4 April 2019

5 Maths Gems #108

Welcome to my 108th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. SMP
Christian Bokhove (@cbokhove) and his team have been working on this project for a while so it's exciting to see the launch of smp2.co.uk. They have created PDFs of dozens of old SMP maths textbooks and booklets. Read about the aims of the project here.

Click ‘Access to SMP’ to register and download the materials. It's free and there's absolutely loads of material to look through. It's hard to know where to start! I'm very grateful to those involved for all their hard work on this.

Here's a randomly picked example of a task on calculator use. It's from Book G1.
And here's part of a task from a Level 3 booklet 'Coordinates 2 - Extension'.
2. Storyboarding
Thank you to Dale Chapman (@MrChapmanMaths) for sharing his storyboarding idea. This is where students create a simple set of instructions with pictures to explain a procedure. I blogged about a really similar idea for teaching constructions in Gems 30 back in 2015, but subsequently forgot all about it so this is a great reminder! Plus it's good to see it in use for bearings, and I wonder what other topics would lend themselves well to storyboarding.

3. GCSE Revision
As always at this time of year there's been a flurry of new revision resources.
  • Simply Effective Education sells Key Cards, which is (in my opinion) the best GCSE revision app available for maths and science. They have also shared some free revision races on TES
  • I was asked to make a PowerPoint to accompany Mr Knowles' (@SK18Maths) Foundation algebra revision booklet . It was designed to be used in short daily form time interventions but can be used in longer revision lessons too.

4. Fill in the Gaps
At Educating Northants last week Craig Barton (@mrbartonmaths) shared a new type of resource: Fill in the Gaps. We had a go at it during the workshop and it was brilliant. Try it and you'll see what I mean.
Go to variationtheory.com to download this ratio task, plus one for percentages and one for quadratics.

5. A Level Resources
Tom Bennison (@DrBennison) shared a 'Question a Day' revision resource for Year 13. 

@MrsGRVHS shared a padlet for A level maths with links to resources and useful websites.

@naikermaths added another AS Pure Practice Paper to the collection. These papers contain old specification exam questions but they are organised for the new specification so they are helpful for revision. The mark schemes for these AS Practice Papers can now be accessed without a password to help students in their revision for their A level exams.

Finally, while looking at MEI A level things on OCR's website, I discovered this command words summary. I have added this to my displays page.

I've been to three lovely conferences in the last two weeks - Habs Girls, Educating Northants and the London Thames Hub Primary Maths Conference.
At Educating Northants I recorded a Conference Takeaways podcast with Craig Barton that you can listen to here.
I also went out with my friends Gill Leahy and Dil Dias from the London Thames Maths Hub to see Hannah Fry do a talk about her book Hello World. It was brilliant.
During Educating Northants I went to a workshop on primary mastery by Nicky Moksa and she shared this grid of number facts. You can read more about it on the NCETM website here and here.

I have made quite a few updates to my conferences page lately - there's always a lot going on in the summer term. I'm looking forward to speaking at the Kent and Medway Secondary Maths Conference on Monday 8th July.

Nikki Martin (@nikki_nzmartin) completed her work on the Primary Topics in Depth project. This series of packs feature maths misconceptions, approaches and resources for Years 1 - 6.

My daughters discovered Sumaze Primary last week which was awesome - my 7 year old was totally in love with it and really happy when she completed every level. It's an amazing maths app for young children.

I look forward to seeing lots of you at the ATM/MA conference which is coming up soon. Before then, I'm very much looking forward to some time with my family to recover from the hectic month of March.

Finally, I'll leave you with the exciting news that Desmos now does box plots! If you haven't seen this before then do have a play.


  1. I'm not sure that the Desmos boxplot tool plots the first and third quartile in my understanding of where they should be plotted - but conventions are not yet established

    1. That's interesting, I'll have a look.

    2. Ooh, you're correct! I did it and then put it in my TI Nspire and ran a 5 number summary and their quartiles are off. Do you know who created the one you linked to?

  2. What a lineup at Educating Northants...stellar like Glastonbury in 94,