# 365. Area of a sector structured questions

Image credit byjus.com

Believe it or not this worksheet has been sat in my Inbox since November 2016. I clicked on it and discovered this structured worksheet on finding the area of a sector, just in time to use it with my Year 9 class.

Area of a sector worksheet (pdf)

It worked exactly as I hoped, if not better. The structure helped students develop their skills. The check column ensured students used the exact value form. Interestingly simplifying the fractions caused the biggest issue – just out of practice. I’d recommend doing some work on equivalent fractions and simplifying as a retrieval activity before doing the sheet.

# 363. A-level Exam misconceptions 2022

It’s been a while, but I’m back. Crazy times and all that!

Today I’m sharing a presentation about my thoughts on the Edexcel A-Level Maths papers, from the perspective of reviewing students papers. As a KS5 Co-ordinator I am asked by students to look at borderline papers before they send them off for a paper review.

The mark schemes were very clear on where marks should (or should not) be awarded. This presentation (or set of posters) highlights the most common student errors I spotted during my reviews. I would also say that these are most frustrating issues as they are so easy to fix. Unfortunately it highlights the lack of formal external exam experience this cohort had, through no fault of their own.

These resources are geared towards the Edexcel papers, but I’m sure the skills are equally appropriate for other boards. Also a hat-tip to Jack Brown & TLMaths as I have linked one of the misconception slides to his video on hidden quadratic equations (thank you!).

Exam misconceptions 2022 (PPT editable)

Exam misconceptions 2022 (PDF)

Personally, I’m going to print these out and put them in my A-level display corner. I might use the actual presentation after the Y13 mocks to see if they’ve fallen for the same issues. I hope not!

# 361. Routes, Reindeer & Reasoning

Well, we are nearly at the end of a very crazy year. Congratulations on surviving it!

So, it’s been a while since the last blog post. Apologies for that. At the moment I am involved in Mixed Attainment teaching with Year 8. To finish off the term, I thought we deserved a bit of fun. We have a week of lessons left so I’m going for a mini project each lesson.

Lesson 1: Santa’s Route
I found this fab task on the Maths Drill website. There is a real chance for extension in this task, which is great for the mixed attainment classroom.

Lesson 2: Reindeer Ratios (Updated 13th Dec)
We have been following the White Rose Maths scheme for Year 8, which covers a lot of proportion and reasoning through ratio, multiplicative change and fractions. This task tries to cover some of these skills. The answers will be uploaded soon.

Lesson 3: Elf Box Packing Problem (Updated 14th Dec) Elf Box Packing Problem Solutions
This task involves using multiplicative change and fractional multiplication and division, with a dash of unit conversion. There is some work on shapes, but formulae are given where necessary. The first four pages print nicely into a folded A4 (A5) booklet. There is a help sheet for the box packing problem; this would be better printed on A4.

# 359. Proportional steps

Just a quick resource upload today.

Image credit: https://www.heyn.co.uk/

I’ve written a step by step resource on how to construct algebraic direct proportion relationships, including the answers.

Small steps in Direct Proportion (docx)

Small steps in Direct Proportion (PDF)

I used this with a Year 11 class who aren’t very confident with algebra. They were surprised by how straight forward the work was and were happy to now attempt problem solving with algebra.

# 358. A spatter of trig

The fabulous Mrs D (@mrsdenyer ) shared this forensics video, by crime scene analyst Matthew Steiner, on Twitter. At eight minutes in the presenter looks at blood spatter analysis. The use of basic trigonometry in a practical situation is a gift of a video for a starter in lesson.

My class were absolutely silent throughout and wanted to watch the whole video, however they may have just been trying to avoid work. I shared the video link with them via our digital classroom platform. We are now using blood spatter for 3D trigonometry examples rather then mobile phone masts. Gory, but effective!

# 357. It’s not square!

I do love a little challenge for A-level Further Maths students. They are often confident and very capable mathematicians, but occasionally overlook the small details. This challenge looks into which strategies students use when working with 3D vectors, lines and angles.

The most annoying thing? There is no single correct answer.

What is the investigation?

Students start with two points, create a line, construct two perpendicular lines and then join up the lines – did they create a square? How do you know? Justify it?

Download the instructions here: It’s not square (docx), It’s not square (PDF)

Skills required

• Distance between two points
• Equation of a line in three dimensions
• Scalar (dot) product

Solution/Discussion point

• Students need to use the same direction vector for both perpendicular lines too create a square
• The two new corners need to be n the same direction away from the original line (not one above and one below)
• It’s interesting to discuss what non-squares they made. Technology could be used to plot them in 3D.