1 November 2020

5 Maths Gems #137

Welcome to my 137th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Guided Reading
Thank you to Nicola Whiston (@whisto_maths) for sharing a maths guided reading task, using a template created by @MrHand__
I've not used activities like this in maths before. It looks like it would be great for enrichment, and would also help to develop a very important skill (for everyone, not just for students who go on to take MEI A level maths which involves a comprehension task).

More resources like this were shared in this thread from Katie Pollard (@takepi21). Here's Katie's 'Saving lives with maths' guided reading task:
And here's one from Nix (@NixxSunshine) on magic squares.

These teachers have generously shared their tasks here so others can borrow them. 

Thank you also to Miss Olive (@missolivemaths) who wrote a series of comprehension exercises for a range of mathematical texts and shared them here back in July.

2. A Level Support
Thank you to @EmporiumMaths for sharing over 120 free videos with practice and exam questions to help students master the key skills that are needed in the transition from GCSE Maths to A Level Maths. 

Thank you also to @DavidB52s for pointing me towards MEI's page of Useful resources for students self-studying AS/A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics. If you're setting work remotely for Sixth Form students then this page will be really helpful. It includes links to transition material, A level maths videos, teaching resources, and material for Further Maths. Check out the self-paced online course for students aiming for an A* in A level maths - it's incredible that this is free to access!

3. Standard Form
Thank you to @McGuirea499 for sharing this excellent Standard Form resource on his website makeemthinkmaths.com.

4. Timeline

I've shared this before, but it's been updated so it's a good time to share it again. Thank you to @MathigonOrg for the interactive Timeline of Mathematics. Click on each mathematician to read more about them.  

Just like everything else on Mathigon, this is excellent.

5. Tasks
A number of new tasks were shared over half term, including tasks from @maths_mrsm, @InteractMaths@mrsouthernmaths@ChrisMcGrane84, @ashtonC94 and @giftedHKO:

Simplifying ratio (@maths_mrsm)

Gradients at points (@InteractMaths)

Coordinate geometry (@mrsouthernmaths)

Increasingly Difficult Common Factors (@ChrisMcGrane84)

Fractional Powers (@ashtonC94)

Angles on a straight line (@giftedHKO)

Thank you to all of these teachers for generously share their resources for free.

Do check out the free videos on my CPD channel if you get a chance. This is where I share the presentations I have previously done at conferences.

If you enjoy these presentations, then do sign up to Marvellous Maths 2, which is a full online CPD course for maths teachers from me and Craig Barton. For only £30 you get absolutely tonnes of content, and once you've enrolled you can access it at any time, so you don't have to do the whole course at once.

Also check out my newly updated conference listings page, which lists upcoming national conferences for maths teachers.

24 Hour Maths Magic Show
It was an honour to be involved in 24 Hour Maths this weekend. This 24-hour long mathematical magic show featured lots of incredibly talented people sharing mathematical magic tricks and puzzles on YouTube. I really enjoyed taking part (Sophie Maclean did the brilliant Kruskal's Count trick on me! Clever stuff). I also loved watching the rest of the tricks (admittedly I didn't watch the whole 24 hours but will catch up on what I missed!). Well done to the team of organisers, and everyone involved.

If you want to bring some mathematical joy into your life, I highly recommend watching the whole show (the list of guests and timings is here). If you don't have time for the full 24 hours, a good starting point is Chris Smith's (@aap03102) 30-minute guest segment, which had me smiling from start to finish. He shares a trick which is very easy to replicate with students, plus a treat (the Halloween Octagon), plus a brilliant song. Watch here... 👇 Enjoy!


  1. hello i am trying to create guided reading tasks for maths similar to the one on magic squares. do you know if the template is available anywhere?

    1. Hi. Looks like the tasks in this folder are in PPT so can be copied and edited: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VgZFobsY8Dmm0PnNBB-pn40ht-Dyah0h