## 25 February 2023

### 5 Maths Gems #167

Welcome to my 167th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

I've blogged about Polypad before, and used it myself in a lesson on nets last week. My students were suitably impressed! Recently there's been a series of tweets about some really cool stuff that Polypad can do - these are definitely worth a look. Click on the tweets below to see the animations in action, and check out @MathigonOrg's feed for more like this. I particularly like what you can do with factors.

2. Fingertip Knowledge
@mathsmrgordon has shared a set of fingertip knowledge documents for Foundation Tier GCSE. These are like self-quizzable knowledge organisers, similar to my Knoweldge Quiz books, but with calculations as well as factual recall.

You can download these documents for algebra, number, ratio and proportion, charts and averages, probability and geometry and measure. Thanks Ben!

3. Standard Form
@nathanday314 continues to produce amazing resources. His Calculations with Standard Form Booklet is full of excellent tasks with loads of challenge. Here are a couple of examples:

Nathan also produced some Star Wars Pythagoras Challenges which I love:

4. Kinematic Graphs
I taught tangent to a curve and area under a graph to Year 11 a couple of weeks ago and spotted these two tweets about kinematic graphs. These are helpful for both maths and physics teachers.

5. Same and Different
Thank you to @KarenCampe for sharing her brilliant blog post 'Same and Different'. This post is about a thinking strategy Karen uses for discussion in her lessons in which she asks students to compare and analyse features of two mathematical situations. Here are a few examples.

The first shows two subtraction problems: 5 – 2 (top) and 2 – 5 (bottom).

And this one is for gradient and y intercept:

And here's one on simultaneous equations:

And one on notation:

There are loads more examples in Karen's blog post.

Update
My school finally had its much-awaited first visit from Ofsted. They did a deep dive in maths. I'm really proud of my wonderful team - they're all superstars. Here's seven tenths of my department celebrating the end of a challenging week:

Over half-term I was busier than usual on my blog, publishing three posts:

I received two lovely parcels: David Acheson's excellent new book 'The Spirit of Mathematics' (with thanks to Oxford University Press) and a new Casio 991CW, engraved with my name (with thanks to Stephen at Science Studio).

Here are some things you might have missed:

As we head into Spring, there's loads to look forward to. #mathsconf31 in Bracknell will be great - I'm very much looking forward to presenting on Pythagoras which is one of my favourite topics. La Salle is still looking for presenters for this conference and I strongly encourage teachers to submit workshop proposals. I'll also be taking forty Year 10 students to Maths in Action on 7 March which will be brilliant. And I'll be going to the Christopher Zeeman Medal Lectures and Ceremony at the Royal Society on 22 March. The Spring term ends with the Joint Conference of the Mathematics Subject Associations at Warwick University. I love a residential campus conference! So there's lots of fun stuff coming up. On the flip side, over the next two weeks I'll have 127 Year 11 mock papers to mark, which is a bit less fun... I'm sure lots of you are in the same boat.

I'll leave you with a set of GCSE revision memes (first shared by Paul Collins years ago - and I've added some more). We've put a few up in the maths corridor in the run up to mocks to lighten the mood and get people smiling. Don't forget, if you're looking for revision resources for Year 11, there's an extensive collection here.