharing ideas for Key Stage 3. Tickets are still available!

A few weeks ago I tweeted an open invitation to Friday night's 'socially distanced maths teacher drinks' in London to celebrate the start of a new school year (and commiserate the end of the holidays!). Thank you to the ten tweeters who joined me - it's always great to meet new people, and to catch up with old friends after so long. I really missed the socialising of the summer conference season this year. 

Thank you to @MathsTeacherKYP⁩ for the giant calculator. I will lend this to students!

Here are a few things you might have missed if you've been staying away over summer:

I'll leave you with this lovely activity 'Number Pyramids' from @MathforLove, along with helpful slides made by @fawnpnguyen, which include extension tasks.

Those of you going back to school next week - enjoy! And good luck. See you on the other side.

19 August 2020

Maths Teacher FAQs

I joined Twitter back in 2014 because I was told it was full of maths teachers sharing resources. What I didn't expect - and the thing that really caught my attention - was that it was also like a mathematical curiosity shop. Soon after joining Twitter, I started bringing interesting facts and cool mathematical trivia into my lessons. With this came a huge boost in my enthusiasm in the classroom, which rubbed off on my students. 

Early on in my tweeting career (on 6th August 2014 to be precise), I spotted the classic 'Fibonacci - miles km conversion' thing, which I had never seen before. This delighted me. It turned out that lots of people on Twitter already knew about it and had discussed it a year earlier, long before I'd joined. Suddenly, I started wondering what else I'd missed. I had a serious case of FOMO.

I quickly realised that I didn't want all this cool maths stuff to be limited to an exclusive group of Twitter teachers. I wanted all maths teachers to have the chance to see it, even if they weren't on Twitter. This is why I started writing gems posts, to share all the best stuff I saw on Twitter more widely. 

But what my gems posts don't capture are the 'FAQs'. These are the questions that are asked all the time on Maths EduTwitter. They come up again and again. And each time these questions are asked, dozens of people reply, and the thread rumbles on for a few days. It often ends up being almost identical to the same thread from a few weeks, months or years earlier. 

I thought it would be helpful to pull some of these FAQs together. I came up with fifteen, but have narrowed it down to ten for this post. My thinking is, based on the frequency with which these questions are asked on Maths EduTwitter, there must be lots of non-Twitter teachers wondering the same things. In each case I provide a link to recent threads, plus recommended books, blog posts and podcasts.

1. What can I do about numeracy across the curriculum?
I'm not a big fan of the word numeracy in this sense to be honest. If we want students to be better at times tables, estimation, working with money, data literacy and all those things, can't we just call it maths? And can't we just address it through really good maths teaching?

I once visited a school where students were told to report when they'd spotted 'numeracy' in other subjects - they submitted bits of paper saying 'my English teacher wrote down the date' and things like that, and got rewarded for it. I'm really not sure it's a good use of time to reward students for spotting a date on the board, and I'm not convinced that this should labelled 'numeracy'.

Well-intentioned SLT (normally with Ofsted on their mind) often appoint a numeracy lead to introduce initiatives to ‘support numeracy across the curriculum’. When I was asked to do that by SLT in a previous school - and even given a budget to spend - I argued that it is often students’ confidence in working with numbers that has a cross-school impact. And I believe that this confidence largely stems from their fluency in times tables. So I used my numeracy budget to launch Times Tables Rockstars. My advice to anyone in the same position is: avoid distracting gimmicks, be honest with SLT about what might actually have an impact, and don’t burden teachers in other subjects with unnecessary workload. If you can, focus your effort on supporting maths teachers to ensure that maths teaching is consistently high quality.

Here are some links you might find helpful:

By the way – don’t confuse ‘numeracy across the curriculum’ with ‘maths in other subjects’. The former usually involves whole-school initiatives which are meant to increase students’ confidence in working with numbers, but often just highlight to students that 'numbers are everywhere' (which they probably already knew). The latter is where maths comes up in other subjects – this is where the maths department can and should support colleagues across the school. There’s mathematical content in many subjects including science, geography, DT, economics, business studies, PE and psychology. It's worth working with those departments to ensure consistency of approach and sensible scheme of work ordering. Check out the CPD for science and business studies written by Maths Lead Teresa Robinson to support the teaching of maths content in other subjects across her MAT. 

2. What method should I teach for factorising non-monic quadratics?
This must be one of the most frequently asked questions on Maths EduTwitter! I understand why it comes up so often. When I was an NQT I asked the same question. I was taught to factorise non-monics (i.e. quadratics with leading coefficient greater than 1) by inspection but my students demanded a more procedural approach. Until that point I had no idea alternatives even existed. 

Here are some links you might find helpful:
There are lots more Twitter threads on this - I can't list them all here, but they can be found using Twitter's search function.

3. How do I teach mixed attainment maths?
This is not a question I am able to answer. I haven't been trained to teach students in mixed attainment groups and I have very little experience of doing so. In this country (more so than others), the range in 'maths attainment' for secondary students is vast. In a typical comprehensive school we have Year 7s who are struggling with Key Stage 1 content, and others who are flying ahead with Key Stage 4 content. Whenever I've found myself temporarily teaching a mixed attainment Year 7 class, I've found it impossible to properly support the students who struggle the most with maths. Saying that, I'm sure there are plenty of teachers who are making mixed attainment teaching work well for all students. 

4. Is a cylinder a prism?
This (along with 'is a square root positive?', 'what's the difference between an equation and a formula?' and 'can the significand be negative in standard form?') ranks high in the subject knowledge questions that maths teachers frequently ask. This kind of thing normally comes up when a teacher is planning a lesson and thinking about the definitions they will use.

I asked the cylinder question myself back in 2015. It probably wasn't the first time a maths teacher asked this on Twitter, and it certainly wasn't the last. This is one of those questions where teachers are always 100% convinced that their answer is correct and get annoyed when anyone disagrees with them. 

It turns out some that definitions in mathematics are not as clear cut and universal as many of us thought. 

@DrPMaths recently tweeted this:

While I agree with Jonathan to some extent (perhaps definitions don't matter as much as we think they matter), I think it's great that Twitter has become a forum where maths teachers can develop their subject knowledge and seek clarification when they're not sure about something. And I think it's absolutely imperative that teachers can ask maths questions without fear of ridicule or judgement.

5. What should I buy with my maths department budget?
New Heads of Department often ask this question. Responses normally fall into seven categories:
  1. stationery
  2. textbooks
  3. subscriptions (e.g. MathsPad, Hegarty Maths and many others)
  4. competitions (e.g. UKMT maths challenge)
  5. CPD (including books)
  6. manipulatives
  7. visualisers
Here are some links you might find helpful:

6. Where can I find knowledge organisers?
It's worth knowing a bit of background here. First we had Joe Kirby's post from 2015 describing what knowledge organisers are and how to use them. Joe was teaching at Michaela at the time. In March 2018, at #mathsconf14, Dani Quinn and Hinal Bhudia presented a workshop on 'memorable learning' in which they explained what makes a good maths knowledge organiser. One of the key features should be the ability to 'cover up' the bit that students need to remember, so it can be used for self-quizzing (as shown in the extract below).

Around this time, a few schools started fully embedding the use of knowledge organisers across all subjects (for example, I spoke to a teacher who never had to set cover work because students always self-quizzed from their knowledge organisers if a teacher was absent). 

My colleague Andy visited Micheala to learn more about knowledge organisers and then implemented them with his classes as a trial. The knowledge organisers he made are here

Kris Boulton then wrote the post 'When shouldn’t I use knowledge organisers?' where he suggested that they aren't helpful in maths because in maths there aren't many facts to learn. After that, some people started using Kris's post to shut down anyone who tried to ask about knowledge organisers on Maths EduTwitter. So for a while it all went quiet on the knowledge organiser front. 

I don't fully agree with what Kris said. I have seen numerous GCSE students go into their exams not knowing some of the basic facts and formulae that they need to know. I published a set of self-quizzing books for maths and found that although we have considerably less 'knowledge' than other subjects, there was still plenty to include.

Anyway, fast forward a couple of years and there are still lots of schools trying to roll out knowledge organisers, but the idea has become a bit confused, as explained very clearly in this post

I have seen knowledge organisers used brilliantly in other subjects but I don't have personal experience of using them so I can't comment on their effectiveness in maths (if your school has embedded the use of knowledge organisers in maths and has evidence of their effectiveness, please write a blog post about it!).

There have been lots of beautiful resources created this year that have been labelled as knowledge organisers. Most of them would probably once have been labelled 'topic summary sheets' and used for revision. I feel like the line between knowledge organisers and topic summary sheets has become blurred, and I'm not sure I know what a knowledge organiser is anymore! Whatever these recent resources are, they are very useful - so thank you to the wonderful teachers who have been creating and sharing these.

7. Where can I get classroom displays?
Every summer there's a flurry of teachers asking for ideas for displays in their classroom and corridors. Because most of us won't be teaching in our own classrooms in September, very few teachers have asked that this year! But I'm sure the question will return next summer.

I have a page of display resources here. Although it doesn't include every single maths display available, there's plenty to choose from.

It's worth noting that since Craig Barton wrote about the dangers of displays in his book, there's been a fair bit of anti-display sentiment going around Twitter. These days when a teacher asks for display ideas you're almost guaranteed to get a response along the lines of 'well of course you shouldn't have any displays, it obviously distracts students'.

As far as I know, the idea that displays could be distracting was based on limited research in primary settings. It invoked a pretty extreme reaction, with some teachers immediately stripping their classroom walls bare. I'm not saying the conclusions of the research are wrong - I can totally see the logic in the argument. If you want students to focus on maths but the board is surrounded by clutter, then it probably is distracting. But there's something to be said for warm and colourful working environments over stark white walls, and there's also something to be said for teaching students to cope with distractions (after all, the world is full of them!) rather than removing them. 

I don't feel strongly about this (I've never enjoyed putting up displays!), but sometimes I would like to see a more balanced argument.

Here are some links you might find helpful:
And - before anyone says it - yes, we would all love whiteboard walls, but we are not all lucky enough to have the opportunity!

8. What will I be asked in my job interview?
When preparing for a job interview it's very sensible to make a list of possible questions and think about how you'd respond to each one. Every school has different recruitment process, but there are certainly common questions that come up in interviews for maths teaching jobs.

9. How can I incorporate literacy into my teaching?
In 2015 I made this list of 'golden rules' for literacy in maths lessons. 

I should clarify that on the last point I don't mean 'mark all work', I just mean that if you happen to spot a spelling mistake you shouldn't just ignore it.

Maths teachers are often asked what they are doing in their lessons with regard to literacy. I think there's a lot we can do on technical vocabulary (i.e. ensuring that our students understand mathematical terms and can use them confidently) - there are lots of tools and resources available to support this.

10. Who should I follow on Twitter?
When I joined Twitter I worked out who to follow by using the Twitter search function. Here's how:
  1. Search 'maths teacher' and click on the 'people' category. This shows everyone who has the word 'maths teacher' in their bio. Follow them.
  2. Search 'mathschat' and click on 'latest'. You'll see the people tweeting on this hashtag. Follow them.
  3. Read my gems posts to see which accounts I mention - these are tweeters who are blogging, sharing ideas or producing resources. Follow them.
  4. Find the Twitter accounts of the subject associations and other organisations supporting maths teachers (such as the MA, the ATM, MEI, the NCETM and so on). Follow them.
By this point you will be following the majority of Maths EduTwitter. Interact with them - ask them questions, respond to their tweets, tweet about what you've been doing in the classroom, share your ideas and resources using hashtags - and soon you will be part of a busy maths teaching community. You don't need to ask who to follow, and you don't need to seek out followers. All you have to do is get stuck in.

When teachers join Twitter and ask who to follow, people start listing their favourite accounts. I hate this! It feels crappy when you try really hard to be helpful on Twitter and you don't make it onto people's 'must follow' lists. 

I admit that I have made lists in the past (I wrote the posts 'Jo's #TwitteratiChallenge' and 'Five to Follow' in 2015), but since #listgate (when @tessmaths upset some people by leaving them off a list!) I've tried to avoid making follow lists.


A note on Twitter for maths teachers
Twitter transformed my teaching, no doubt about it. I went through the 'five stages' incredibly quickly!
WinterIsHere on Twitter: "5 stages of #twitter user #epic RT ...
I've spent the last six years devoted to making Maths EduTwitter a supportive and helpful place for maths teachers. I've worked really hard on it. For a while I felt like we were doing a good job, particularly back in the #mathsTLP glory days. When I first joined Twitter it was really fun - looking back at my tweets from 2014, I see lots of light-hearted friendly banter. Twitter teachers reflected on their lessons, shared resources and puzzles, and helped each other get ready for the introduction of a new GCSE. And if you saw a resource you didn't like, you just didn't use it. They were simpler times!

There are a lot more maths teachers on Twitter now (this is a good thing). Plus, the Twitter algorithms have changed notably, manipulating what we see in our timeline (this is a bad thing). 

These days, share an interesting misconception and someone will criticise your teaching; solve a puzzle and someone will boast that they have a better approach; joke about something funny that a student said and someone will tell you off; ask a question about a method and someone will question your values. I am regularly saddened by the way some tweeters are so judgmental, so belittling, so arrogant and so unkind. 

Don't get me wrong - it's not all bad, and the negativity and judgement can largely be ignored. For the most part, conversations are still encouraging, kind, friendly and supportive. But I feel that things used to be considerably more chilled. I'm not sure I'd call Twitter 'fun' anymore, but I still learn a lot from it, and I'd strongly recommend it to teachers. There are still countless ideas, resources and mathematical gems to discover. And if you have a question, please ask! All questions are welcome, even if they've been asked many times before, and as a community we will do our best to support all teachers who seek advice.

4 August 2020

Webinar: Planning for September

As I mentioned in my post about Warm Up Booklets, I will be hosting a webinar for NQT and RQT maths teachers at 11am and 2pm on 24th August. This webinar is being run by The Mathematical Association (the oldest subject association in the world! - I am very proud to be a trustee). The webinar is free, but there are limited spaces, so please book now to reserve your space (please ignore the irrelevant fields on the booking form - such as dietary requirements - this is a free online event and is available to all).

Please spread the word to teachers who you think might be interested (it's not exclusively for NQTs and RQTs, but that's the main audience I have in mind).

See you there!

UPDATE: both the 11am and 2pm webinars are now fully booked! If you missed out on a space, a recording will be available on the MA website.

30 July 2020

5 Maths Gems #133

Welcome to my 133rd gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. New Websites
Diana Reeves (@mathsimum) has launched the first phase of her new website, mathsimum.com, where she has collated maths resources for teaching IGCSE. Many of these resources are useful for GCSE too. This is a superb website - really high quality and well organised. Time for me to retire, I think!

Another excellent new website is sketchcpd.com from Charlotte (@mrshawthorne7). On this website Charlotte shares her sketchnotes which summarise maths education books, podcasts and CPD workshops. These sketchnotes are both beautiful and incredibly helpful.

Devina Jethwa (@Miss_Jethwa) has been making lots of maths A level resources and has shared them on her website jethwamaths.com. This is an absolute treasure trove for A level teachers - resources include worksheets, practice papers, topic tests and calculator tutorials.

2. Equivalence
Thank you to @MrMcI1 for sharing an excellent set of fact families resources which he designed to accompany the White Rose Scheme of Work.

A related task was created by @McGuirea499, shown below. What equations can you make? This is a great example of a 'low floor high ceiling' task.
I love the video Mr McGuire made to go with this. 


 Check out more videos on his Youtube Channel.

3. New Tasks
"Look at @giftedHKO's website" should be a standing item in my gems posts, as I seem to feature her resources almost every time I blog! Her latest brilliant contributions include resources for circle theorems, perimeters of semi-circles, proportion with squares and cubes, loci and numeracy.

4. Quadratics
Here's a great task and video 'making links with quadratics' from @McGuirea499

5. Order of Operations
Thanks to Jenna Sanderson (@MissJennaMaths) for creating a task for teaching the priority of operations. She made this after watching my Topics in Depth workshop on this topic, which is available to view on my CPD channel.

I like the way Jenna has worked through the solutions using vinculums too:

In my recent post about warm up booklets I mentioned that I will be running a free webinar for NQT and RQT maths teachers in August. If you know someone who might be interested in this, check my blog on Monday as I'm hoping that's when tickets will be made available.

Twitter maths teachers might want to take part in #mathsjournalclub which is making a comeback on 17th August. I really enjoyed this Twitter chat when it originally ran, from summer 2015 to summer 2016. Everyone is welcome to take part - it's a very good way to start engaging on Twitter if you've recently joined. You just need to make sure you've read the piece of research beforehand!


Another activity that maths teachers can take part in this summer is Clarissa Grandi's (@c0mplexnumber) ‘Introduction to Geometric Art’ Zoom course. This live online course takes place on five consecutive Saturdays in August, starting Saturday 1st August, from 11am to 1pm. It's currently sold out, but you can message Clarissa to get on the waiting list, and the course will run again in the autumn.

Also note that La Salle have now put tickets on sale for #mathsconf24 which will take place online on Saturday 3rd October. If you'd like to speak at this conference then you can submit a proposal. At the last La Salle conference only 24% of workshops had a female speaker - this is disproportionately low for the profession, and happened because not many women put themselves forward to speak. So I really want to encourage new speakers - including lots of females - to submit a workshop. 

Finally, check out this Frayer Model display from @AlexB19899. Alex says he introduced "5 minute Frayer time" last year. Pairs of pupils use dictionaries to try to complete their own Frayer models, before completing one together as a class using this display. He said it was great to hear their examples and non-examples.