12 July 2016

5 Maths Gems #59

Welcome to my 59th update from the world of Maths EduTwitter. Here I summarise some of the latest ideas and resources for teaching maths.

First I want to say thank you! Today I reached a milestone - resourceaholic.com has had over one million views since my first blog post, which I wrote when I was heavily pregnant back in April 2014. Since then I've been busy, publishing 196 blog posts and 33 pages of resources and listings, delivering workshops, organising events, and doing an awful lot of tweeting (over 20,000 tweets in two years ... oops, I got a bit carried away!). If you've not visited my blog before then you might find my guide to resourceaholic.com helpful. Thank you to all my readers and contributors, and to those who regularly use and recommend my resource libraries. I really appreciate the support.
On with the gems...

1. Increasingly Difficult Questions
I like @taylorda01's new set of 'increasingly difficult questions'. In lessons I often ask my students to try some practice questions from the board so I can check their understanding, before moving on to a lengthier task. This growing bank of questions will be useful.
2. Arithmetic Vocabulary 
I love these graphics shared by @mathemaniac. They might make good displays for a maths classroom.
3. More Displays
I also like these Command Word Posters from Christine Norledge (@MissNorledge). She first published these last year but somehow I missed them at the time.
This lovely formula bunting from Mel (@Just_Maths) is new this week. It features the formulae that students have to learn for the new GCSE.
4. Isometric Drawing
This question from @brilliantorg is interesting.
When I teach this topic I don't do enough to make the link to surface area.

Recently I gave my Year 10s this question from an AQA topic test:

Most of my students calculated the surface area incorrectly, not realising that their plans and elevations were the key to answering this. It can be tricky to count the squares on a complex 3D representation but it's really easy to count squares on plans and elevations.

5. Topical Maths
If you like maths that's related to what's going on in the news then check out @polymathletic's resources on TES. Recent resources include activities relating to the Tour de France, Wimbledon and the dreaded referendum.
Stephen Bodman (@stephenbodman) has also produced a set of Tour de France maths resources - download them here.

Did you catch my latest posts?
  • Join #TeamMaths in which I talked about my latest Twitter project
  • Warwick 2016 in which I reviewed Edexcel's Warwick conference and shared materials from my workshop 'The Wonderful World of Maths Resources'
  • Scheme of Work Development in which I shared some thoughts and experiences of GCSE Schemes of Work

I also presented a workshop called 'Perfect Polynomials' at the FMSP's London KS5 Network Day last Friday - you can download the materials here.

I was interested to see that Boolean Maths Hub is running a two day summer school for around 75 students to help bridge the gap between GCSE and A level. If this goes well I wonder if more hubs will follow their lead next summer. I'm also impressed by the work done by the White Rose Maths Hub lately in developing schemes of work and resources - including lots of support for primary teachers. 

Did you see that MEI has released a sequel to their awesome Sumaze App?  Check out Sumaze! 2.

If you're looking for resources for end of term lessons (when you only have a half a class or half a lesson so can't teach new topics), check out my post End of Term Resources. Also, don't forget Chris Smith's Summer Holiday Relay Race

Open Evening
I wrote a post about ideas for Open Evening a couple of years ago. Some of you won't have Open Evening until September but we had ours last week, so here's a quick update on some new things we tried this year...

In one classroom we played Memory Maths from flashmaths.co.uk. This game has been around for years but I've not used it before. It was really fun! We gathered together groups of competitors (visiting children, their parents, Year 7 and Year 12 tour guides, passing teachers...), and gave them each a mini-whiteboard. Questions flashed up on the board and players had to write down the answers if and when they could. It worked well - I love activities that engage every age group.

In another room we had a table set up with lots of Numeracy Ninjas sheets. Visiting children and our student tour guides sat down and completed as much as they could, and when their time was up we marked what they'd done and gave them a corresponding ninja sticker. We've been using Numeracy Ninjas at Key Stage 3 for the last few months and it's been going really well so it was good to give prospective students a taste of something they will actually do in maths lessons. Us teachers all had a go too and enjoyed wearing our stickers afterwards (we're a competitive department!).

That's it from me. I'll leave you with a lovely question from AQA that really stumped my Year 10s. It's a double bounds question, in reverse, with discrete data. It takes some thinking!

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