## 14 July 2024

### 5 Maths Gems #180

Welcome to my 180th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Area

I love @catrionateaches's suggestion that students write a 'plan without numbers' when attempting to answer compound area questions. They do the reasoning before they plough into the calculations. See Catriona's tweet for more examples.

I very much enjoyed @MrDraperMaths's recent post 'Area's Just Times' which is well worth a read. It features a number of excellent tasks.

I also like this clever little task from @giftedHKO, from her brilliant set of resources on sector area.

2. Factor Fish
@MrChapmanMaths shared a nice resource which encourages students to think systematically when finding all the factors of a number: Factor Fish. I've added it to my resource library. I've seen variations of this idea elsewhere (bugs, rainbows) but I've not seen fish before!

3. Crossword
Emily at SAMI has shared a brilliant A Level Maths Cryptic Crossword. Maths teachers will enjoy having a go at this!

4. Dr Austin
Dr Austin has been busy producing a constant flow of new resources. I use a lot of her tasks in my lessons so I am very grateful for this website. Recent additions include resources for equation solving, probability, two way tablessequences and standard form.

It was great to see a new MathsPad update in July. They have shared a Thermometers Tool which can be used to introduce and explore negative numbers. They have also completed their collection of Year 10  booklets, and added new GCSE Revision worksheets on Probability and Indices and Surds. We are big fans of MathsPad at my school!

Update
I haven't written a gems post since April! I've never left it this long between posts before. It wasn't intentional... I always have a lot going on in the summer term with a number of family birthdays and social stuff, but on top of that school has been insanely busy lately.

In June I hosted the launch of Matt Parker's new book Love Triangle. It was a great evening - thank you so much to everyone involved. All the entertainment was excellent and again I thought Foxdog were the funniest thing ever. Matt's book has very quickly become a bestseller. I highly recommend it to maths teachers - it would make an excellent summer read.

Last week I spoke at the London South West Maths Hub Conference about Challenge without Acceleration. I was nervous to present to an audience of predominantly primary teachers - I adjusted my talk to make sure it covered topics that we teach in both Key Stage 2 and 3, and in doing so realised just how many topics we have in common. It was a lovely conference and everyone was very friendly.

I'm looking forward to going to Belfast for the first time in August to present on both challenge and methods. I also look forward to the next Complete Mathematics conference which is on 12th October at Astrea Academy in Sheffield. I was disappointed to miss the June conference (I was at a concert!) so I'll make sure I attend the October one.

The book Teaching A Level Maths from Rob Southern and Susan Whitehouse has recently been published, so if you teach A level then get your order in now. I have very much enjoyed teaching three Year 12 classes this year, and am looking forward to having even more A level on my timetable next year. I will make sure I get a copy!

I have had many teachers contact me to say thanks for the idea I had to stock up on the old Casio calculator model by asking Year 11s to hand them in after their GCSEs. It sounds like it was a huge success in lots of schools! Ironically I had so many plates spinning at the time I didn't end up doing it myself, but I'm very pleased that other schools benefitted.

On Friday night I went to a fantastic end of year Maths Department celebration at Flight Club. The members of my team are all legends and I'm looking forward to working with them again next year. One week to go until the summer holidays!

I will leave you with these lovely questions from @1stclassmaths. Check out his sets of questions by topic for more like this.