9 March 2016

5 Maths Gems #51

Welcome to my 51st gems post. This is where I share five teaching ideas I've seen on Twitter.

1. Exam Tips
The lovely Julia Smith (@tessmaths) works hard to support maths teachers in Further Education and raise awareness of the challenges they face. Since September 2015 she has been tweeting tips for GCSE resitters using the hashtag #gcseresit. She has now published those tips here. Do take a look - they're not just for resitters!

Top Tip 38 suggests "making revision bags for half terms, Christmas and Easter breaks - these are like party bags (only better) - containing sweets, exam papers and topic tests". I read a similar idea in John Corbett's (@CorbettMaths) post 'Revision: Christmas Presents'. At Christmas he put a selection of Corbettmaths Practice Questions in envelopes along with a pen, pencil, a small bag of sweets, a few chocolate coins and a revision schedule. His school posted these packages to his students at home during the holidays. Not only did John's students complete revision that they otherwise would not have done, but they were also really chuffed and more engaged in maths revision at school as a result of John's thoughtful gesture. This lovely idea would work well at Easter too.
2. Fun with Primes
Christian Lawson-Perfect (@christianp) has created a fun game isthisprime.com/gameMaths teachers beware - this is addictive!
3. Fraction Talks
Fractiontalks.com is an excellent website curated by Nat Banting. It provides lots of lovely fraction problems, like the examples below, along with suggestions as to how you can help develop students' reasoning skills.
Follow @FractionTalks for updates.

4. Orangier
Don Steward has been producing loads of fantastic resources lately. I particularly like the task 'orangier' for the development of proportional reasoning. Students are given various combinations of orange squash and water and they have to determine which ratios give an orangier mixture.
5. Pi Day
It's Pi Day next week. I know some people don't like Pi Day because in the UK we don't write dates in the format mmddyy, but it's nice to see many schools seizing the opportunity to get students talking about maths.
All countries that use the mmddyy
date format - from @amazinmaps

Clarissa Grandi (@c0mplexnumber) has created a lovely resource that you can use in the classroom even if your school isn't organising any school-wide activities: 'Do aliens know about Pi too?'. I like the crop circles featured here, they're really interesting.
I featured more Pi Day ideas in Gems 26 last year.

Here are a few things that you might be interested in:

I have a couple of new posts in draft, one about Year 10 assessment and the other about 'bad' resources, so watch this space.

I'm hosting #mathscpdchat at 7pm on Tuesday 15th March - we'll be talking about how our students use their exercise books. Please join in.

I recently featured in a totaljobs.com article 'Insights into teaching' that you might enjoy.
I'll leave you with this lovely activity 'Fold and Punch' that was shared by Mike Lawler (@mikeandallie).

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