Welcome to my 157th gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.
1. A Level Resources
I very much enjoyed the A level workshop run by @mrsouthernmaths at the MA Conference. During this workshop we used A3 whiteboards to work on A level questions. Each task had interesting approaches to explore and discuss. Rob has a blog full of A level lessons, notes and activities. A nice example is his coordinate geometry exercise.
And here’s an extract from one of his tasks on parabolas.
2. Would You Rather
3. Graph Intersections
4. Formula Sheet
A formula sheet used to be provided at GCSE but was removed in 2017, meaning our Year 11 students won’t have used one before. But this year we have the temporary introduction of the much criticised ‘exam aids‘, so @taylorda01 has made a helpful resource ‘Assessment Aid Tests 2022‘ where students can practise making use of a formula sheet.
5. Venn Paint
I haven’t taught Venn Diagrams in five years and next week I happen to be teaching this topic to both Year 9 and Year 10. I’ve been looking at Venn resources, and I discovered this beauty from Transum which I have now added to my resource library. Venn Paint is not new, and it turns out that lots of teachers already use it at both Key Stage 4 and 5, but I know many of my readers won’t have seen it before. There are three different levels in this interactive task, and the final level is pretty challenging.
In other Venn news, I used some of the excellent tasks from Craig Barton’s mathsvenns.com when I was teaching sequences to Year 8 last week. They are such good tasks for prompting rich mathematical discussion. See my Twitter thread for more on this.
I had a rubbish start to the summer term. My whole family had a sickness bug, and at the same time I had Covid. Thankfully we’re all better now. I’ve had some lovely deliveries in the post to cheer me up, including Ben Orlin’s (huge) new book Math Games with Bad Drawings which is a brilliant and entertaining guide to maths games.
I also received my Maths Mr Men pin badges from Ed Southall. The Ramanujan character has always been my favourite and I was very pleased when I wore the pin to school and a student asked me who it was, giving me the opportunity to excitedly tell her all about Ramanujan.
Here are a few things you might have missed:
Meanwhile, my blog had its 8th birthday which means it’s time for another one of my annual Gem Awards posts. I’ve been working on this for a couple of weeks and hope to publish it soon!
I had a fantastic time at the MA Conference over Easter and learnt a lot of things that will be useful when I start my new Head of Maths role in September. I attended loads of great workshops and was particularly pleased to get the chance to see Chris Smith’s plenary. He is a brilliant speaker – highly entertaining.
Shout out to the crowd who were out the night before the conference – what a funny night!
I’m really looking forward to the two summer term conferences I’m attending.
The first one is #mathsconf29 which is taking place in Kettering (the home of mathsconf!) on Saturday 25th June. I’ve already written my workshop – I can’t wait to present this one.
I am also delighted that my school have agreed to let me go to the MEI Conference which is on Thursday 30th June and Friday 1st July at the University of Keele. I’m speaking on the second day. I normally pay for all my own conference-going but I was brave and requested that my school give me the time off and pay for the first day, and they said yes! I bloody love the MEI Conference, and am particularly excited to see poet Harry Baker at the conference dinner.
So two conferences in one week in June. This makes me happy. I hope to see lots of you there.