22 August 2021

5 Maths Gems #147

Welcome to my 147th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers. 

1. Dr Austin's Resources 
Amanda Austin (@draustinmaths) has been updating her website draustinmaths.com over summer. She's added a number of new resources - see her Twitter feed for the highlights.

I've started to add Amanda's resources to my resource libraries, to save teachers time when planning lessons.

2. PolyPad

Mathigon's awesome interactive tool PolyPad has a load of new features including lots of cool stuff for both 3D geometry and statistics.

The clocks are new too:

I love Mathigon and have blogged about it many times. Have you seen the Almanac of Interesting Numbers?

And this awesome Sieve of of Eratosthenes? This is brilliant for teaching students about prime numbers.

Great stuff from Mathigon.

3. Ofsted Maths Research Review
If you haven't had time to read the Ofsted Maths Research Review yet, or if you've read it and want to share the key messages with your department, then you might find this useful: George Stone (@DrStoneMaths) has shared a summary of the main points here.

George's PowerPoint includes reference to the criticisms of Ofsted's review. For more on this, it's worth reading the response of the Joint ATM and MA Primary Group here which explains some of the criticisms in detail.

4. MathsDIY
Thanks to Victoria Jennifer (@vics_jennifer) for tweeting about a website I'd not heard of. On mathsdiy.com, an experienced maths teacher shares GCSE Maths and A Level Maths past paper solutions, topic booklets and resources. Questions are drawn from WJEC papers. 

5. Guided Reading
Thanks to Jenny Hill-Parker (@JennyHillParker) for sharing a set of guided reading resources here.

Guided reading is a really interesting idea - check out my Gem Awards 2021 for more on this.

Did you catch my last gems post? I published it in late July. In previous years I've done a lot of blogging over the summer holidays but this year I've just not had time, so two gems posts will have to do. I did manage to get away with my family for a couple of weeks though, which was lovely. The highlight for me was visiting Woolsthorpe Manor and sitting under Isaac Newton's apple tree. It's really delightful there - I highly recommend a visit.

I also had a lovely evening at Jamie Frost's maths teacher drinks. Jamie used to host these events three times a year but lockdown put a stop to it. It was so nice to see everyone again.

I'm looking forward to the return of conferences over the next few weeks. I find that going to a conference right at the start of a new academic year is a great way to get excited and inspired for the year ahead. First up is #mathsconfmini2 next Friday night. I'll be speaking about probability, and also more generally about reducing cognitive load.

Then on 4th September it's the national researchED conference which, incredibly, is an actual in-person event in London. I'm really looking forward to the pre-conference night out! I'm delivering a session at the conference called 'Skimming the surface of the maths curriculum'. Here's the blurb:

In this session we will look at the maths curriculum, considering both the content and the way it is delivered. We'll analyse research findings and discuss whether the practice of 'skimming the surface' of maths is widespread in schools. Are students accelerated onto new topics too quickly? Is adequate time provided to teach topics properly? Do teachers know how to teach topics in depth? And how can we do things differently?

If you're coming to the conference, do come along to my session - I have some interesting insights to share from the Key Stage 3 survey I did recently. Unlike all my other workshops over the last eighteen months, this one won't be recorded!

If you're preparing to return to school in a couple of weeks, here are two pages you might find helpful:

And finally, just a reminder to those of you who subscribe to my blog posts by email: the emails will now look a bit different so please don't be alarmed! I had to swap the subscriptions over to a new provider (because Google stopped its email subscription service), and I managed to lose a lot of subscribers along the way. If you want to receive my blog posts by email, you can sign up here.

I'll leave you with this nice little problem from @BerrySlime3 which would be suitable for Higher GCSE students. Hat tip to @blatherwick_sam for sharing it.

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