5 October 2019

5 Maths Gems #116

Welcome to my 116th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. New Resources
I featured TES author cparkinson3 in Gems 110 back in May. He has now joined Twitter (@CP3fxy) and has been busy sharing lots of lovely free resources. For example check out his collection of ten lessons on expanding and factorising and his collection of four lessons on algebraic fractions.

2. Dice
Ed Southall (@solvemymaths) noticed that if you just google 'D6' (or 'D4, 'D20' etc) then this cool interactive dice tool comes up. I love how geeky the internet is.

3. MathsPad
Having taught nothing but A level and GCSE for a few years, it's quite a change for me to be teaching only Year 7 and 8 this year. I'm loving the fact that most of my lessons now feature resources from my favourite website MathsPad.

Here's an extract from one of their latest Stem and Leaf resources.
MathsPad's full October 2019 resource update is here - I love the look of their new real-life graphs resources and look forward to using them one day. Plus there's a load of lovely stuff on metric units which I'll be teaching soon.

4. A Level
A level teachers might be interested in these new resources:
  • Jack Nicol (@geomathsblog) shared a website made by one of his Year 13 students. It searches through WJEC exam papers and returns results by keyword for A level subjects Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Economics, Business and Psychology. This might be helpful to both teachers and students. Try searching for 'parametric' to see how it works.
  • Tom Bowler (@Ridermeister) of the Exeter Mathematics School has shared a collection of interview questions to help prepare candidates for the mathematical questions that might be asked in university interviews. 
  • CrashMaths (@crashMATHS_CM) updated their resources for the Edexcel Large Data Set.

5. Trigonometry Task
Another one of my favourite resource writers, Dan Walker (@360maths), shared a rich task for consolidating trigonometry with Year 11.

My school workload is insane at the moment, but I'm hopeful (!) that things will calm down a bit after half-term. September is always tough isn't it? I have a new job that's totally different to anything I've done before, plus I'm teaching topics I haven't taught in a decade. I'm very much enjoying my new job - it's so exciting to be in a brand new school. You might have seen on Twitter that I'm excited about my classroom equipment (a fab new visualiser and a lovely Classwiz emulator) and I've been really enjoying teaching proper maths again, free from all the exam pressure. For one of my classes I've been trying Memory King and Five for Five - they seem to be working well, and I will blog about these things soon (if I get time...!).
I recently blogged about my book 'A Compendium of Mathematical Methods' which is available to order now for delivery in December. I sent a draft version to Emma McCrea, Craig Barton and Ben Sparks and was delighted by their feedback.

I need to reclaim some of my weekends to spend more time with my children so I've turned down the opportunity to speak at a number of conferences this year, but I will be at #mathsconf21 in Peterborough next weekend. I'll be sharing some awesome resources in my workshop 'Calculator Crisis'. It's fab that one of my favourite maths authors Alex Bellos will be there too (I suggested he come along so I'm delighted that it's happening!).

I recently presented a couple of workshops at #mathsconf20 in Edinburgh. It was nice to be given the opportunity to say a few words to all delegates about the benefits of joining The Mathematical Association.
You can now join the MA for only £2.50 a month - that's such a small amount of money to be part of the oldest subject association in the world! And it comes with a large discount off our awesome Easter 2020 conference. If you decide to come for the whole conference (2 nights/3 days) then members save £50 on tickets - so it's well worth joining even if just for that.

Speaking of CPD, the 'Marvellous Maths' course I'm running with Craig Barton is fast approaching. It's shaping up to be a really exciting day - there are a few tickets left so book now if you want to come!

Here are a few more bits and pieces that you might have missed:
  • I shared an algebraic function machines resource that I made for my Year 7s. It drew out some key misconceptions and generated some useful class discussions. 
  • I had a lovely evening at Rob Eastaway's book launch for his brilliant new book 'Maths on the Back of an Envelope'. 
  • Did you see that a London school boy came up with a new divisibility test? 'Chika's Test' is such a great story to share with your pupils.

I'll leave you with this fun game from Christian Lawson-Perfect (@christianp) based on @DavidKButlerUoA's 'number dress-up party' puzzle. All the numbers have come to a party in fancy dress. Which numbers can you correctly identify?

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