23 October 2016

5 Websites You Should Know... #1

I recently presented at a MathsMeet organised by Paul Collins. My presentation was entitled '5 Maths Teaching Websites You Need to Know'. My aim was to share five excellent sources of maths teaching resources that attendees may not have been familiar with. I plan to write a series of posts sharing the contents of that presentation.
The first website I'm featuring is Corbettmaths.com. You're probably familiar with this website, but have you explored it lately? Do you know everything it has to offer...?

The writer of Corbettmaths is John Corbett, a maths teacher based in Somerset who shares an astonishing volume of resources. His website has been around for quite a while - it was established in 2011, and over the years has accumulated thousands of free resources which are now used by teachers all over the world.
I thought I knew this website pretty well but when I was exploring it in preparation for this presentation, I found some stuff that I'd not seen before. For example, the Class Quizzes section has caught my attention. This is a new section of the website that is still being developed, but there are enough resources here to get started.
The idea is that these quizzes are given to GCSE classes to help them memorise key facts, formulae and processes. Students write 1 - 10 in their books and the teacher reads out the questions. I really like this idea and plan to start using this with my Year 11s from January. I think my students may also find these useful for self-quizzing at home during the final countdown to their GCSE exams.

John writes great maths puzzles and shares them in the Conundrums section of his website. These problems are challenging yet accessible.
John's 5-a-day resources are widely used. Each sheet features five quick questions from a mixture of topics. This allows students to revisit previously taught topics on a regular basis ('interleaving').

The range of resources here is impressive - there's a whole year's worth of 5-a-days for new GCSE at five different difficulty levels: numeracy, foundation, foundation plus, higher and higher plus. There's also a set of 5-a-days for A level (Edexcel Core 1) and later this year a collection of primary 5-a-days will be added to the website.
Some teachers use these resources as daily lesson starters, others have a corridor display where students can pick up their 5-a-days. John has blogged about the various approaches here.

Videos and Worksheets
John's videos and practice questions are a big part of the website. I find these particularly useful if I have a student who has missed a lesson or struggled with a homework - I email them a link to a Corbettmaths video (I like it that these can be accessed without the need for a login). Each video comes with a booklet of exam style questions and a textbook exercise. John has a blog post about how to use his videos and practice questions here.
John has started adding new GCSE topics to his collection, for example he already has videos and questions for quadratic inequalities, Venn diagrams, quadratic sequences, functions and pressure. Teachers who are nervous about teaching these topics for the first time might find John's videos useful in lesson planning.

Textbook Exercises
The textbook exercises are incredibly helpful. Most exercises provide both 'workout' and 'apply' questions with answers. I've used these for teaching algebra to Year 7 recently and have found that they provide a good quantity and breadth of questions. Here's an example of the 'apply' questions from 'Collecting Like Terms':
Revision Cards
Higher and Foundation GCSE revision cards are now available to buy from Corbettmaths.com. They cost £8.99 per pack (discounts are available for bulk orders). This is a good use of pupil premium budget. These have been very well received by teachers on Twitter. They have the unique feature of a QR code on the back which takes students directly to a video for each topic.

If you didn't already know all the features of Corbettmaths.com then do explore. Hats off to John Corbett, a hard working teacher making our lives easier and helping students over the world.

Look out for the next post in my '5 Websites You Should Know' series, coming soon!

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