30 August 2020

5 Maths Gems #134

Welcome to my 134th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

This is a double gems post! Lots of ideas and resources have been shared on Twitter in the last few weeks and - given it's the calm before the storm (i.e. the weekend before the start of what might be the craziest school year yet!) - I better post them all now, before things get too busy.

1. Games
Thank you to the wonderful @Ayliean for sharing her favourite short classroom games. They’re suitable for use with a whole class whilst the students sit down and the teacher runs the game on the board from the computer - this is good when social distancing measures are in place. I can imagine that some of these games might work well when getting to know a new tutor group. Open the file here for clickable links, and also check out the teacher guide with tips and curriculum links. 
I've just played some of these games - lots of fun!

2. New Resources
Thank you to @Miss_R_Em for sharing some some great angle reasoning worksheets on Twitter.

3. Quotes Display
I love this 50 Mathematical Quotations display from @nathanday314. I have added it to my Displays Page.

4. Videos
In Gems 133 I shared a video made by @McGuirea499. Mr McGuire has now made his own Youtube Channel. He's shared a number of new videos recently including a series on ratio tables. Here's an example:

@McGuirea499 has also launched the website makeemthinkmaths.com which features resources, ideas and videos.

5. Further Maths Resource
@MrsMathematica spotted a helpful resource on TES for anyone who teaches A Level Further Maths. Revision 4 Questions for AS Further Maths by Mel Murray is a set of tasks that could be used as starters for Year 2 students to revise AS content. 

A Level teachers might also be interested in @mathsaurus's new pages of A level exam questions by topic for each chapter of the Year 1 and Year 2 textbooks. All questions are from sample and 2018 papers for Edexcel, OCR A and B and AQA for the new syllabus. 

And whilst on the subject of A Level, I love this task on related binomial expressions from @360maths

6. White Rose
Those of you who follow the White Rose Scheme of Work will love @mrshawthorne7's spreadsheet for Years 7 to 9. It contains hundreds of links corresponding to the White Rose small steps, including tasks from Don Steward, ⁦‪@giftedHKO‬⁩ and ⁦‪@ChrisMcGrane84‬⁩. The link is on Charlotte's website

White Rose users will also like @BenBent05826467's work on linking UKMT questions to the White Rose scheme of work. 

7. Primary Resources
In Gems 132 I wrote about the publication of the Department for Education's of Mathematics Guidance documents for the Key Stage 1 and 2 national curriculum, and the accompanying CPD videos. 

The NCETM (@NCETM) has now shared a set of resources to accompany the ready-to-progress criteria. Written in collaboration with Nrich, the first of 79 PowerPoints can be downloaded from the NCETM's newly revamped website.

8. Vocabulary Map
@MissACMaths created a lovely map of maths vocabulary showing how it all links together.

9. Mr Carter Maths A Level
@MrCarterMaths has launched an exciting new A Level website which will be free for at least the first year.  
You can watch a video here to see how a pupil uses the site, and one here on how a teacher uses the site.

A similar site for GCSE is planned for next September.

10. Timers
I love a slick, professional PowerPoint. Thank you to @DrStoneMaths for sharing some transparent timer gifs for use in PowerPoint, based on a design by @nathanday314. They range from one minute up to ten minutes. 

On the subject of good resource layout, do have a look at this thread where @nathanday314 makes some great suggestions:

For those of you who took the summer off and have missed some of my posts, here's what I've written since July:

I also updated my popular Year 7 Maths Activities post with ideas for first lessons with Year 7.

Another change to my blog was the addition of a 'buy me a drink' button! Thank you so much to the lovely people who have already used this - I am really touched by the kind messages.

Earlier this week I ran two webinars for The Mathematical Association called 'Preparing for September'. A global Zoom outage meant that the Monday afternoon session couldn't go ahead, but I was able to rearrange it for Wednesday. Thank you to everyone who joined me for one of the two webinars. The recordings can be viewed here and the slides are here.


Another thing I did over summer was made a resource based on the old textbook exercise below. I like the way it presents the problems in pairs: one with numbers, one with algebra. I've done this in class discussion before but not as an exercise. 

I've started planning my workshop for #mathsconf24 which will be run online on Saturday 3rd October. I'll be sharing ideas for Key Stage 3. Tickets are still available!

A few weeks ago I tweeted an open invitation to Friday night's 'socially distanced maths teacher drinks' in London to celebrate the start of a new school year (and commiserate the end of the holidays!). Thank you to the ten tweeters who joined me - it's always great to meet new people, and to catch up with old friends after so long. I really missed the socialising of the summer conference season this year. 

Thank you to @MathsTeacherKYP⁩ for the giant calculator. I will lend this to students!

Here are a few things you might have missed if you've been staying away over summer:

I'll leave you with this lovely activity 'Number Pyramids' from @MathforLove, along with helpful slides made by @fawnpnguyen, which include extension tasks.

Those of you going back to school next week - enjoy! And good luck. See you on the other side.


  1. Hi Jo, thanks for your amazing post. I've clicked on the link about Tom Dolan planning tool on your slide (Preparing for September) but the link has been removed. Do you have a copy of it that you could share? It would be very beneficial for an NQT as me :)
    Thanks. Grazia

    1. No problem! Here you go: https://beauchampcoll-my.sharepoint.com/:w:/g/personal/tim_dolan_beauchamp_org_uk/EZ9c6bs2lkZCuY91iGwUlnMBaDZVq6kUU6a8g04y6dgubw?rtime=2QChapVR2Eg