11 May 2019

5 Maths Gems #110

Welcome to my 110th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. TES Author
When we did the latest round of TES Maths Panel reviews, my fellow panelist Damian Watson discovered the wonderful free resources of TES author cparkinson3. This author's PowerPoints are really well designed - they are slick and professional with neatly animated worked examples plus exercises with solutions.

For example check out the two lessons on volume of prisms - one for Foundation tier and one for Higher tier.
This resource on curve sketching is excellent.
I really like the bar modelling lesson too.

Check out the full collection. I've added them all to my resource libraries.

2. Vectors in Transformations
There's been some updates to BossMaths including changes to their Geogebra applets. The rotations applet now lets you show and hide tracing paper. You can also use vectors as an alternative to using tracing paper. I like this idea - I find using tracing paper a bit unsatisfactory so I will try vectors next time I teach this.

The enlargements applet now lets you show vectors from the centre to a vertex simply by clicking the vertex. This is useful if you use vectors for enlargements (which is particularly helpful for negative enlargements) - I blogged about this here.

3. SATs Support
I know this is a bit late for Year 6 teachers because SATs are next week, but these resources might be helpful to teachers of other year groups, and to Year 6 teachers next year.

Mr Morgs (@_mrmorgs) shared a PowerPoint explaining the language used in the KS2 Maths SATs. This follows on from his detailed analysis of exam language. This is really interesting and comes with lots of advice for teachers. I hope that one day someone does a similarly detailed analysis of the language used in GCSE maths exams.
Greg Chantler (@gregchantler) put all Key Stage 2 SATs arithmetic questions together in a PowerPoint and split them by curriculum year. Each question comes with discussion prompts.
4. Defend Yourself
Amie Albrecht (@nomad_penguin) shared a new idea for an activity. Students are assigned to a representation or method and have to try to explain why it's best. I think this would prompt rich discussion and thinking.
5. Shifting Times Tables
This activity from Miss Konstantine (@GiftedBA) provides a really clear representation of linear sequences as 'shifting times tables'.
Here we can see the four times table (4n) highlighted in the first row, then we see that the times table has been shifted down by one in the second row, meaning the nth term of the sequence is 4n - 1. I love the visualisation here. Check out Miss Konstantine's regularly updated blog for lots of great maths activities and resources.

My blog has been receiving record number of visitors in the last couple of weeks. I guess a lot of people are using my GCSE revision resources page and my recently published post on Foundation revision resources.

I've recently uploaded two sets of revision mats to TES. I made these at work when I realised it's hard to find suitable resources for students who are working at a Grade 1 or 2. Most GCSE resources are inaccessible to them, and this can result in disengagement and sometimes bad behaviour. So I made A3 revision mats that are more accessible, and while I was doing that I made similar resources for other classes. So there are four levels of difficulty. You can download these resources here:

I also made some Foundation workouts which are particularly 'print budget friendly'.

GCSE exams are just round the corner now. Don't forget that last year I made breakfast revision resources for all three exams. These can be used either on the morning of the exams or in the lessons leading up to them. 
Last week I published by 5th Annual Gem Awards. Do check it out if you missed it so you can see all the best gems of the year.
Congratulations to Emma McCrea on the publication of her new book 'Making Every Maths Lesson Count'. This is an excellent book for maths teachers.

Here are some other things you might have missed:
  • In 2017 I published a post on approaches to answering AQA GCSE ratio questions. It's one of my most popular posts with over 20,000 reads. I've now made a lesson to accompany this post.
  • Adam Boxer (@adamboxer1) shared a post on observing expert teaching which includes an 'expert teaching observation form'. I contributed to this post by testing the form out in a maths lesson.
  • Richard Tock (@TickTockMaths) published a number of new lessons including some on indices which draw a lot of ideas from my Topics in Depth CPD. Check them out on his blog
  • One of my Year 11s was flummoxed by rotational symmetry last week so I used the FlashMaths rotational symmetry tool to show him how it works. This has been around for a very long time so I was surprised that a lot of teachers on Twitter hadn't seen it before.
Don't forget that there are a number of events in the summer term that are now open for booking (see my events listings here). I will be presenting at researchED Rugby 2019, the Complete Mathematics Conference, the MEI Conference and the Kent and Medway Secondary Maths Conference. Speaking of events, I also have something a bit different to announce soon - watch this space.

I'll leave you with this video on why zero is the naughtiest and most important number from BBC Ideas.

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