10 June 2018

5 Maths Gems #90

Welcome to my 90th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Probability Task
Thanks to John Rowe (@MrJohnRowe) for sharing this challenging probability puzzle. If you like this then you'll find similar tasks for a wide range of topics on the fantastic website openmiddle.com which I've blogged about before.

2. Exam Wrapper
Thanks to Alice Leung (@aliceleung) for sharing an exam wrapper for students to complete after an assessment. I like it that students are asked to reflect on whether they did sufficient preparation for the exam.
 3. Number Properties Puzzle
Here's a great number puzzle from @OCR_Maths.
4. A Level
If your Year 12s have internal exams coming up, you might find my revision quizzes for pure and statistics helpful. I've told my students to print off a load of these and test themselves at home until they get everything right. The statistics quiz has a huge number of definitions! 
There was a helpful discussion about A level taster lessons on Twitter this week, initiated by Adam Creen (@adamcreen). You can read the full thread here. I have found in the past that Pascal and Binomial works well. I've also used Susan Wall's lovely 'Find the coordinates' task successfully as a starter activity in A level taster lessons.
5. Euclid
Thanks to @MrsMathematica for sharing this video about Euclid - I enjoyed watching this.

Also check out The History of Non-Euclidian Geometry - Squaring the Circle and The History of Non-Euclidian Geometry - The Great Quest.

In case you missed it, I recently wrote a subject knowledge post about algebraic highest common factor and lowest common multiple. Writing this made me rethink my approach to teaching this topic. 

I also published three sets of breakfast warm up resources for both Higher and Foundation GCSE. It's been lovely to see so many schools using these to calm nerves and warm up brains on the morning of exams.

I also published a set of Year 3 topics in depth packs created by Nikki Martin - please share these with primary colleagues.

There have been a number of good maths education blog posts lately that are worth reading, including:

I'm looking forward to presenting at #mathsconf15 in Manchester in two weeks - my workshop is not just an opportunity to share loads of cool indices stuff, but also to explain the principle of planning and teaching topics in depth. In a world of quick fixes, I'm going in the opposite direction... I wrote a post about this last year.

If you're coming to the conference, print a copy of my #mathsconf15 bingo in advance and play along on the day.

Finally, did you see these awesome biscuits made by Ella Dickson (@elladickson) for her Year 13 students? Amazing!


  1. Paul Worrall-Thompson11 June 2018 at 16:57

    Hi Jo, thank you so much for these ideas. I notice that I can't access the exam wrapper by Alice Leung. Any help?

    1. That's weird! I have put it here for you: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jt7cdvRL8C0zF90oeyxv0hKt_0l3lUBN/view?usp=sharing

  2. I think it was to do with an office 365 thing. Thank you for relocating it.