18 December 2020

5 Maths Gems #139

Welcome to my 139th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers. 

Well here we are, at the end of the most gruelling term of our lives. I'm sure we are all incredibly relieved to have made it to end of term in one piece. We should all feel proud that we've continued to fill our students' lives with the joy of maths, and we will continue to do so, no matter what gets thrown at us. Thankfully we now we have a short respite - from the physical exhaustion of pandemic teaching, if not from the anxiety. Throughout the Christmas break many of us will be steeling ourselves for January, when the level of challenge in schools and colleges will be ramped up even further. I wish I could offer words of encouragement and solace, but to be honest I am totally lost for words. I just hope that you all manage to have a safe and peaceful break over the festive period.

Perhaps on the first day of the holidays we all need to switch off from maths teaching, but I know some of you take comfort in browsing through teaching ideas and resources. It can be a cheerful distraction from the sadness that surrounds us. So, on with the gems.

1. Tasks
Thank you to @SegarRogers for sharing this brilliant speed, distance, time task. I love this. I've added it to my resource library so I remember to use it next time I teach speed. 

Thanks also to @ashtonC94 for continuing to share his expertly written tasks, including these on standard form and this interesting take on recurring decimals.

Here's another excellent set of tasks from @giftedHKO. The focus here is pie charts - a great topic which links nicely to proportional reasoning. 

2. Teaching Tools 
Thank you to @123lots for sharing @mathforge's handy Make Your Own Axes tool.

Also, I'm not sure whether I've featured this site before - thank you to @jemmaths for the reminder about @tesseralis’s website tessera.li. This website features a beautiful polyhedra viewer which teachers might find useful.

3. Website Updates
@MathsDunbar has completed Version 3 of his Trinity Maths Programme for the new National Curriculum. Matt has made ten of his best interactive topic files available as free downloads, which are macro-enabled Excel spreadsheets.

@MrMorleyMaths has completed and published Phase 2 of his website mrmorleymaths.co.uk. Every topic now has a starter activity of questions, with answers, testing prerequisite knowledge.

4. GCSE Revision Resource
Thank you to @Billyads_47 for sharing a GCSE revision resource.

Don't forget that my GCSE Revision Resources page is absolutely packed with excellent revision resources for your Year 11s.

5. Multiplication Tool
Thank you to @mathforlove for sharing these visual flash cards for multiplication that he has produced in conjunction with @MathigonOrg. This is a brilliant free online tool for children learning their times tables.
I know it's too late for me to share Christmas resources, but in case you want to use them next year...

@Ayliean shared some lovely maths-themed Christmas cards.

This snowflake dot-to-dot activity shared by @giftedKHO is really nice. 

And @DrBennison shared his annual A Level Calculated Colouring, which is always fantastic.

I do have a page of Seasonal Resources. I didn't even get time to look at it myself this year, but it is there if you are ever after a themed maths activity. 

I recently published another 'Dose of Don' post from Anne Watson - do check it out if you haven't already.

I have also created another set of warm-up booklets for my classes. These are specifically designed for the curriculum my school - each week we cover three different retrieval topics - but feel free to borrow and adapt if you like. In the most recent set, most questions were taken from CIMT resources. 

There are a number of online maths conferences coming up in the Spring term. See my conference listings for details. I will be speaking at two of them - #MathsConfMini on Friday 22nd January and the WRM Secondary Maths Brunch on Saturday 30th January. 

Don't forget to check out Marvellous Maths 2 - an entire online training course for maths teachers.

Congratulations to Craig Barton on the fifth anniversary of his incredibly successful education podcast. You can read his reflections on five years of podcasting here.

Finally, I should mention that as my own school continues to grow (we will have Year 10 for the first time next year) we will be recruiting a new maths teacher in the Spring term, to start in September 2021. If you are interested in coming to work with me and want to get a flavour of what the school is like, check out our Open Day video and our Christmas video, and get in touch if you want to have a chat about it.

I'll leave you with this video, shared by @berniewestacott, which features Douglas Clements speaking at the White House on early childhood maths education. It's under five minutes, and well worth a watch.

Have a very merry Christmas, maths teachers. Time to get some rest. x

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