22 July 2018

5 Maths Gems #92

Welcome to my 92nd gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

The summer holidays are here - hurrah! Time to relax, have fun and let our mental and physical health recover before we go back for fresh starts with new classes in September.

1. Equivalent Ratios
I like this equivalent ratios activity from Richard Tock (@ticktockmaths). Below is an extract showing some of the ratios that must be simplified and grouped. These have been carefully chosen to reveal misconceptions.
Henk Reuling‏ (@HenkReuling) shared an interactive version of a similar activity here.
2. Probability Problems
Thanks to Jason Steele‏ (@steelemaths) for sharing a nice probability task. Here students have to write numbers on the spinners to meet the stated conditions.
Do check out Jason's other resources too - he recently shared a nice set of questions on angles and ratio.
3. Real-Life Graphs
MathsPad has a brilliant set of interactive resources which are great for classroom demonstrations. Their latest interactive tool for subscribers demonstrates real-life graphs based on filling containers with liquid at a constant rate. There's an accompanying worksheet too.
4. Open Middle Angles
Here's another fantastic Open Middle problem from John Rowe (@MrJohnRowe):
5. Symmetry Display
Thanks to David Morse (@Maths4Everyone) for sharing a new alphabet symmetry display. This might be useful for making 'Welcome to the Maths Department' signs.
If you want to brighten up a maths corridor or classroom, you will find a large collection of maths displays here.

Here are a few things you might have missed:
  • My most recent post was about surds and how the teaching of the topic has changed over the years.
  • If you're launching Hegarty Maths in September, you might find Ben Gordon's (@mathsmrgordon) launch PowerPoint helpful.
  • If you're setting up a group or individual intervention with Key Stage 3 students next year, or if you're a private tutor taking on a new tutee, you might find this assessment helpful for identifying topics to focus on.
  • If you're teaching Year 12 in September, check out my entry assessment and first lesson slides.
  • In case you missed it, do check out the lovely blog post "Not As Complicated As It Looks…" by Mr Rowlandson (@Mr_Rowlandson).
  • I had a fantastic time with three of my Year 7 students at the London Rock Wrangle a couple of weeks ago. We didn't win the helicopter ride, but we came sixth out of 43 schools overall which was awesome. If your school doesn't already use Times Tables Rock Stars, check it out.
  • If you have time over summer, do listen to Craig Barton's latest podcast which features 55 individuals answering the question “what have you learned this year?”.
  • I really enjoyed taking part in The Aperiodical's The Big Internet Math Off over the last few weeks. I was honoured to be invited to take part. I wrote two pieces for the competition - one on hexaflexagons and one on Klein bottles. I was knocked out in the second round by Matt Parker! Do look out for the final on 24th July.
  • Thanks to David Faram (@dagsmaths) for showing me the maths education research pages from the University of East Anglia which are full of interesting reads for maths teachers. Have a look at the tasks here and here and the student responses.
  • Congratulations to Jemma Sherwood on the publication of her excellent new book "How to Enhance Your Mathematics Subject Knowledge". 

Finally, a quick shout out to the wonderful Glyn maths teachers who joined me for the best leaving do ever! We did bottomless brunch, an escape room, pedalos in Battersea Park and burgers in Clapham. What a great day! It was my first ever escape room and I loved it so much I now intend to try every escape room in London! Thank you to everyone on Twitter who recommended it.

I have a few things to work on over summer, but not a huge amount as I really need a rest! I will continue my old textbook research and my topics in depth project. I plan to update my resource libraries - in particular, I need to totally reorganise my A level libraries. I also need to update my conference listings. But before I do any of that, I'm off on holiday with my daughters... first stop, Cadbury World.

I'll leave you with this nice little puzzle from MathsPad's latest standard form resource.
Have a great summer!

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