5 July 2020

5 Maths Gems #131

Welcome to my 131st gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Self Marking Sheets
Phil Rhodes (@Philmaths314) has shared a free set of Self Marking Google Sheets. As the name suggests, these are sheets that mark themselves. ⁦‪You can assign your class these Self Marking Google Sheets in Google Classroom. The site is very easy to use: choose a sheet, create your own copy and then assign to your pupils. When they input answers, they get an instant score.

2. A Level Knowledge Organisers
I am quite often asked about A level knowledge organisers, so it's great that there are now some available for teachers who wish to use these. 

Thank you to @Lucyjc1612 for sharing knowledge organisers for mechanics and statistics.
And thanks to @misschakera for sharing knowledge organisers for pure topics. 

I have now added these to my A level resource libraries and my Knowledge Organisers page.

Thank you also to Jake Goodman and Rachel Mahoney who emailed me some Key Stage 3 and 4 knowledge organisers for inclusion on the Knowledge Organisers page. 

3. Pedagogical Prompts
@DanielPearcy has published a new website danpearcy.com containing collections of tasks, prompts and resources.
Dan introduced his Pedagogy Prompts at the Seneca conference yesterday. These are designed to prompt discussion amongst maths teachers, to help develop teachers' pedagogical content knowledge. Dan suggests that discussion of these prompts might form the first ten minutes of a maths department meeting.
For the above prompt, Dan suggests the following questions:
1. Which formula do you use for the cosine rule? A formula that isn’t listed above?
2. Why might you stress the importance of number 2?
3. Is there a context in which you would consider teaching number 3? Is it a problem that this doesn’t appear in textbooks or formula books?

I found this really interesting. When I teach the cosine rule I always verbalise it only using the third formula, but have never seen it written down like this.

4. Planning Tool
Thank you to @timdolan who has created a planning tool to help maths teachers think through a topic or series of lessons before they plan in more detail. 
5. New Resources
Here are some new resources and activities that have recently been shared on Twitter:

Blog Posts to Read
  • My favourite maths blogger @Mr_Rowlandson has shared a brilliant new blog post about posing questions in different directions.
  • Check out @jnovakowski38's blog post summarising the best places to go for different sets of virtual manipulatives, along with presentations and articles to support the use of them. I have featured most of these websites in my gems posts over the years but it's great to have them all in one place. The only thing I'd add to this list is the wonderful MathsBot.com

  • @InteractMaths shared a post with a range of carefully thought out median and range tasks.

Complete Mathematics Conference
Thank you to La Salle for sharing all the recordings from #mathsconf23 on their website. If you want to keep track of what you've watched, this session tracker shared by @MrWilliamsMaths is very helpful.
The ATM has been publishing short CPD videos on its website. One example is The Words We Use with Jenni Ingram which is a seven minute exploration of the use of language in mathematics and how small changes can alter meaning. 

Senenca Conference
I really enjoyed the three hour Seneca conference on Saturday morning. It was a great length and format. The short talks were a fantastic way to showcase new speakers and - in a very rare thing for a maths conference - there was a good balance of men and women speaking. I spoke about Lowest Common Multiple - this was a mini-topics in depth presentation. You can watch it here, along with the other excellent presentations. 

Do check out the Padlet shared by Emma Bell (@El_Timbre) during this conference.  This will be of particular interest to teachers who teach GCSE re-sit. Emma shared her incredible work on 'The Focused 15' - fifteen interconnected topics to focus on with re-sit students.

Also check out the If The World Were 100 People video that Emma showed during her presentation. I have blogged about a few '100 people' resources in the past but this one was new to me.

My CPD Videos
The Order of Operations Topic in Depth presentation I recorded with Craig Barton back in February has now been published by TES. You can find it on my CPD Playlist, alongside all my other CPD videos.

Two weeks left! I can't wait for the summer holidays. It has been a challenging term all round. 

My school is running our annual personal development week next week - this means I haven't had to set any maths work, but there's lots of other stuff going on including a virtual Sports Day and a Discovery Day, where I get to run a live lesson teaching students a load of fascinating stuff about banknotes (my chosen topic, which I know a lot about from my previous career). In the last week of term the maths lessons are back on but we also have our students coming in for end of term tutor group assemblies, which is really exciting. We're also doing end of year reports (consisting mainly of form tutor comments) which I have whole school responsibility for, so that will keep me busy. 

My own children have a lot going on too. Neither of my daughters (Year 1 and Year 3) have been back at school (the little one goes to an infants' school which couldn't accommodate Year 1), but their schools have planned some lovely end of term stuff, so they're happy. In terms of their maths, my Year 1 daughter is still doing the daily White Rose lessons, as well as using a few apps like Hit the Button and DragonBox. My Year 3 daughter does the White Rose lessons too, as well as Times Tables Rockstars. I recently realised that the Bronze 5-a-Day sheets from Corbettmaths Primary are perfect for her too (I don't know why I didn't think of that earlier!) so that's a late addition to our daily routine.

I will leave you with this fantastic video 'The Story of the Vinculum' from @jamestanton. It's brilliant. 

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