305. Get Carter

Seriously, you need to Get Carter ….

Get Carter 1971 Poster

Or rather head over to the amazing website by Mr Darren Carter: MrCarterMaths.com

I don’t know where to start – in a few clicks you have access to tiered questions on a multitude of topics with answers. Answer in an exercise book or on a mini whiteboard – it’s genius! Another click and the questions change.

If that wasn’t enough, you can print out individual worksheets at each level – differentiation without a headache.

I chose to print out the three tiers and award them points. Bronze = 1 point, Silver = 2 points, Gold = 3 points. I put together a cover sheet with instructions and the students instantly had control of their homework. All I asked for was 20 points of answers. The ones who need the practise can do lots of low scoring questions, the ones who need a challenge can do fewer questions at a harder level. My task is available to download below (full credit to Mr Carter given) – It prints nicely as an A5 booklet.

Tiered Proportion Homework Booklet

Once you’ve visited the site, follow him on Twitter @MrCarterMaths

304. S1 Revision Clock

If you are a regular on Twitter you may have seen some of the many revision clocks being shared. Basically 12 questions, 5 minutes each. Students can revise up to twelve different skills, under timed conditions, hence improving exam technique. My favourites are from the lovely Mel & Jo (@just_maths & @mathsjem). Not to be confused with Mel & Sue! (Random British humour/baking reference).

teaching_wall_clock_cafepressImage credit: www.cafepress.co.uk

  • Mel’s blog post on revision clocks can be found here: Just Maths
  • Jo’s collection of revision clock resources can be found here: Resourceaholic
  • Don’t skip these links – they are good!

Now I used one of the C2 revision clocks with Y12. It was an eye-opener: some students were excellent at managing their time, some rushed the questions and wanted to move on (hence not checking their work and making daft avoidable mistakes like they have all year!), others gradually improved their time efficiency and a few ignored the time constraint and sat stuck on one question, when there were so many other questions they could have excelled at. Constructive feedback all round!

So I decided that we would do the same for Statistics. I put together a set of questions from Edexcel testbase – full credit to them is given on the sheets. They challenged my students due to the need for accuracy in calculations and the sheer laziness of not wanting to look up formulae. If you want to do the same, just download the resources here:

S1 revision clock (pdf)

S1 revision clock Answers (pdf)

You will also need to print the answer sheet onto A3: Answer sheet courtesy of JustMaths

303. Extra, extra, read all about it!

It’s that time of year again – end of year assessments. You do everything you can for your students, including ensuring all students get their SEN entitlement … but have you ever wondered if extra time actually works? Can you prove to a student that staying those extra 15 minutes is worth it? Does your SEN co-ordinator ask for evidence?


Image credit: Paper Mate Flair (my favourite felt tips as a child, now relaunched)

Now, let’s make this clear – I’m not fussy about pen colour in marking and I’d never penalise a student for not having a fancy colour pen. Student work in blue or black is fine by me.

Back to the extra time element. When extra time kicks in, get your students to change pen colour. At the end total up the marks gained in regular pen and the marks gained in coloured pen. Total them up and you have your assessment result. You also have what they would have got if they hadn’t had extra time. You have just got evidence for the SEN department and you can demonstrate whether it made a difference.

In conclusion, I did this with my Y12 students and for two students it showed they can do the work, they just needed processing time – it made a two grade difference!

302. Log Proof Puzzle

If you can guess where today’s blog image came from you obviously consume too much damn fine cherry pie and fresh coffee!

log lady

Image credit: Pinterest

You may have guessed that the topic of this post is logs. If you are introducing the rules for adding and subtracting logs or revising them, I have just the resource for you. It’s a basic proof of both rules with a twist. The instructions are in the wrong order and you must rearrange them into the right order.


Are you sure?

For those of you who have a student or two who rush everything and don’t read the instructions there is a sting in the tail. One of the lines of proof is a tiny bit wrong. The methodical student will find it, the one who races through may end up changing more than one line – hence breaking the rules.

Have fun!

Proving log rules for addition and subtraction

Answer: It’s the ‘Log Lady’ from the cult classic ‘Twin Peaks’!

301. How much is my sandwich?

A visual discussion starter for you:


These three pots of sandwich filling cost £1 each. The flavours are egg mayo, chicken & bacon and cheese & onion.
How much would the 182g chicken filling cost if it weighed the same as the others?
The large pots contain 5 servings and the small pot contains 3 servings – are they the same size serving?

If you zoom in on the picture you could generate your own questions based on the nutritional information eg calories per serving.

You could extend this to the snacks in students’ bags. Are they as healthy as they think?

300. Name that Number

Simple little starter for you today. Minimum preparation, personalised challenge.


  • Paper or whiteboards


  • Hand out mini whiteboards or use paper.
  • Write the alphabet on the board.
  • Assign each letter a value. You can go for the standard 1 to 26 or choose a mixture of big/small numbers – maybe a negative number or two.
  • Get each student to write down their name and associated numbers.
  • Write a target number eg 100 on your board.
  • Each student must use the numbers of their name to make the target. If they can’t, they must get as close as they can.
  • If they make that target either find another way or change the target number.
  • Alternatively once they’ve finished they could use their classmate’s name – did they use the same method?


  • You can make this as easy or difficult as you want by changing the target or the alphabet numbers.
  • Throw in some fractions or decimals – go all the way and thrown in algebraic indices or standard form. You are the best person to judge your students’ level of challenge..
  • You could allow surnames, you could insist all numbers are used.
  • Put three alphabet variations on the board for mixed ability teaching.
  • If you are teaching a class not in the English language (eg Welsh, Greek, Russian), where the alphabet is different, this still works just assign each letter/character a number in the same way.
  • The possibilities are huge – have fun!

Note: this isn’t numerology, it’s proper Maths!

299. Is it good value for money?

Those ‘value for money’ or ‘best buy’ questions always put some students into a muddle. The usual response is ‘The bigger pack is always better value for money, so why have I got to do working out?’

Really? Is that always true?

Try these packets of cereal (Weetabix) from Asda:

The first one says 72 biscuits for £5.68


The second one says £3 for 48 biscuits.

Put the price and number of biscuits per pack on the board and ask students what they think. Once they’ve discussed it you could ask whether they thought that kind of pricing happened in real life.  Then you can pull the starter together by projecting these pictures onto the screen/board.