## 23 May 2020

### 5 Maths Gems #128

Welcome to my 128th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

Thank you to the team at Sparx for making their Secondary Ready course freely available until September. I have seen a number of schools recommend this to their incoming Year 6s - given the current gap in education, I'm sure many families will appreciate this support. My school is planning to mention it in our induction pack for Years 6s who will be joining us in September.

I like the certificate idea suggested by this school:

2. Colour the Pattern
Here's another nice idea from Miss Konstantine (@giftedHKO). In her 'Colour the Pattern' activities, students colour the boxes with the stated properties, which produces a pattern.
3. L Shaped Perimeters
I enjoyed this tweet from Segar Rogers (@SegarRogers) which takes a critical look at perimeter problems presented in secondary school textbooks.

4. A Level
Some great resources for A level teachers have been shared in recent weeks:

• Joe Berwick (@BerwickMaths) has been working on diagnostic questions and whiteboard exercises for every single subsection in the A level Edexcel textbooks. He has already done all of Year 13. Check it out on BerwickMaths.com.
• Jack Brown (@TLMaths) has launched a new look TLMaths.com which features videos on A Level Maths, Further Maths and Core Maths. His excellent videos cover AQA, Edexcel, OCR A, OCR B (MEI), WJEC, Edexcel International, Cambridge International and more.
• @BicenMaths made a “memory page” for everything he wants his Year 13s to know by ️heart. This one focuses on trigonometry and calculus, and there’s a blank version so they can self-test.

5. CPD
Craig Barton has launched a new range of online CPD courses. So far he has published 'Formative Assessment and Diagnostic Questions' which features over 80 videos and 40 links and resources. The cost of accessing the course is only £30 per person. He has also published 'Making the Most of Worked Examples'.

I have had a look at both courses and they are excellent - if you've ever been on a course run by Craig then you'll know how good these will be. Craig has also turned my topics in depth workshop on angles in parallel lines into an online course which is totally free. If you have time for CPD during lockdown, do check these courses out.

Update
After two months of expecting the next mathsconf to be moved online, this week there was an announcement to confirm that this is indeed what will happen. On 20th June, #MathsConf23 will be hosted virtually and will be free to attend. This will attract delegates and speakers from all over the world. Lots of people who are normally unable to attend conferences on Saturdays will be joining, so it's going to be huge! It will be an unusual experience for us all. There's already a fantastic selection of talks on offer - book now so you get a place. Thank you La Salle!

Speaking of CPD, don't forget that there is now a free Seneca course covering a couple of chapters from my book A Compendium of Mathematical Methods. Lots of teachers have been completing this in recent weeks.

You'll also be pleased to hear that there will be a virtual Maths Inspiration show (aimed at Year 10s in particular) on the afternoon of July 9th. It will feature Matt Parker, Ben Sparks, Zoe Griffiths and Rob Eastaway, so it's guaranteed to be brilliant.

***

I'm still shocked by the death of Don Steward. I encourage you to read this tribute from his friend Graham at the SHaW Maths Hub. Many people have asked me how they can send flowers or make a donation. You can email any insightful memories about Don to shawmathshub@tpstrust.co.uk and they will be passed onto his family. There's also a link in this news article to leave messages. And if you wish to donate to Don's chosen charity, you can do so here. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the hashtag #donsteward. It has been wonderful to see so many of his resources shared, and I know that our community will continue to share and celebrate his resources for years to come.

***

Finally, if you missed it then you must check out the video of Tom Lehrer's That's Mathematics, sung by mathematicians in lockdown. Ed Southall was behind this idea, and he managed to make it happen with the help of Chris Smith and Ben Sparks. It is a delightful 2.5 minutes that will make you smile.

Stay safe, maths teachers. x