21 January 2019

5 Maths Gems #102

Welcome to my 102nd gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Grade Boundaries and Exam Dates
You might have already seen Jonathan Hall's (@StudyMaths) GCSE grade boundaries page. I find this page surprisingly useful! He has now updated it with the November 2018 grade boundaries.
Also, don't forget about the Exam Countdown page which is really useful for quickly checking exam dates.

2. Algebra Resources
Thanks to Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove) for sharing a set of free algebra resources from Region 18 ESC (@Region18ESC). Examples include:
3. Core Maths Links
Catherine van Saarloos (@CoreMathsCat) has created a regularly updated list of links for Core Maths teachers. I know that many Core Maths teachers struggle with the lack of teaching resources and the time it takes to prepare lessons, so hopefully this will be helpful.

4. Joint Maths/Science CPD
For years I have been meaning to create a CPD session relating to the crossover topics in maths and science. Thankfully Teresa Robinson (@teresaarob1) - Lead Mathematics Adviser for the Russell Education Trust - has shared an awesome CPD session that is designed to be run with both maths and science teachers. Thank you to Teresa for her generosity in sharing this fantastic piece of work, and to Mel (@Just_Maths) for blogging about it. Mel's post explains how to run this CPD.
5. Times Tables Booklet
I am very fortunate to be part of a Maths Hub that is currently hosting a visit from Shanghai exchange teachers - it's a great CPD opportunity for me. Last week I met Eva who is a primary teacher from Shanghai. She ran a great session for my team on how she teaches division. I asked her about teaching times tables and she said that in Shanghai children tend to memorise their times tables at home before she teaches them. This means that her job is just to teach them to understand what times tables mean. In this country we have to help with the memorisation too, so our primary teachers have far a bigger job to do.

Eva shared an adorable little times tables booklet that is designed to help with understanding. I took it home and gave it to my Year 2 daughter who absolutely loved it. I don't think it will help her memorise her four times tables but it did help her make sense of the ideas of grouping and repeated addition. You can see instructions for something really similar here - thanks to @WycombeBus for finding this link.

In case you missed it, I recently blogged about 'Five for Five', a teaching idea that works really well with students who lack confidence in maths. I was also interviewed for the Cambridge Maths blog: Seven Questions with Jo Morgan.

I added a new page to my blog: 'Online Historical Maths Textbooks' which lists links to free online maths textbooks from the 16th century to the 20th century. It might be helpful for researchers, or for people like me who just have an interest in the history of maths education. In addition, I added a number of new events to my conferences page where you can see upcoming maths education events in the UK. Both pages can be accessed at any time from the 'Extras' menu on the right hand side of my blog (if you're viewing on a mobile, you have to scroll down and select 'View web version' to see this menu).

Did you hear the calculator news? The Casio fx-83GT and fx-85GT (currently used by the vast majority of secondary maths pupils) have been discontinued. They'll only be in shops while stocks last. So if one of your current Year 11s loses their calculator before this year's GCSE exams you can't guarantee they'll get an identical replacement. The calculators you'll probably be telling all your incoming Year 7s to buy in September are the Casio fx-83GTX and fx-85GTX, which look like the A level Classwiz but have less functionality. These aren't yet available on the high street but will be soon. As always, Adam Creen's blog is the place to go for calculator availability and pricing.

Last week  I did a couple of Twitter polls on hours of maths lesson. In case you were wondering how your school compares to others, here are the results:

I am delighted to share the news that from July 2019 I will be Assistant Principal at Harris Academy Sutton. I am so excited about working at such an incredible school. This science specialist school is part of the London Cancer Hub (sharing a site with the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital) and is moving to an amazing new building in September. The school will only have Year 7 and 8 next year, which presents a wonderful opportunity for a teacher looking to develop their pedagogy without all the exam pressure that comes with Year 11. We will do proper maths teaching, in depth, and our small team will be totally teaching and learning focused. I can't wait. We are currently recruiting for both maths teachers and a Director of Maths. Please come and join my team! Email me (resourceaholic@gmail.com) or DM me on Twitter to discuss.

I did three presentations last week - I spoke to Harris NQTs about methods, I presented on Large Data Set at the London A level Pedagogy Maths Hub work group, and I did my Indices in Depth session at the London MA/ATM Branch alongside my Twitter buddy Ed Southall. I'll be presenting at a number of conferences over the next few months - if you're at one, please do come and say hello.
Have you booked your ticket to #mathsconf18 yet? It's in Bristol on 9th March and it's guaranteed to be a great day. I'm presenting on unit conversions, which sounds really dull but I promise it will be worth coming along. Trust me!

I'll leave you with this great tweet from @kyledevans. Have a lovely week!


  1. Hi Jo, Good luck in your new job - I hope you still have time to add to your blog - it is truly inspiring and helpful