15 March 2020

5 Maths Gems #122

Welcome to my 122nd gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers. I have an abundance of things to share at the moment - far too much to fit into one post! So expect another gems post very soon.

1. Quadrilaterals
Eddie Woo (@misterwootube) shared a task made by his friend Stuart Palmer. He strongly recommends that teachers work out their own solutions and reasons before using this with students! I love this task - I've always struggled to find good activities for this topic and this one is really interesting.
2.  New Resources
I met Tim Honeywill (@HoneywillTim) at the MEI Conference last year and suggested he join Twitter to share his lovely resources. He has very helpfully shared a lot of tasks lately so check out his feed. Here are two examples.

The first is a set of indices questions

The second is a resource that Tim made to try to explain how Venn diagrams help with HCF and LCM.

MathsPad shared their usual monthly update which is always full of excellent activities. I love MathsPad and use their activities every single day. This month one of their resources is totally free - it's a fantastic Surds and Rectangles worksheet. It covers adding surds, subtracting, multiplying (including with brackets), and rationalising the denominator. There are two levels of difficulty, and some interesting results.

3. Bearings
Thanks to Dan Draper (@MrDraperMaths) for sharing a set of bearings activities and an excellent blog post.

Also check out Dan's recent post 'Decision Making With Right-Angled Triangles'.

4. Questions for Year 13
Darren Carter (@MrCarterMaths) has started sharing sets of questions for Year 13 revision. He'll post one set every week between now and the exams. He'll provide video solutions at the end of each week. 

5. Five Minute Starters
@MathsTeacherHub has shared the five minute starters they've been using with their Year 11s for the past two years. Find them at MathsTeacherHub.com. There are over 450 Foundation, 450 Higher and 300 starters for students working at the top grades.

I had a wonderful day in Manchester for #mathsconf22 and very much enjoyed all the workshops I attended (thank you Sam Blatherwick, Dani Quinn and Craig Barton!).

Thank you to everyone who came to my workshop “Surds in Depth”. The slides are here – download them for animations and links.

The highlight of the day was getting a group photo with everyone who was wearing the Joanne dress from Popsy.

I have been having a play with some of the activities in Clarissa Grandi's lovely book Artful Maths and I will blog about it soon.

Now I work in a new school with only Year 7 and 8, I won't be making any new GCSE revision resources this year. But I made loads last year - you can find them all listed on my GCSE revision page.  I hope that Year 11 teachers find this helpful.

I'll leave you with this great problem shared by Chris Smith (@aap03102).


  1. I love that quadrilaterals task. Do you think marked angles are supposed to be the same?

  2. Can you please give the answer key for surds & rectangle worksheet

  3. Click on the link to the resource and then click on answers