Resourceaholic: 5 Maths Gems #152

Welcome to my 152nd gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Equivalent to One

Thanks to Amie (@alcmaths) for sharing two activities to expose students to how different one can appear on the surface. Great stuff.

Amie also shared a surds version of this activity. I love this!

2. MEI’s Deeper Maths
MEI has launched a range of free Deeper Maths resources. This suite of resources is designed to support excellent practice in the teaching of secondary maths. Their carefully crafted materials focus on deep and sustained learning. So far there are packs available for angles and trigonometry, with algebra on the way too. Each topic pack includes an overarching commentary, units of work that map sequences of lessons, lesson plans, physical manipulatives, dynamic images and printable study packs.
These packs are similar to what I’ve tried to do with my Topics in Depth project, but way better! If I had time (if I wasn’t a full-time teacher!), I’d have tried to produce something like this. It’s great to see this high-quality project coming from MEI to support teachers at Key Stage 3 and 4.
3. Maths Challenge Preparation Courses
Thanks to Kevin Olding (@mathsaurus) for sharing a set of free preparation courses for the MA and UKMT maths competitions: 

Although registration is needed, the courses are totally free to access and there are no adverts. Each course consists of a challenge paper walk-through, with video hints and solutions. 

At my school we invite all students to try the UKMT challenges if they wish to, and we don’t make the entire top set do it – it’s totally voluntary. For the upcoming Intermediate Maths Challenge we have had fifty students sign up from Year 9 and 10. I’ve recommended that these students practise over the holidays using Kevin’s course. We’ll also run a couple of drop-in practice sessions at school in January.

4. Maths Video of the Week
Thanks to Emily Rae (@ECR_Maths) for sharing her “Maths Video of the Week” idea. She sends a weekly email to her A Level students to expose them to fun and interesting ideas in maths. She has two years’ worth of videos ready to go – the list is here.
5. Order of Operations
It’s worth checking out this thread from Jemma Sherwood (@jemmaths) on the order of operations. She’s shared a number of great resources and ideas that provide food for thought on how to approach the teaching of this topic.

I particularly like her explanation of how brackets ‘break’ the order of operations:

Jemma’s thread includes loads of great exercises, including this task which is from Dan Draper’s blog post on the order of operations:

Events in 2022

There are a few maths events coming up in the first half 2022 that I’m involved in. 

First up, there’s a #MathsConfOnline on 21st January. I’ve submitted a workshop proposal for this, so hopefully I’ll get the chance to speak about the little bit of research I’ve been doing on ‘deep dive’ feedback. If you’ve recently been involved in a maths deep dive, please complete my survey to help out with this. I’m interesting in identifying any trends in what maths departments are being told to improve. I think there may even be a few myths that need addressing!
I’m doing a talk on 29th January for the London Branch of the MA and ATM. This 2.5 hour workshop is from the series of talks I’ve been doing over the last year looking at curriculum and pedagogy. The focus will be on providing challenge without acceleration, and we’ll discuss how to teach maths in depth without rushing from topic to topic. You can register here.

On 3rd March I plan to hold an event at my school… information will be released in January – watch this space!

Shockingly for me, I can’t attend #mathsconf28 as the date has changed to 12th March (I have tickets for a postponed Bridgerton Secret Cinema on this date and have already bought my regency fancy dress!). It’s going to be weird for me to miss a mathsconf because I think I’ve attended more mathsconfs than any other delegate. And I’ve spoken at nearly all of them, because I think it’s hugely important for females to speak at maths events. I’m gutted I’ll have to miss one. Hopefully I can make the summer term mathsconf.

Over Easter, the MA Conference will be online for two days, followed by one day in-person. The programme has now been released and tickets are available to book. I’m doing a keynote on the second day – I hope you can join me.


What a relief that the Christmas holidays are here! The end of term was insanely busy at work as always, but I had the joy of teaching quadratic simultaneous equations to my Year 10 class. This made me really happy. There’s nothing quite so wonderful as teaching maths that you love to a class that you love.

My heart goes out to all of you who are unwell with Covid over Christmas. I went through that last year and it was so horrible. I hope you recover quickly and manage to get some rest and recuperation during the break from school.

Speaking of Christmas, it occurred to me yesterday that I should have promoted my book as a good Christmas present for maths teachers! Oops, too late now. But if you get any book vouchers for Christmas, then do consider buying a copy of A Compendium of Mathematical Methods. I think it would make a nice gift.

There are currently a number of job opportunities at my school with start dates of September 2022, so if you’re based in South London or Surrey (or looking to move!) then do check them out. We’re a growing school (we’ll have Year 11 for the first time next year) and a fantastic place to work. Behaviour and attitudes are excellent – it’s a pleasure to teach maths to such wonderful students. Positions include Head of Year, Assistant Principal and Maths Teacher. Do email me ( if you want to chat about the school or the roles.
It’s too late for me to share Christmas resources as we’ve all broken up from school now, but thanks to Tom Bennison (@DrBennison) for making his annual Christmas Calculated Colouring resource for A level mathematicians.

Finally, I’d like to wish Rob and Leonie a wonderful wedding day today. Many of my readers will know Rob from mathsconf. I’m so happy for Rob and Leonie and wish them a lifetime of happiness.

I’ll leave you with this gorgeous colour-coded trig function table, which is from this tumblr and was tweeted by @mathladyhazel. It might make a good activity for Year 13 – perhaps give them a blank version to complete.

Merry Christmas to all my readers. 

Leave a Reply