22 October 2021

5 Maths Gems #149

Welcome to my 149th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers. 

1. Entry Level Maths
Entry Level Maths is a qualification designed to provide a progression route to GCSE Maths for the lowest attaining students. To support schools using this qualification, @MarsMaths has shared sets of questions for each topic at each of the different stages. A lot of time and effort has gone into creating the resources at marsmaths.com and I'm sure this will be helpful for SEND departments and Entry Level teachers.

2. Make Your Own Codebreaker
@PiXLMattTheApp shared an activity generator which gives teachers the opportunity to create their own codebreaker tasks. Select a topic and write a joke or sentence to encode. It's very easy to use. This is one of a range of tools on mathswhiteboard.com that are worth checking out.

3. Oops, I Forgot!
I like this idea shared by @fawnpnguyen.

Read the thread for more information.

For an idea of how it works: you read a series of instructions to students while they use mini-whiteboards and adapt their answer each time. For example:
"Sketch a quadrilateral"
"Oops, I forgot - it should have four right angles"
"Oops, I forgot - it should have an area of 24". 
"Oops, I forgot - it should have a perimeter greater than 24". 

4.  Linked Maths
Thank you to @l88belle for sharing a task on expanding double brackets that interweaves fractions, surds, area, volume and solving equations. It's helpful to think about the ways we can make links between different topics. I look forward to seeing more from Belle on her website linkedmaths.weebly.com.

5. Resources
Thanks to @jshmtn for sharing a lesson on index laws with lots of good ideas to borrow. I never thought of using pi as a base!

@draustinmaths continues to add new resources to her website. Latest additions include some excellent surds tasks

Half term has finally arrived, much to everyone's relief. My school gets a two week October half term (I know, we're very lucky) but my daughters only get one week off. So I've had a week to myself - it's the only week in the entire year that I get a little bit of 'me time' (in between dropping them off and picking them up from school), so it does wonders for my mental health. As well as taking a bit of time to chill, I also used this week to contribute to some discussions about maths education. On Monday I attended an MEI Curriculum Committee meeting, and on Tuesday I participated in a Sheffield Hallam Uni/Royal Society roundtable on textbooks and curriculum materials. On Wednesday morning I chatted to Julia Smith about methods, and in the afternoon I recorded a new Topics in Depth CPD workshop on angles in polygons for Lumen (watch this space!). On Thursday evening my husband and I went to see Harry Baker perform, which was absolutely lovely. Harry is a mathematician and poet - I must book him to come and speak at my school. 

Did you see my latest blog post? I wrote about curriculum sequencing and shared the slides from my recent conference session. 

Speaking of conferences, you only have a couple more weeks to sign up to speak at the MA Conference which is taking place between 12th and 14th April 2022. I really encourage teachers to propose a workshop, even if you've not delivered at a conference before. The MA's 2021 online conference was a huge success. The beauty of online conferences is that they are widely accessible - people who are unable to attend in-person events can easily participate. In 2022, two days of the MA Conference will take place online and the final day will take place in person in Stratford-Upon-Avon. I plan to attend both the online and in-person days. In fact, I'm delivering one of the keynotes.

Finally, I'll leave you with this tweet from @mansbridgemaths which made me laugh! It's a great task, similar to 'What's z?' from MathsPad.

If you're on half term this week, have a good one!

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