2 September 2017

5 Maths Gems #76

Welcome to my 76th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. 'For Interest'
Dr Frost has made a set of 'Just For Your Interest' posters for A level mathematicians. These provide great subject knowledge development for maths teachers too.

I met Jamie Frost for drinks over summer - he has loads of exciting plans for his website so it's worth following him on Twitter (@DrFrostMaths) for updates. Lately he has been publishing PowerPoints for the new A level so do check them out if you're teaching Year 12 this year.
Drinks with Jamie Frost (@DrFrostMaths)
and Megan Guinan (@MeganGuinan1)
2. thaMographe
I was very pleased to receive a free thaMographe in the post! This is a wonderful invention that combines an entire maths set into a single piece of equipment.
I admit that I'm not great with accuracy at the best of times - constructions are my least favourite part of maths. I hate to see students struggling to use a pair of compasses and I very much hope that the thaMographe will one day be widely used by school children. It is certainly easy to use and accurate enough for school level mathematics - as demonstrated by my quick perpendicular bisector:

Ed Southall has written a thorough review of the thaMographe here.

You can order a thaMographe from www.thamtham.fr - shipping is free! Hopefully it will be available to buy in the UK soon.

3. Subtraction Methods
I love this graphic showing alternative methods for subtraction. It was shared by James Tanton (@jamestanton) who tweeted "Math is for each of us to own and do in whatever good way suits us best".
4. Graspable Maths
In Gems 75 I shared an algebra maze from MEI that was very popular. Through a comment left on that blog post, I discovered graspablemath.com, which is an exciting new interface for working with algebra. It's lovely to use - if you're on a computer and have some time to spare, have a play with the online algebra maze.
5. A Level Problem Book
Stuart Price (@sxpmaths) has been hard at work pulling together a large set of problems for A level maths. He has collated questions on a topic-by-topic basis, in four sections: Techniques; Problem Solving; Puzzles & Challenges, and Exam Review. The idea is that students can use these sets of questions for independent study throughout the course.

It's work in progress, but if you want Stuart to email you a link to his work so far (it's great!) please contact him via Twitter.

Here are my recent posts, in case you missed them:

I also launched my new 'Topics in Depth' page.

I was very grateful to a kind Summaths attendee for lending me copies of these 'Developing Thinking...' books which will help me in my research for my Topics in Depth project. These books come highly recommended.
If you're going to researchED next Saturday then do come along to the debate about maths GCSE - I'm on the panel of speakers.

Have you booked your ticket for #mathsconf13 on 30th September in Sheffield? I hope to see you there.

TES Maths Panel
On Tuesday I spent the day at TES with the lovely members of the Maths Panel which is led by Craig Barton. The TES Maths Panel reviews all free maths resources that are uploaded to TES. We do them in batches every now and then - it's a great way to discover hidden gems. We also do project work, for example we created a page of recommended resources for every single GCSE topic. TES are considering setting up panels for other subjects, and are changing the way that the review interface works, so we spent the day discussing this and other things related to maths education. It was a really good day and I was very pleased to finally meet Chris Smith (@aap03102), writer of the awesome maths newsletter that I blogged about in my 'Newsletter Gems' posts here and here.
With one of my favourite Scottish mathematicians - Chris Smith

Pizza with the panel

I had Inset yesterday and I start teaching on Monday - exciting!

Don't forget that my resource libraries might help with your lesson planning.

I'll leave you with this thought from Underwood Dudley, taken from his excellent piece "What Is Mathematics For?". I think this is quite inspirational at the start of a new school year.

"...when I am before a bar of judgement, heavenly or otherwise, and asked to justify my life, I will draw myself up proudly and say, “I was one of the stewards of mathematics, and it came to no harm in my care.”"