4 March 2017

5 Maths Gems #70

Welcome to my 70th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Yes, But Why?
The big news in the world of maths education is the launch of Ed Southall's new book 'Yes, But Why? Teaching for Understanding in Mathematics'. I was fortunate to get an early look at this book before it was published. It's fantastic. Both new and experienced maths teachers will get a lot out of it. You can preview it here. I'm in the process of re-reading it and will share some of my favourite bits in a separate blog post soon.
2. Statistics 
Thanks to @MrDraperMaths for sharing this wonderful website for teaching statistics: Seeing Theory.
This website is a pleasure to explore. There are some useful teaching tools here - some are suitable for GCSE but most are for A level and beyond.

The basic probability page has a simple coin flip simulation which neatly demonstrates the idea of experimental probability vs theoretical probability. The clever interactivity lets you make the coin biased and see the impact on observed outcomes.
There's also a lovely Venn diagram tool.

3. GCSE Problem Solving 
Thanks to Edexcel for adding a set of GCSE problem solving questions to the Edexcel website. Download the Higher and Foundation tier questions in a zip folder here.
4. Equation Editor Shortcuts
Bear with me if you already know these shortcuts - I'm pretty sure this will be a new discovery for some people...

I use Equation Editor in PowerPoint and Word fairly regularly, and have always done so via the top menu bar (insert > equation). I was pleased to spot a little tip on Twitter - thanks to @chilledmaths for this tweet:

@c0mplexnumber replied to share this helpful guide entitled 'Rapidly Using Equation Editor in Microsoft Office' from @DrFrostMaths. This guide describes all the shortcuts in Equation Editor.
Thanks to everyone who shared these time saving tips - I've learnt something new!

5. MathPickle
There's been a bit of buzz about MathPickle.com recently. This website from @gamesbygord has lots of lovely activities to explore - 'Mondrian Art Puzzles' is a nice example.
In case you missed them, my latest posts were:

My GCSE 9 - 1 Revision Resources post has been really popular over the last few weeks - the exam preparation season is well underway!

If your school runs Times Tables Rockstars, did you see that they've opened a Reward Shop? I've stocked up on prizes.
I'm looking forward to #mathsconf9 in Bristol next weekend. If you're there on the Friday night, do join us for pre-conference drinks at the The Navy Volunteer from 7:30pm.

On the Saturday, come and say hello to me at the Tweet Up where I'll be running another 'World Cup of Maths', but this time finding out what everyone's least favourite topic is! There'll be loads of other stuff going on at the Tweet Up, including the famous Pringles Challenge which is always popular.

I'll leave you with this dodecagon problem which is taken from a set of puzzles created by Don Steward to mark the launch of the new £1 coin.


  1. The Don Steward resource is amazing

  2. I've used the probability tool a few times in the classroom to great effect - can't beat having a visualisation like that to back up your lesson.