25 March 2019

5 Maths Gems #107

Welcome to my 107th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Foundation GCSE Revision
Thank you to Edexcel for providing a helpful compendium of one-mark questions from Foundation tier papers from the last four exam series. These can be downloaded from the Emporium.
Foundation GCSE teachers might also be interested in the revision clips from a new series called 'The Maths Show'. This series is produced by BBC Teach and features Matt Parker (@standupmaths).
If you're preparing students for their GCSE exams then don't forget I have a large collection of revision resources here.

2. Year 6 Maths Resources
Thanks to Mr Morgs (@_mrmorgs) for sharing a list of free maths resources to help prepare children for their SATs. No doubt this will be really helpful to Year 6 teachers.

Other helpful Year 6 maths resources include all the past SATs mark schemes condensed into one page each from Sophie Bee (@_MissieBee) and a PowerPoint of SATs questions linked to the contents domain from Thomas Timson (@filtered_k).

3. A Level Resources
I'm delighted to share some resources for A level teachers.

Susan Whitehouse (@Whitehughes)‬⁩, who has been one of my favourite A level authors for many years, has put all of her resources on a new website. You can now download the whole collection in one go.

CrashMaths (@crashMATHS_CM) have started adding more A Level Practice Papers to their website. You can download AS Maths Paper 1, Gold A here.

Mo Ladak (@MathedUp) has shared an updated version of a really helpful resource for A level students: "A level Maths Takeaway". This includes videos and practice questions by topic.

Finally, in a recent twilight session of the London A level pedagogy workgroup run by Carlos Karingal (@CarlosaurusK) I suggested making more use of goal-free problems at A level. Here are some examples:

4. Protractors
Whilst researching for an upcoming presentation on angles I read about a University of Exeter study from 2002 which suggested that there might be benefit in using protractors without numbers. Using a blank protractor removes the common difficulties we see with students using dual-scale protractors. Without numbers, pupils simply count off the scale in order to measure angles.
This idea seems obvious now, and indeed many tweeters have told me that they already do this. It's easy to print blank protractors on acetate. In response to my tweet about this the following tools and article were shared:

MathsPad (@MathsPadJames) updated their free constructions tool so you can remove the numbers from the protractor and zoom in.
BossMaths (@boss_maths) shared a great blog post about teaching measuring angles, and a Geogebra applet with an unnumbered protractor.
Tom Francome‏ (@TFrancome) shared the article 'Empty Protractor' from the ATM journal Mathematics Teaching.

5. Maths in Science
Thank you to Dr Sue Thaw‏ (@aegilopoides) for creating a PowerPoint containing Foundation exam questions from science GCSE papers that involve maths (percentages, probability, graphs, using data and equations). It's so helpful for maths teachers to see the maths that comes up in science.
If you're a maths teacher working together with your science department then do check out the joint maths/science CPD I featured in Gems 102.

I'm looking forward to speaking at two conferences this week: Primary Maths London on Friday where I'm speaking about angles, and Educating Northants on Saturday where I'm speaking about methods. Look out for a Conference Takeaways podcast with Craig Barton on Saturday.

Last weekend I spent the day with Megan Guinan at the Habs Girls conference where I particularly enjoyed the keynotes from Lucy Crehan and Vic Goodard.

If you're looking to attend a conference in the summer term then there are lots to choose from - check out my events page for listings. I'm speaking at researchED Rugby which has a great maths strand and at the MEI Conference which has three days of brilliant workshops for teachers of Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.

If you're a primary teacher then you might be interested in the launch of the 'First Mathematics Challenge' - a national maths competition aimed at children in Years 3 and 4.

I shared the news on Twitter that a calculator is now available that allows students to secretly access the internet and send messages during an exam. It may be a hoax, but if it's real then we need to keep an eye out for these. The top sticker can be peeled off so it looks like a Casio. It's quite expensive, plus a huge risk for students, so let's hope that stops this from becoming a problem!
Have you seen this website all about the history of Smile Maths resources? It's full of interesting stuff.

I'll leave you with this visual prompt from @MathIsVisual which is designed to get pupils thinking about the area of a triangle.

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