Resourceaholic: 5 Maths Gems #162

Lisa R. Parker
Welcome to my 162nd gems post. This is where I share some of the latest news, ideas and resources for maths teachers.

1. Scaffolded Tasks
Thank you to @JaggersMaths for sharing a highly accessible Pythagoras task with lots of scaffolding.

And here’s an extract from another task which is structured to make it both accessible and challenging. Thanks to @scott_math83 for this set of probability tree questions.

2. Number Etymology Video

@berniewestacott shared a lovely video ‘Why is Eleven not called Oneteeen?’. This is a really interesting summary of some of the etymology of numbers. I love this kind of thing.

3. Angles
Teacher and task designer @SegarRogers shared a set of clever angles tasks designed to give students a deep understanding of complementary angles.


He tweeted his tasks here, here and here.

4. Indices

@giftedHKO shared an indices task that she used with her Year 10s last week. I’m also teaching this topic to Year 10 at the moment, so this was a well-timed tweet for me! She had them complete a grid with all the powers of two through to ten up to the fifth power. This supported them in completing fractional indices questions with larger numbers.

5. Fractions
@robertkaplinsky shared a challenge from openmiddle.com which might be suitable for Year 7s doing fractions. This lovely task is written by @IanKerr_math.

Update
I love September – teaching new classes is so exciting – but it’s always manic and exhausting isn’t it? I’ve been struggling with mixed feelings in my new role. I’m loving being Head of Maths again – I’ve done this job before so I feel very confident in the role, plus I get to spend all my time focusing on the thing I’m most passionate about (maths!). But at the same time it’s frustrating for me to step down from the senior leadership team after three years of putting my heart and soul into building a new school. I know I’ll get used to it. I must keep reminding myself of all the benefits of changing role – I no longer spend two hours a day on systems and spreadsheet work, because they’ve now hired a data officer to do these things. Instead, I’ve been swamped with Year 11s asking for help with maths at every opportunity (we’ve not had Year 11 in this school before, so this is a novelty for us!). So I’m still just as busy as I used to be, but I think my expertise is being put to better use now. I might blog separately about some of the things I’ve already done in my capacity of Head of Maths, and some of the things I’ve planned, as this might help support new Heads of Maths. Watch this space.

Another thing I’m massively enjoying this year is teaching AQA’s Certificate in Further Maths GCSE. Six years ago, my timetable was mainly A level. I now haven’t taught A level for so long, I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it. Certificate in Further Maths isn’t A level, but I’m teaching stuff like Binomial Expansion and Trig Identities, which I love. I have a class of 31 keen mathematicians who meet after school every Wednesday. It’s going to be a rush to get through the content – this week we were doing some work on exact trig values and I discovered that their fluency in working with surds isn’t quite where I expected it to be – but I think I am going to absolutely love teaching this course.

Here are some things from Twitter that you might have missed in the last couple of weeks:

  • @mathsaurus shared his free online course to help students prepare for the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge which take places on 4th October 2022
  • @Ridermeister shared his problem solving booklet containing 151 problems aimed at Year 13s who want to prepare for a university interview in Mathematics.
  • @PiXLMattTheApp shared a tool to create a bespoke maths newsletter in thirty seconds! With this tool you can create a newsletter that could be sent home to parents or used as a form time activity.

In other news, I loved wearing my new mathsy Popsy dress ‘Marva’ at school last week. I will wear it again on our Open Day in a couple of weeks. Colleagues keep asking me how many maths dresses I have. Five! One for every day of the week.

I look forward to seeing you all at some of the conferences coming up in the Autumn term. I’ll be doing a new ‘Topics in Depth’ presentation on area at #mathsconf30 in Manchester on 15th October (I hope! I’ve booked a train to Manchester, but due to issues with the train operator, there are currently no trains home on Saturday or Sunday. This is stressful!). I’m also speaking at the Pixl Maths Conference at The Oval on 12th October. And if you work for Harris, I’m speaking about Key Stage 3 challenge at the Harris Federation October Conference at the ExCeL Centre on 14th October. While writing this I’ve realised that I’ve unintentionally agreed to do three conference presentations in one week! Oops – sounds intense! Luckily I will be on half-term the following week to recover.

I’ll leave you with this surdic expression to simplify –  your GCSE students might enjoy this. This was shared by @mathisstillfun, a great account to follow for regular maths problems.

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