14 January 2017

World Cup of Maths

I taught composite and inverse functions to Year 11 for the first time last week. I loved it! For a minute I thought it might even be my new favourite topic... But there are loads of other topics I love teaching just as much, including Pythagoras, surds, indices, simultaneous equations, circle theorems, and angles in parallel lines. It's impossible to choose just one favourite!

I wondered if other teachers share my preferences. I turned to Twitter to find out. Inspired by Richard Osman's Twitter competitions (including the World Cup of Crisps), I ran a World Cup of Maths. I started with 32 GCSE topics. Topics were eliminated over the course of five days using Twitter polls. 864 maths teachers voted in the grand final, crowning quadratics as the most popular topic to teach at GCSE. Trigonometry was a worthy runner-up.

If you're wondering how your favourite topic got on, check out the full results below.

Are you happy with the winner? Please comment on this post to let me know what your favourite topic is and why.

Teachers get wonderfully enthusiastic when talking about their favourite topics. It was lovely to see so much discussion on Twitter about the joys and trials of teaching maths. I've shared some of my favourite tweets from the tournament below.

Thanks to everyone who voted, shared their opinions and made me chuckle with their tweets. At least there's one thing we all agree on - we love maths!


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  2. So how about collating ideas and activities that might help improve things for those topics that garnered few votes?

    For example, I've had great success with this game involving box-plots/histograms: http://thewessens.net/ClassroomApps/Main/outliers.html?topic=probability&id=2

    A little more work is required, but I also think it is effective to explore similarity and congruence in triangles with this activity http://thewessens.net/ClassroomApps/Main/triangles.html?topic=geometry&id=0


    1. Excellent! These are great, thank you.

      I've written about both box plots and similarity before. I like both topics!