2 November 2019

5 Maths Gems #117

Welcome to my 117th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Ratio 
My favourite maths blogger Paul Rowlandson has written another brilliant blog post - this one looks at various ways of thinking about how to make functions and equations out of pairs of equivalent ratios.
2. Berwick Maths
Joe Berwick (@BerwickMaths) launched a new website berwickmaths.com where he shares the worked examples he uses in lessons from Key Stage 3 up to Key Stage 5. Read the homepage and Joe's blog for more information on what it's all about.
3. Interleaving
Jason Steele (@steelemaths) shared a set of tasks where topics are interleaved - for example the task below is about expanding and simplifying but also gives students the opportunity to revisit fraction operations. You can download this from TES. Check out Jason's Twitter feed for more of his resources.

4. Normal Distribution
Holly Morgan (@Hollymog) made a Fill in the Gaps activity for standardising normal distribution.  It's great to see these ideas in use at A level.
If you're looking for some really challenging normal distribution questions to test your brightest Year 13s then try searching for 'normal' in the STEP database.

5. New Lesson Resources
In my last gems post I featured some new resources from TES author cparkinson3 (@CP3fxy). He has now shared 12 lessons on shape transformations.

Richard Tock (@TickTockMaths) shared a couple of great lessons for teaching equations of parallel lines and equations of perpendicular lines.
These resources have been added to my resource libraries.

I'm ridiculously lucky to work at a school with a two week October half-term. It's a game changer.

On 12th October I went to #mathsconf21 in Peterborough. As always, it was lovely to catch up with so many maths teachers. Here's me and Sheena (@Sheena2907) in matching maths dresses from Popsy:
I presented on the Calculator Crisis. If you attended that talk then you can download my slides here. Since then I've read this blog post from Andrew Gael (@bkdidact) about calculator use for students with disabilities. It includes an interesting flow chart from ⁦‪@NCTM‬⁩.
At the conference I was lucky enough to watch a demonstration of Bruno Reddy's new website numbots.com which I will definitely be using with my youngest daughter once it's available for families to purchase. I also particularly enjoyed exploring Exploding Dots with Rebecca McAndrew (@MathsMcBec). It was fun to play with binary and polynomial division.
If you missed this conference then don't worry - there's always plenty going on. Check out my events page for maths education conferences in 2019/20.

The Peterborough conference was the day after the Harris Federation October Conference at the ExCeL Centre in London. Here I am with three out of my four maths colleagues from Harris Academy Sutton (yes, we are currently an all-female maths department!):

In the first part of my half-term break I had a lovely chilled out week at home with my daughters. The second week of half-term (when my daughters were back at school) was full on. Craig Barton and I ran two Marvellous Maths courses (one at my school and one in Halifax) and I also spent an afternoon recording two of my Topics in Depth workshops, video-podcast style, at the TES offices in Sheffield.
Marvellous Maths was a lot of fun to run. Thank you to all the 200+ delegates who joined us. I promised I'd share my presentations, which you can download here. A lot of you were asking for a copy of the brilliant AQA quiz - you can download it here and the answers are here.

Thank you to everyone who supported us this week. It was the first time Craig and I had run our own course. We felt it went well so we might do it again next year. Special thanks to AQA, John Catt, White Rose, the MA and Izak9. Primary and prep school teachers should check out Izak9 (@AbacusandHelix) - really interesting classroom resources that I'd never seen before.

Finally, an update on some recent posts and some things that are coming up:
  • It's Maths Week England on 11th - 16th November.  There are a number of competitions that your students can get involved in, listed here. For example MEI are running a Desmos Maths Art competition - students and teachers can win a Desmos T-shirt and a pizza party for their class. 

  • At only £1.99  for many hours of maths entertainment, you'd be crazy not to download MEI's Sumaze! Adventure app. Like the other Sumaze! apps, it's brilliant.
  • Cambridge Maths launched a new app called Define It. Every week they publish a mathematical word with several possible definitions for you to rate. They want users to help them find the best definitions.
  • I'm very excited about Big MathsJam which takes place four weeks today. It is my favourite event of the year. And not just because the food is so good.
  • My book is still in production but I'm hopeful it will be out before Christmas (fingers crossed!). You can order it and read early reviews here

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