1 January 2021

5 Maths Gems #140

Happy New Year! Welcome to my 140th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers. 

1. Functions Puzzle
Thank you to @mathequalslove for sharing this lovely Evaluating Functions Puzzle. Sarah's blog post includes both a paper-based and interactive version.

2. Statistics Tools
Thank you to @DrPMaths for sharing a very useful histogram drawing tool
And thank you to @MathigonOrg for the new probability additions to the excellent PolyPad tool (I blogged about PolyPad in Gems 114).

3. Bad Calculators
Thank you to @TylerAuer for sharing his new puzzle app. Have a go at the puzzles on badcalculators.com - they're really fun. To give an example, in the puzzle below we want to go from one to one hundred using the operations +3, x4, +5 and x6 only. The challenge is to do it in a certain number of moves.

4. Mechanics Video
Thank you to @BicenMaths for sharing an excellent video and memory page summarising Mechanics for A-Level Maths.

5. MathsPad
@MathsPadJames and @MathsPadNicola have done it again! I've had a MathsPad account for a good five years now and have been impressed by every single monthly update they've ever published. Their latest resources are brilliant, as usual - including a clever 'greatest integer' activity that requires students to convert between fractions, decimals and percentages. They must work out the biggest integer that will make the statement true. The activity has two levels of difficulty.
They have also published a brilliant new tool to explore prisms interactively.

Most MathsPad resources aren't free, but the subscription is well worth it (I use their resources literally every day!). They also have a huge range of interactive tasks that can be set for students working at home during periods of remote learning.

It was unfortunate that I spent the entire Christmas holidays unwell with Covid 19. My poor husband caught it from me, so both of us were ill for Christmas. I am feeling better now, though my energy levels are low and I still have a bad cough. My sense of taste has also not yet returned to normal. This isn't a big deal, but it does mean I won't be able to enjoy a nice glass of wine on my 40th birthday on Wednesday, as wine currently has no taste whatsoever. I know I shouldn't complain about such trivial matters - I was fortunate to experience a relatively mild case. My heart goes out to all the teachers and their families who have been affected by Covid 19 in 2020. 

In case you didn't see them, I wrote three blog posts in December:

And here are my five most popular blog posts from 2020, in case you missed them:

I'll leave you with these Function Composition memes, taken from this brilliant thread shared by @MrsStevensMath. The thread includes a set of slides explaining this assignment to students.

Happy New Year to all my readers, and good luck with the online teaching. Stay safe!

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