23 May 2018

5 Maths Gems #89

Welcome to my 89th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Boss Maths
BossMaths.com is a great maths website that I haven't seen before. It has over 200 lessons matched to GCSE specification references, each with examples, escalating practice exercises, misconceptions, and exam-style problems. Some topics also have worked example videos. There's loads of great stuff here.

All of this content is free. Teachers can easily use the exercises and examples in their lessons. I can imagine this website might also be helpful if your students have tablets or laptops in their lessons as they can access the content directly without a login.

Here's an example of an SSDD style task for percentages.
And here's an example of a challenge question from the topic 'arcs and sectors of circles'.
And here's an example of an exercise from 'Algebraic manipulation involving surds and fractions'.
For some of the new GCSE topics including Systematic ListingGrowth and Decay, Equation of a Circle, Iteration and Inverse Functions, it's really helpful to have a set of examples, exercises and challenge problems all in one place. I'll add these to my resource libraries.

The creators of BossMaths.com are going to make extra premium features available on subscription. This includes worksheets, activities and answers.

2. Year 12 Revision
My Year 12 mathematicians have internal end of year exams in June. To help them prepare I'll be using the 'Question Countdown' revision resources from CrashMaths. A set of four revision questions was published each day in the 10 days preceding this year's AS exams, so that's 40 revision questions ready to use.
Also, creator of new website Naikermaths.com has taken legacy specification exam questions and edited them to make them suitable for the new A level specification. For example when teaching Hypothesis Testing it was useful to have a set of Binomial Hypothesis Testing questions from S2 that weren't mixed in with Poisson questions. It was also useful to have a set of Binomial Distribution questions with references to expectation and variance removed. This website is under development so it's worth following @naikermaths for updates.

3. Probability
I really enjoyed this excellent 10 minute video, shared by @natkin. It's about the probability of winning fairground games and it's really worth a watch. Fascinating stuff - I learnt a lot from this!

4. Apps
Thanks to @mhorley and @DrPMaths who discovered a fantastic number line tool. Have a play with this - it's great.
The other apps on this site are also worth exploring - they're very user friendly and no download is required. It looks like the fractions tool might also be useful for demonstrating bar modelling as you can instantly create and shade bars split into parts.

5. Circle Puzzles
Thanks to Catriona Shearer (@Cshearer41) for sharing a challenging set of puzzles. The aim is to work out what fraction of each circle is shaded. The 12 dots are equally spaced, and the only point used inside the circle is the centre.
The original puzzle (bottom centre) is by @HenkReuling - check out Gems 86 for more of his great puzzles.

I produced a new set of resources for breakfast revision for the non calculator GCSE exam - if you missed them, you can download them here. I hope to make calculator versions over half term. I have continued to add new resources to my GCSE revision post so do check it out if you're seeing Year 11 again this year.

I'll be doing a keynote presentation on Thursday 5th July at the BBO Maths Hub Secondary Conference in High Wycombe. Bookings are now open. I will also be speaking at #mathsconf15 in Manchester and the JustMaths Conference at Alton Towers. I hope to see lots of you at these events - do say hello! For a full listing of summer term events, see my conferences page.

I recently bought an 'absolutely' awesome new maths t shirt. Loads of people asked me where I got it so I thought I should share that here: check out spreadshirt.co.uk for a great range of good quality maths stuff.

If you haven't seen it yet, do read Ben Orlin's post 'The State of Being Stuck'. It's fantastic.

Good luck with the rest of exam season! And happy half term.

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