23 July 2017

What did I miss?

Hello summer! We made it.

What a year... During term time it can be hard to keep track of what's going in maths education because we're all too busy planning lessons, teaching and marking. The volume of mock marking this year was insane, with many of us having to mark 200 GCSE papers. In this post I summarise some of the things that busy maths teachers might have missed during school year 2016/17.

Lots of new resources have been made available to maths teachers this year. Piximaths.co.uk launched in September, and websites such as Mr Carter Maths, MathsPad, MathsBot and CorbettMaths have continued to grow (see my series of posts about these websites here). The White Rose Maths Hub continues to provide high quality resources, assessments and schemes of work for primary schools and Key Stage 3, and the exam boards continue to provide helpful GCSE resources (such as Edexcel's new content resources which were published back in September).

Although TES has experienced difficulty with plagiarism this year (teachers selling other teachers' resources, which is appalling), it is still an excellent source of teacher-made resources. Quality varies and there's an awful lot to search through, so the TES Maths Panel pulled together four recommended resources for every single GCSE topic here. When working on this project I discovered Dan Walker's resources which I absolutely love.

Don Steward continues to be one of my favourite resource authors, and on the @team_maths1 Twitter account I share all his new resources when they are published. 

The maths community's collection of displays for maths classrooms and corridors has grown significantly this year. New displays include Clarissa's Faces Behind the Formulae, Nicole's Challenge Display and Hannah's Maths Words of the Week
I'm finished! What shall I do? by @BaileyMaths

Other developments in the world of maths resources included:

Do check out my resource libraries for recommended resources by topic for Key Stages 3 - 5.

This year many teachers have used long commutes or lazy Sunday afternoons as an opportunity to listen to Craig Barton's brilliant podcasts. These are well worth a listen.

To keep on top of the latest education research, check out Craig's research page where he summarises findings from a maths teacher's perspective, and the series of Espressos ('a small but intense draught of filtered research on mathematics education') from Cambridge Maths.

I went to all three of La Salle's maths conferences in 2016/17 and they were excellent. These take place on Saturdays and are very affordable - if you've not been to one before, try to come along to #mathsconf13 in Sheffield in September. You can read my previous conference write-ups here.
Ed Southall, Craig Barton and me
(enjoying pre-conference drinks at #mathsconf9)

There were loads of fantastic events in 2016/17, including Christmaths, Maths in the Sticks, two Mixed Attainment Maths Conferences and the JustMaths Conference. There were also local events organised by Maths Hubs, LIME and ATM/MA branches. There is always a lot going on for maths teachers - I've pulled together conference listings for 2017/18 on this page.

Ed Southall's book 'Yes, But Why? Teaching for Understanding in Mathematics' was published in March and has been a huge success both in the UK and overseas. You can read my review and have a peek at some extracts here.

I launched my new CPD project 'Topics in Depth' in June - I will be doing a lot of work on this project over summer so watch this space.

Me presenting my first 'topics in depth' workshop at a ATM/MA London branch conference

Blog posts
There have been lots of blog posts about maths education this year that I highly recommend to maths teachers. These include Mark McCourt's series of posts on mastery, Jemma Sherwood's posts on times tables and feedback, Dani Quinn's post 'Under Pressure', Kris Boulton's post about conceptual understanding and procedural fluency and Ed Southall's response to secret teacher. There are many others that I haven't listed here, and a good way to keep track of them is to follow @MathsEcho on Twitter.

Popular posts on resourceaholic.com included my post about maths anxiety in teachers, my post about what's working well in my A level teaching, and my two posts about my folder experiment. See my blog archive for a full list of posts.

The new GCSE
The first sitting of GCSE 9 - 1 was a really exciting moment for maths teachers, after years of preparation. In the run-up to exams lots of teachers shared helpful resources, included Mel's exam preparation slides and her 'questions by topic' pages, my revision resources post, and the 'best guess' papers and revision lists produced between exam papers by a number of helpful resource makers. The collaboration in the maths teaching community was outstanding.

Other highlights
It's been such a busy year in maths education - here are some other highlights you might have missed:
  • The maths teaching community celebrated the life of the late Professor Malcolm Swan on #malcolmswanday. Teachers shared their favourite Malcolm Swan resources and activities. It was lovely. 
  • To banish the January blues, I ran a World Cup of Maths where teachers voted for their favourite topic to teach at GCSE.
  • The Education Team from Bletchley Park visited schools for free as part of their Ultra Outreach Programme, to the delight of students and teachers all over the country.
  • The new Maths and Further Maths A level specifications were accredited. I've recently published my new A level support page and will continue to blog about the new A level over summer.
  • Maths education received a lot of news coverage. This included my article in Schools Week at Easter and TES's coverage of the MA's poll on A level uptake.
  • After a long delay, the Smith Report was finally published!
  • Times Tables Rockstars featured on BBC Breakfast. My school sent a team to the London Rock Wrangle for the first time, and they loved it.

My team at the Rock Wrangle!

There's plenty going on over summer. No doubt there will be press coverage of maths on GCSE results day. Book now for #mathsconf12 in Dunfermline on 19th August, and for my #summaths event at Bletchley Park on 27th August.

It's been a busy year! If you missed anything, I hope this post has helped you catch up.


  1. Lindsey Bennett23 July 2017 at 21:45

    Amazing of you to take the time to write this Jo! Even though i try my best to keep up to date (!) there are some fantastic resources you have mentioned here that i haven't seen before! Thanks also for the blogpost suggestions - i've also just ordered Ed's book upon your recommendation. Plenty of summer reading for me! :)

  2. Thanks for everything.

  3. Is it possible to see the slides of angles in depth. Unfortunately I could not get to the conference from Israel. Best Wishes

    1. Hi. They're in my write-up of #mathsconf10: