11 April 2020

CPD for Maths Teachers

My school has done a couple of fantastic virtual assemblies for students since we closed. I've been asked to do one next month and have been given the topic 'innovation in times of crisis'. What a wonderful assembly topic. Excited to start gathering ideas, I made a few slides but then wondered how best to present them to students at home. I haven't used the 'record slide show' function in PowerPoint before but had a play with it and was really pleased with how easy it was to use. I realised it would work well for my assembly, but would be a useful tool for recording some of my conference workshops for maths teachers.

I spend many days and hours creating CPD sessions for maths teachers. But because I'm a full-time teacher myself, I don't get many opportunities to present my work. Most of my workshops only get presented at a single conference, which feels like a shame given how much work I put into them. Sharing them online seems like a sensible thing to do, particularly at this unusual time when teachers might have the opportunity to do some CPD at home.

So I have decided to share a series of six conference workshops online. Like everything else on my blog, these are free of charge. They can be accessed through my CPD Playlist on YouTube.

So far I've recorded two of these presentations. They are not perfect - I definitely waffle a lot more in these than I do when I present to an audience. But they are a start, and hopefully some people might find them helpful. They are both one hour long. I will try to waffle less in the next ones I record!

Presentation 1: Calculator Crisis
I presented this workshop at #mathsconf21 in 2019, following on from my blog post 'Calculator Woes'. I intended to present the same workshop at the MEI Conference 2020, which has sadly been cancelled. Here is a description of the session:

Changes in curriculum, assessment and technology over the last five years have left us in a bit of a calculator crisis. Many Year 11s are going into their GCSE exams totally unaccustomed with using a calculator and unfamiliar with even the most basic calculator functions.
In this workshop we will explore resources that help us to embed calculator usage when teaching maths throughout Key Stage 3 and 4. This session isn't about how to use a calculator - it's about opportunities to use calculators when teaching topics like place value and fractions.

In this session I use this resource as an activity, which is optional for viewers of the online version.

Presentation 2: Multiplication Madness
I presented this workshop at ResearchEd Rugby in 2019. Here is a description of the session:

Six years ago Michael Gove used assessment reform to ensure that all children are taught traditional multiplication algorithms. This was a controversial move. In this workshop we’ll explore a selection of interesting multiplication methods and look at both historical and international comparisons. We’ll discuss the principle of prescribing methods and what Gove was trying to achieve in doing so. This workshop is suitable for both primary and secondary teachers.

In this session I refer to this resource which you can use to explore multiplication methods.

On my CPD Playlist you will also find two of my six Topics in Depth presentations.

I hope you find this CPD helpful. If people think this is a good idea then I'll record another four workshops, so do let me know what you think.


  1. Great use of Powerpoint Jo. How do you get your video in the bottom right corner? Jeff

    1. Hi. In my version of PowerPoint when I click on 'record slide show' it gives me the option of both video and audio.

  2. Giving me the confidence to try and record over a Powerpoint for my students. thanks

  3. Thank you - I really enjoyed 'Multiplication Madness' having made the move from KS2 to Secondary this academic year, so am using this time to get as much Maths CPD as I can, as I find myself teaching Maths beyond 11 years old! Gove's impositions on arithmetic, spelling and grammar and complete disregard for anything educationalists might have to say being part of the reason for my change in direction! I am looking forward to sharing my primary experience with my secondary colleagues to aid transition, so your presentation was a very good reminder of the differences.

    1. Thanks for the feedback! Good luck with the move.

  4. We have encouraged everyone in our department (and our current student teacher) to watch the videos you made with Craig Barton. An incredibly useful way to stimulate conversation about how, why and what we teach. I for one will watch each one - possibly more than once. Many thanks for sharing so generously.

    1. Thank you, I really appreciate that.

    2. I really enjoyed the presentation, thanks for posting. I have found students achieve the highest rate of success and accuracy from using the "lattice method" and I was a convert early on in my teaching career.
      I believe this is because there are fewer times you have to hold a number in your head than when using long multiplication and arithmetic errors occur less often than when using "grid method". It does not develop much understanding of multiplication as a concept and I have to find other opportunities to do that.