If you are looking for a very last minute gift for that special Mathematician in your life, or you have Christmas money to spend, may I recommend “Geometry Snacks” by Ed Southall (@solvemymaths) and Vincent Pantaloni (@panlepan)?
It is a nearly pocket sized book of geometry puzzles whose construct of simple, elegant problems can decieve the unwary into thinking the solutions are easy. This is a book for those who embrace mathematical rigour, rather than repetitious guesswork.
In fact, forget buying it for someone else – get one just for yourself!
Geometry Snacks is published by Tarquin (ISBN: 9 781911 093701)
Here in the UK there are major curriculum changes going on. There is new content in the curriculum – unless you are a certain age, in which case it’s old stuff coming back. All the current class textbooks will be missing chunks of the syllabi and who can afford to buy class sets of new ones. Canny teachers are filling the gaps with worksheets and booklets. However that in class reference for these topics is an issue.
I thought I’d get a few class maths dictionaries – you know, the little pocket sized ones. Dead-end: no one publishes them anymore. Then I thought ‘Just get standard Maths dictionaries’: no chance, they are over £10 each. I saw a celebrity endorsed child’s Maths support book in my local discount store, bright and colourful, only £5 … except it didn’t have the content for GCSE. I was about to give up when a search of Amazon took me back to 1979…
Peter Robson published his Maths Dictionary through Newby books back in 1979.
It’s got the new curriculum fairly well covered too. The diagrams date it a little, but for roughly £4 it is a little gem.There are not only facts, but examples and diagrams in an unintimidating fashion. It’s also a handy A5 booklet size.
I’ve bought one for each of my group tables. It’s available from lots of online retailers, including a bulk discount for 10 or more on Amazon. I’d suggest getting one for yourself to review and then leave in your desk drawer for general reference.
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.
Last year I put together some resources using the ‘Splitting the steps’ model which was introduced to me at a talk by Bruno Reddy (@mrreddymaths). I’ve realised I didn’t upload this one at the time!
This worksheet takes you through rearranging equations through two sets of questions, plus extension. The helpful hints and structure are gradually removed. You’ll notice that the + sign is left in, even when a – is required. This was specifically done to ensure my students focussed on opposite operations and writing in negative numbers. If you’d rather not have that, there is an editable version too.
There has been some discussion on social media recently regarding misuse of downloaded or copyright material. They broadly fall into three categories:
1. Unethical people are deliberately passing off resources as their own on both free and paid for resource sites.
2. Some people are sharing resources which were inspired by others.
3. Some people don’t know the origin of resources, but they think they are good and are sharing them via their own means (blog, social media, resource sites).
Those in category 1 are dishonest and making money/taking credit from the hard work of others. This must stop. Those who create resources and have blogs will often put a website address in the footer. It’s common sense really, but this isn’t possible for everyone and can still be removed by the most determined faker. Legal or moral copyright must be respected.
Category 2 people – why not put a credit in the footers? ‘Inspired by @Mr_Person’
You get the credit for your work and the inspiration gets the recognition for their creativity.
Category 3 people – well, a bit of housekeeping would avoid this situation. If I download and save a resource from a website I add the source to the file name.
If you still feel you must share, be honest. I posted a resource on bright vs gifted children. It was an old worksheet I found with no source reference. In my description of the sheet I stated that this was a typed up version of an existing resource and I did not take credit for its creation. If the creator asked me to remove it, I would comply asap.
All this comes down to is good manners. If we treat the work of others with respect, we treat our colleagues with respect. There is enough negativity out there to sink the merriest teacher’s boat, so we should do our best to make the teaching careers of others a smooth voyage!
A quick reverse percentages resource for you. I explain reverse percentages by using both calculations and diagrams. These resources can be used as a starter activity or as a selective discussion point. The presentations are editable and the pdf is identical to them. I hope they are useful in addressing the reverse percentages misconceptions!