18 December 2017

Jo's Blog Posts in 2017

I wrote 55 blog posts in 2017 - just over one per week - which is far fewer than the 78 posts I published in 2016. This wasn't intentional. My new job is pretty full on and since September it's been hard to find the time to write. This is frustrating because I love blogging!

Every December I like to reflect on what I've written about over the course of the year. Today I'm featuring a selection of the posts I particularly enjoyed writing - just in case you missed them.

Dan Walker
I loved writing a post about Dan Walker's Resources back in February because I got to spend time looking through all his lovely PowerPoints. It ended up being one of my favourite posts of the year. If you're not familiar with these fantastic resources then have a look now!
Challenging Algebra
My recent post 'Algebraic Fluency - 50s Style' generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm. A number of teachers emailed me to say that this post led to discussions in their maths department about how we can increase the level of challenge in the algebra questions we give to our GCSE students. This post also initiated a collaborative project to get some of the exercises typed up - I will blog about this over Christmas.
National Challenges and Competitions
When I joined the teaching profession I was surprised that there appeared to be no central source of information - many things were communicated by word of mouth or through local authority networks, and some schools knew very little about what was available nationally to support teachers and students. Over the years I have attempted to fix this by publishing 'listings' - conference dates, school tripsin-school enrichment, and so on. The most recent addition to this catalogue of information is my post about maths challenges and competitions. I hope that by publishing this post, more students will be given access to these fantastic opportunities.
Source: Primary Maths Challenge
What's Happening In My Classroom
I like to write about things that I do in my classroom - it's a good opportunity for me to reflect and improve. There used to be lots of maths bloggers who did this, but it's increasingly rare. I'd love to read more about what goes on in other schools. My post about Papers Society and Structured Revision Lessons gave teachers an insight into what I was doing with my Year 11s in the run up to their GCSE exams, and my post The Folder Experiment... Revisited described why my students now use folders instead of exercises books. In my post Working Well: C1 and C2 I wrote about some things I was trying with my Year 12s including vertical binomial expansions and the grid method for division.
Cover Work
In Cover Work I shared a standard template for a cover lesson in maths - one that I ended up using many times in setting work for a supply teacher over the last few weeks. I hope that other teachers have found this template useful too.

September Lessons
I don't like all my posts to be about resources - sometimes I have opinions to share too! - but I know that maths teachers benefit most when I share resources that save them time. In my post Bridging the Gap... Revisited I wrote about the transition from GCSE to A level and shared a simple algebra test for assessing students at the start of Year 12. In Planning for September: Year 12 I shared some ideas and resources for the first week of term.

New GCSE Topics
To conclude my series of posts looking at new GCSE topics, I wrote New GCSE: Functions in which I explained the new GCSE specification for functions and shared some helpful resources for this topic. With over 6,000 visits so far it's the most viewed post I wrote in 2017. I guess people use it when they're planning their functions lessons. This makes me happy.
Surprisingly, my most viewed post of all time is still - after three years - my post about methods for finding a Highest Common Factor and Lowest Common Multiple, which has had almost 30,000 views. It's worth a read if you're teaching this topic - Venns are not your only option here.
 
I hope you found my blog posts helpful in 2017. Do check out my archive for the full collection of posts and my list of maths gems for all the latest resources and updates.








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