1 August 2019

5 Maths Gems #114

Welcome to my 114th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Polypad
Philipp Legner, writer of the beautiful website Mathigon, has been working on some new resources for schools and teachers. The first new tool - published today - is a library of virtual manipulatives called Polypad.

There are polygons, fraction bars, number and algebra tiles, Cuisenaire rods, pentominoes, and many other features. Like all of Mathigon, it's completely free to use and works on all mobile and desktop devices.

2. Don Steward
Don has been publishing loads of new resources lately. I'd love to share all of them here but it makes more sense for you to visit his blog and scroll through them yourself! I've started to add them to my resource libraries.

One example is his recent set of exercises titled 'Linear equations extras'. Next year I'll be teaching a couple of Year 8 classes. The scheme of work includes a unit on linear equations. They first met this topic in Year 7. Once I've assessed how good my pupils are at solving linear equations, I might dip into Don's questions if appropriate - they present a good opportunity for stretch and challenge as well as interleaving. Take for example these linear equations that involve decimals.  Here pupils can develop their fluency in solving equations and at the same time practise working with decimal operations.

3. Arithmetic Sequences
Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove) shared a blog post about how she uses Step Puzzles from Naoki Inaba when teaching arithmetic sequences.
These puzzles are accessible to any age group. By looking at the example above you can probably figure out how they work without any instructions. The numbers along each straight line must form a linear sequence.

There are lots of examples on Sarah's blog - they start off easy but get much more challenging. There's also an English language version of this resource on TES. I'm teaching sequences to Year 7 next term - I hope to give my pupils some time to play with these lovely puzzles.

4. Templates
Thanks to Ben Gordon (@mathsmrgordon) for sharing a set of editable worked example templates. There are various layouts of Frayer models, example pairs, guidance fading and incorrect examples.
I'll be using Frayer models next year - I have a plan!

5. Puzzle of the Week
Andy Sharpe (@asharpeducator) has been running Puzzle of the Week for a while now. There are now 100 puzzles on puzzleofthweek.com in the Puzzle Library, all free and sortable by topic and difficulty.

Why not encourage your students to submit solutions to the weekly competition? This would work well as part of a school puzzle club. Information about how to enter is here.

Twitter is relatively quiet during the summer holidays these days. It's really different to five years ago when the summer holiday period was awash with blog posts and tweets about maths teaching and resources. Conversations this summer range from a fierce debate about how to put cream and jam on a scone (I have no idea, but I do quite fancy a scone...) and news about truly horrific political developments (it's like the Handmaid's Tale is actually happening). If you're taking a summer break from Twitter, here are a few bits and pieces you might have missed.
  • MEI's (@MEIMaths) latest app Sumaze! Adventure is now out. I love Sumaze!
  • I updated my conferences page. It now lists national maths teacher events in 2019/20. If you've not attended before, why not come along to a conference next year? You might love it.
  • If you want to attend the one day training course 'Marvellous Maths Teaching' that I'm running with Craig Barton then it would be a good idea to get your request in at school in early September before it sells out. We've already sold 100 tickets. 
  • The MA's July 2019 eNews came out, sharing news, puzzles and resources for maths teachers.
  • @MathsEdIdeas shared 42 mathsy activities, one for every day of the school holidays. 
  • Craig Barton (@mrbartonmaths) published his latest Slice of Advice podcast "What did you learn this year?". Maths teacher Charlotte (@mrshawthorne7) made this awesome sketchnote while she was listening. 

Here are some ideas and resources I've had through on email over the few weeks:

I've been working on my workshop for #mathsconf21 in Peterborough in October. I've found so many great resources I can't wait to use them with my pupils next year and share them at the conference.
I might present the same workshop at #mathsconf20 in Edinburgh but I can't decide!

I've been working hard on my book 'A Compendium of Mathematical Methods'. I'm over halfway through now and have started talking to publishers which is really exciting.

Because I'm focusing on my book plus a couple of other projects this summer, and spending a lot of time with my family (we're off to Jersey next week!), I won't be blogging much during the holidays. If you're planning lessons for September then you might find some of my posts from previous years helpful, such as Year 7 Maths Activities and Bridging the Gap: Revisited (for Year 12 teachers).

I'll leave you with this picture of a weight machine that appears to be show a real life Normal distribution, shared by @gin_and_tacos.

1 comment:

  1. This was really useful to me, as I am a non-educator (working with teachers) to create meaningful maths tuition through a mobile game. It seems that visual representations of maths challenges are crucial to reinforcing learning. Thank you!