18 April 2018

5 Maths Gems #87

Welcome to my 87th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Regular Recall
Starting a lesson with mixed topic questions seems to be fairly common practice these days. Many teachers use resources like Corbett Maths 5 a Day. Taking this idea a step further, some teachers on Twitter have recently shared examples of tasks where students are asked a question on what they did last lesson, last week, last term and last year. Here's a great example from @MissBanksMaths.
And here's an earlier example from @JonONeillMaths, who was inspired by the original idea in @87History's blog post about retrieval challenge practice grids.
This is one of those rare ideas that works well in most subjects. Here's an example for physics by @alexpboulton.
2. GCSE Papers
I've blogged about CrashMaths (@crashMATHS_CM) before. Their website is a good source of practice exam papers for both GCSE and the new A level. They've recently added a new set of Edexcel-style Higher GCSE papers (Set B), which includes this nice non-calculator question:
They've also recently added a couple of Higher AQA-style papers to Set A and some helpful GCSE worksheets.

Another useful set of resources on CrashMaths is for the Edexcel A level large data set. This includes an information and guidance document for students and six practice questions.

3. Goal Free Problems
If you've read Craig Barton's book 'How I Wish I'd Taught Maths', you'll already be familiar with Goal Free Problems. In Chapter 4, which is all about focusing thinkingCraig explains that while most exam questions are goal-specific, he now makes use of goal-free problems in the early knowledge acquisition phase. He also uses goal-free exam papers to kick-start the revision process. If you haven't already done so, read Craig's book to see some examples of these problems and to fully understand the goal-free effect and how it relates to Cognitive Load Theory.

Thanks to @MrMattock who has now created a free website - goalfreeproblems.blogspot.co.uk - which shares a large number of these problems for both Higher and Foundation tier. In each of these exam questions, the actual question has been removed and replaced with the words 'Work out what you can from this information'.
4. What Went Wrong
Thanks to Year 6 teacher @MrBoothY6 who has shared a large collection of common maths misconceptions on TES:

See my misconceptions page for more resources relating to common misconceptions.

5.  GCSE Revision
@AccessMaths has been busy making resources - his latest revision resource 'Progressive Overload' covers a number of key algebra skills and works well printed on A3. @podroberts helpfully worked out the answers too!
Also check out his new 'Fill in the Blanks' graph revision resources.
For more GCSE revision resources check out my GCSE 9-1 Revision post. I also have an A level revision post for the legacy specification.

My 300th blog post was 'New GCSE: Bounds' - in this post I took a close look at the GCSE specification and resources for this topic. Before that I wrote 'BCME 9 Reflections' which included slides from my recent workshop 'Ideas that transformed my teaching'. Next week is the fourth anniversary of my blog, which means it's time for my annual gem awards!

Here's some other news that you might have missed:
  • MEI have archived all of their Monthly Maths and M4 magazines and categorised their classroom resources by GCSE topic here.
  • Tickets for the JustMaths conference are on sale. It takes place at Alton Towers on Monday 25th June (I'm looking forward to presenting at this one!).
  • I've added a few new events to my conferences page - including Don Steward presenting at an MA/ATM event in London in June.
  • I love MathsPad resources and this excellent new similarity proof resource is no exception! I've added it to my resource library.
  • For legacy further maths revision materials, check out drolivermathematics.com. Thanks to @gismaths for sharing this website with me.
  • If you teach A level maths in the London area, do take your students along to the IMA 16+ Lectures on 28th June at UCL - the programme is fantastic. 
  • If you're an MA member and willing to help out on the MA bookstand at #mathsconf15 in Manchester on 23rd June, please get in touch.
  • Thank you to Hannah Fry for sharing @oliviawalch's wonderfully illustrated "Some Myths about Math". 
I'll leave you with this excellent maths joke, created by @treemaiden and illustrated by @aap03102. Have a great week!

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