21 November 2020

5 Maths Gems #138

Welcome to my 138th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers. I've got a bit behind on my blogging lately because school has been overwhelmingly busy, so here I'm trying to catch up by featuring ten gems instead of my usual five. 

1. Prime Factors Tool
Jonathan Hall (@StudyMaths) has published another new tool on the brilliant mathsbot.com. This lovely prime factors tool uses virtual prime factor tiles to help students make sense of prime factorisation, highest common factor and lowest common multiple. Click on the cells to toggle through blanks, products, and prime factors.
2. Certificate in Further Maths Resources
Teachers delivering the AQA Level 2 Certificate in Further Maths should check out Amanda Austin's (@draustinmaths) website which contains practice resources for this qualification. I like the format of her practice strips which are very helpful for sticking into books.

Do check out the rest of Amanda's website, which features a collection of KS3 and KS4 IGCSE and GCSE Maths resources ordered by topic. 

3. Tasks
Since Chris McGranes's (@ChrisMcGrane84book on mathematical tasks was published and he started running courses in task design, there has been a flurry of excellent tasks shared on Twitter and Chris's blog. Here I share a couple of examples - check out his blog for more like this.

Fraction Stories (thanks to @limeswright for tweeting about this one - I think I will use it next week to assess prior understanding in my first fractions lesson with Year 7):

Simultaneous Equations (I'll be teaching this soon to a class who will really benefit from the  scaffolding in this activity):

4. GCSE Statistics
Thank you to Helen Scott (@HelenScott88) for sharing her GCSE Statistics Retrieval Roulette. Aimed mostly at Higher Tier candidates, the chapter references in this resource relate to the Pearson GCSE Statistics textbook. For guidance on how to use Retrieval Roulette, read Adam Boxer's blog post.

5. Volume
Thank you to @SegarRogers for sharing this cuboid volume task. He designed it for a class in which some students have trouble seeing individual cubes, requiring a gradual removal of the isometric grid, and other students are ready to try working backwards.
6. Recall
All the way back in Gems 87 (April 2018) I shared an example of a regular recall starter from @JaggersMaths (formerly @MissBanksMaths). Mrs Jagger has now updated her R^Infinity resource, which teachers can use to quickly create personalised four-question starters. Visit her website to download the resource and to find out how it works.

7. Sequences and Fractions Task
Richard Perring (@LearningMaths) recently shared two interesting tasks. The first is a sequences task in which students generate their own sequences.
The second task is based on a similar idea, but relates to fractions. I really like these tasks.

8. Number Sense Maths
Clare Christie (@Ms_Mathsteacher) got in touch about the website numbersensemaths.com. There are tonnes of free resources to get schools going on structured number fact teaching, and a full scheme of work for those who want to commit to it. 
This website will be of particular interest to primary schools, and I think that SEND departments in secondaries will find useful strategies and resources here too.

9. Place Value
@taylorda01 had a nice idea for a place value task. Present students with the following numbers and ask them how many times bigger the value of the red digit is than the value of the blue digit. Then ask how much bigger the value of the red digit is than the value of the blue digit.

10. Pictograms
Thanks to @giftedHKO for a new pictograms resource. I have linked to this in my data resource library.

Last weekend I enjoyed spending the morning in Scotland (virtually!) for the Northern Alliance N5 Maths Conference. The workshops were excellent. I presented on teaching quadratics. I will present a similar workshop at La Salle's '#MathsConfMini' which is on a Friday evening in January.

Another event I'm presenting at in January is White Rose Maths Secondary Maths Brunch.

In case you missed them, I published two new blog posts in the last couple of weeks. They were:

Another thing I was involved in last week was a discussion about Don Steward's tasks on Tom Manners' ResourceFULL channel. This is worth a watch if you want to see some outstanding examples of rich tasks.

Other things to check out if you haven't already:
  • Marvellous Maths 2, which is a CPD course for maths teachers from me and Craig Barton. It's been great to hear of teachers using ideas from this course in their teaching this week.
  • Ed Southall's new book, Geometry Juniors. This is aimed at 8 to 12 year olds. It looks great!
  • The review of my book A Compendium of Mathematical Methods published in the MA's journal Mathematics in Schools. I loved this review and was very pleased to read an account written from the perspective of the book's main target audience (maths teachers!).
  • I've had a few questions about intervention resources for Year 11s recently. Do check out my GCSE Revision Resources page if you're looking for this kind of thing.

I'll leave you with this wonderful pentagon tessellation tool from Mathigon.


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