2 August 2022

5 Maths Gems #160

Welcome to my 160th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Algebra Warm-Ups
@geoffkrall shared a year's worth of algebra warm-ups. These are designed to fit with the US curriculum where students study maths in discrete chunks, which is very different to the approach we take in the UK. In the US, students study a course in Algebra, then Geometry, then Algebra 2. Geoff explains in his blog post that he designed this set of warm ups to help students keep their algebra skills fresh throughout their geometry course. Thank you Geoff!

2. Level 2 Further Maths
Thank you to @tm_maths for sharing an AQA Level 2 Further Maths booklet. This free booklet is fully editable and features examples, questions and challenge tasks.

I've set up a new page for Certificate of Further Maths resources here. This is linked from the main menu at the top of my blog for easy access.

3. New Resources from Dr Austin
Prolific resource maker @draustinmaths has shared loads of fantastic new tasks on her website. This includes tasks on reverse percentages, constructions, set notation, quartiles, cumulative frequency, pie charts, bar charts and vectors.

4. Negative Number Hook
@tessmaths has been running a fantastic Padlet of mathematical hooks for years. One of my favourites is the classic Pythagoras Shortcut hook - I always show my students this picture!

Julia's most recent addition is this brilliant video about the depth of the ocean from MetaBallStudios. This might work well in a lesson on negative numbers.

5. Percentages
Thank you to @nathanday314 for sharing some excellent percentages resources. Check out this thread for more like this, and links to the tasks that inspired these resources. 

Back to School 
These pages are always popular in August and September:
  • My Year 7 Maths Activities post which features ideas for first lessons with Year 7
  • My Displays page which contains loads of fantastic maths displays for corridors and classrooms

I've created a new page listing maths education conferences in 2022/23. There's not much on it yet, so please let me know of any upcoming conferences that I can add.

Did you see that Rob Eastaway has teamed up with Shakespeare improviser Rebecca MacMillan to run a series of talks for Key Stage 4 students in Birmingham in November? Much Ado About Numbers - Maths & Shakespeare presents a unique opportunity for a joint trip for Maths, English and History departments. I bet it will be brilliant.

I officially finish my Assistant Principal role and become Head of Maths on 1st September. I spent the first week of the holidays getting stuck into Head of Maths stuff, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I made a number of curriculum changes, rewrote our schemes of work, created assessments, planned first lessons, that kind of thing... I've also spent some time planning lessons for Certificate of Further Maths which I'll be teaching for the first time from September. I have a class of 32 excellent Year 11 mathematicians raring to go. After taking a four year break from teaching A level to set up a new school, it's lovely to have calculus back in my life. And trig identities! As much as I've enjoyed focusing on Key Stages 3 and 4 for the last few years, these topics are my happy place.

I'm off on holiday with my family for two weeks tomorrow - we're heading to a cottage in Cornwall. I can't wait. When I get back, I'm looking forward to a couple of chilled weeks at the end of August, including catching up with maths teachers at Dr Frost's triannual drinks.

I'll leave you with this picture tweeted by @p_millerd. I know a lot of people who'll relate to this!


  1. Love it as always! It amazes me how you fit so much quality maths stuff in around your family life. Well done!!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this resource.