15 May 2021

5 Maths Gems #144

Welcome to my 144th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers. 

1. Tasks
I've spotted loads of great new tasks on Twitter in the last few weeks. 

@giftedHKO shared a nice area task - perfect timing for me as I'm teaching area to Year 7 next week. This task features amongst a collection of fantastic area ideas here.

@DanielPearcy's Year 10 class were struggling to remember negative indices and so he made this homework. It's so unusual to see negative indices in these contexts.

@ticktockmaths shared a lovely bounds lesson. I am a big fan of the format and structure of his slides as well as the content.

Another resource shared by Richard was this great starter Two or a half?.

Richard also shared a task where students are asked to find coordinate pairs to fit into Venn diagrams. What a great introduction to simultaneous equations! Richard got the idea for this task from @mpershan's excellent book Teaching Math with Examples

2. Self-Explanation Prompts
Speaking of tasks inspired by Michael's book, @karenshancock also shared an idea that came from Teaching Math with Examples: self-explanation prompts.

Karen has shared more examples of self-explanation prompts on her Twitter feed. To quote Michael's book, "The idea is to push students towards explaining ideas they might not even have realized they don’t understand. It’s also a useful chance to ask students to dig deeper and answer some “why” questions that can connect a procedure to concepts".

3. MathsPad
For many years MathsPad has been my first port of call for resources when planning lessons, and it's getting better and better. I have blogged before about their new range of topic booklets which are a bit like textbook chapters, but with far more depth and a greater range of activities than typical textbooks. They have published booklets for six topics so far: place value (which is free), calculations, negatives, fractions, indices and introduction to algebra. Here's an example of a task from the indices booklet:

4. A Level
In response to the disruption caused by the pandemic, the AMSP (@Advanced_Maths) has been working on six Support Packages for maths teachers and students. They bring together loads of resources, PD opportunities and support. AMSP material is always top quality and I'm sure these resources will be very helpful to students and teachers in Years 10 to 13. 

Thank you to @naikermaths for sharing six Year 13 statistics practice papers on their website.

And thank you to @Miss_Jethwa for sharing ten new A-level Further Maths papers on jethwamaths.com.

5. Methods
I love these creative methods that @staceymaths' students came up with to solve equations involving fractions. Clever stuff.

Mathematics in School
I am incredibly proud to have guest edited the latest edition of ⁦the MA's journal⁩ Mathematics in School with ⁦Ed Southall. It’s a tribute to Don Steward. If you're not a member of the MA then join now and you will be sent a copy. It's packed full of excellent articles.

Did you see the Gem Awards post I published in April? If not, do check it out for a huge collection of amazing resources, ideas and websites to visit.

In the Easter holidays I attended a GLT Book Club meeting to chat about a chapter from my book A Compendium of Mathematical Methods. The recording of the session is here. I was really impressed by the quality of professional development in these book club meetings. 

Did you see @Mr_Rowlandson's blog post Thinking About Probability Trees? He is one of my favourite maths bloggers and his posts are always worth a read.

Don't forget to buy a ticket for the next La Salle maths conference which takes place on 10th July. I will be speaking about how to teach for depth instead of rushing ahead.

I'll leave you with a Don Steward task. Though it may look like a typical angles exercise, it was exactly what I needed recently when I was looking for a set of questions that only involved basic angle facts but had a good level of challenge. It reminded me of what an absolute treasure trove Don's blog is.


  1. Inspired by your post and wanting to read a copy of Maths In School I have just signed up to the Maths Association - thank you

  2. I am definitely enjoying your website. You definitely have some great insight and great stories.
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