27 July 2021

5 Maths Gems #146

Welcome to my 146th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers. 

1. Pythagoras 
Teaching Pythagoras was one of the highlights of the year for me. What an awesome topic. Thank you to @giftedHKO for sharing some lovely Pythagoras tasks on her blog - I look forward to using these next year.

In case you missed it, do check out @Mr_Rowlandson's recent blog post Playing With Pythagoras and Trigonometry which features lots of clever ideas.

2. CIMT Textbooks
I've made heavy use of CIMT textbooks since my PGCE. I own physical copies but when planning lessons I usually download the CIMT resources from TES, where they are in neat bundles along with the answers. The challenge is working out which bundle to use. Though they are organised by topic, sometimes it would be helpful to be able to search through all the resources. Thankfully, @nathanday314 has come to the rescue by merging all the CIMT practice books into one searchable, fully-indexed, 2100 page PDF. Thanks Nathan!

3. Surds
After a couple of years of only teaching Key Stage 3, my school has finally grown to the point of having GCSE classes! Hurrah. We'll be starting Year 10 with surds, and I like this introduction from @JaggersMaths.

For more ideas for teaching surds, checking out my surds in depth workshop.

4. Problems
Thank you to @SarahFarrellKS2 for sharing a PDF document of her first hundred #dailymathspuzzle questions. These are designed for Key Stage 2 students but would be suitable for many Key Stage 3 students too.

I've added this link to my problem solving page which features collections of problems and puzzles.

5. Powers and Roots
I'm always a fan of @MrDraperMaths's blog posts. His latest post focuses on powers and roots and is packed full of great tasks.

Term ended on Friday for me and I now have five weeks to recover (and, sadly, catch up on the vast amount of student timetabling work I didn't get time to do before the end of term). This year was unbelievably brutal. To those of you who contacted me through Twitter or email in the summer term and didn't get a reply: I'm incredibly sorry. My role got totally out of control for a while there, and I failed to keep on top of anything outside of work. I'm hopeful that things will improve next year. 

In case you missed it, do check out Jemma Sherwood's (@jemmaths) excellent post 'Consistency and Autonomy', which follows on from some ideas I wrote about in a blog post back in May.

Also have a read of Anne Watson's latest post in the Dose of Don series. This post explores Don's thinking around angle bisection. 

If you're looking to spruce up your classroom or corridors this summer, you'll find loads to choose from on my displays page.

I can't wait to get my own classroom back. I'm sure many teachers feel the same. On the first day of the holidays I took my daughters into school (always a treat for them!) and they helped me clear out all the rubbish left in there by the various nomadic teachers who used it over the course of the year. I'm much happier now it's all sorted. I'm not fussy about pretty displays but I do like a splash of colour to brighten up a dreary room, so I used Sarah Carter's maths symbols display to cover a blank board (no backing, borders or laminating so it was a five minute job - and I'm not bothered that it's a bit wonky!). I've moved the desks away from the wall to stop students ruining it.
After an exhausting year which has left me feeling totally defeated, spending an hour preparing my classroom has cheered me up and made me look forward to September.

Nothing special, but I can't wait to get my classroom back!

Thank you to Kyle Evans for sending me a copy of his new book Maths Tricks to Blow Your Mind. My daughters are doing a swimming crash course this week and this makes perfect reading while I'm waiting for them by the pool!

I'm off on holiday with my family on Monday, and I will do my very best to switch off completely for two weeks. Have a lovely summer everyone!

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