21 June 2020

5 Maths Gems #130

Welcome to my 130th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

I'm writing this post the day after #mathsconf23. This huge online conference was a great success and I'll say a bit about it at the end of this post. 

1. Quadratic Formula
Andy Lutwyche (@andylutwyche) shared a new resource for teaching the quadratic formula. Note how the questions change - in the last few, students are asked to work backwards.
The idea was based on this exam question that was shared by @MontaigneMaths

2. Primary Goal-Free Problems
I originally saw the idea for goal-free problems in Craig Barton's first book. If you're not familiar with them, the idea is to remove the 'question' from a maths problem, making the problem more open and accessible - the approach is explained very clearly in Clare Sealy's post here.

Thank you to Jean Knapp (@MissJK24319629) for sharing a blog post on primary 'goal free' problems where she reflects on the last sixteen months of use and innovation trials. The post includes a big accompanying resource for Key Stage 1 and 2. 

3. Calculated Colouring
Thank you to Claire Clay (@cclay8) for sharing a set of calculating colouring activities that she has made, covering a range of topics from angles to algebra.

4. Squares
Sudeep from Boss Maths (@boss_maths) shared a problem that I found really interesting. Although the answer can be worked out mentally in a few seconds at a fairly young age, older students (and often teachers!) can totally over-complicate it. Don't read the replies under the tweet before you've looked at the question!

On the subject of squares, check out this blog post from @blatherwick_sam which has a great sequence of questions on squares.

5. Templates
Thanks to Nathan Day (@nathanday314) for sharing a lovely set of free editable templates based on Craig Barton‬⁩'s book Reflect, Expect, Check, Explain and online courses. This includes templates for retrieval starters, example-problem pairs, low stakes quizzes, intelligent practice, SSDD problems, diagnostic questions, and UKMT questions. Check out this thread to see the examples.

Bonus Lockdown Resources
  • Textbook publisher Elmwood is currently providing free access to its Key Stage 1 to 5 maths textbooks until the end of August. I signed up for Key Stage 3 and got online access to textbooks and homework books for Years 7 - 9. 
  • MEI is currently running Calculator Crunch 2020 - check out the hashtag #CalculatorCrunch for the daily questions, aimed at students in Year 6 and Year 7.
  • Emily Fleming from the charity SAMI sent me an email about a new A level Bridging Course aimed at Year 11s planning to take A level maths in September. This is free and looks amazing. Check out my tweet about this for more information.
  • Thank you to the ATM for sharing a series of free 'Maths Snacks' videos for children to use at home during lockdown. They are a mixture of tasks, puzzles, challenges, and games, selected to support and enrich the mathematics taught at school. Many can be accessed by very young children, with a little bit of adult support, and all of them are relevant to pupils across the whole school age-range. You can tell a lot of expertise lies behind these carefully crafted activities. 

Last week I was interviewed live on YouTube by Tom Manners (@Mannersmatics). I had the opportunity to talk viewers through some of the lesser known features of my website (there's a lot that people don't know about!). You can watch the interview on Tom's website
TES also released the fourth Topics in Depth workshop that I recorded with Craig Barton. It's on the Order of Operations. It's not on Youtube yet but can currently be watched for free on Craig's CPD Platform.

I very much missed seeing all of my usual conference buddies in person yesterday, but La Salle did an incredible job of hosting an absolutely brilliant online conference. The sessions on offer were all top quality, and it was great that the conference reached such a wide audience, include a large number of international delegates.

I strongly believe that maths teachers benefit from CPD on how to teach specific topics, so I delivered a session on teaching exact trig values. In this session we looked at the GCSE specification (including the rationale for the inclusion of this topic in the 'new' GCSE), how this topic is assessed, and how to structure and deliver the teaching of this topic. Thank you to everyone who attended my workshop, and particular thanks to @arzzax who was listening from Australia and shared the popular 'half-square' idea in this tweet

If you missed my workshop then you will be able to catch up on it when La Salle shares the whole conference online.

Do have a listen to the post-conference podcast, which I recorded straight after #mathsconf23 in a Zoom call with Craig Barton. 

If you enjoyed #mathsconf23, or you missed out, then do check out Seneca's three hour maths conference on 4th July. My next task is to write my workshop for that!

I will leave you with these puzzles, shared by @MathigonOrg. There are loads like this on Philipp's beautiful website.

1 comment:

  1. 22

    •First we will start both the clocks
    •Then we will wait for the 7min clock to be empty
    •As soon as the 7 min clock gets empty we will upside down it
    •Now as soon as the 11 min clock gets empty we will again upside down the 7 min clock
    •Now as soon as the 7 min clock gets empty .... we have measured 15 min..