Hwb Resources….and more on Mini-Tests!

A collection of resources are available from Hwb (the all Wales Learning Platform, note this now includes all the material from the NGfL Wales website). Select Find and Use to explore the resources. The resources are also hosted on TES. (Note that the echalk resources such as the excellent transformations interactives are no longer free).

This on Developing Mathematical and Thinking Skills is authored by Melanie Blount. The resource can be used online or it is possible to download a zipped file. The concept cartoons would display very well on the interactive whiteboard and perhaps provide a useful starter activity.
Resources in this set I particularly like include Large Numbers and True Sometimes. Large numbers consists of a set of 20 questions (with the option to show answers) with big answers! With questions such as ‘How many mobile phones are in use in the world?’ this would make a very engaging lesson activity and would be ideal to use when teaching standard index form. The True Sometimes resource is a set of 10 statements; students must decide if the statements are always, sometimes or never true. (There are links to some Always / Sometimes / Never questions from other sources in the Rich Questions post.)

Week Thoughts
Last week, writing on revision I wrote about my use of  ‘mini tests’. I have used several this week with a variety of classes, with Year 12 I started with some basic calculus in one lesson and trigonometric equations in another. Watching them mark and correct their work confirmed my belief that these mini-tests are very useful; concepts and ideas we may think of as basics are not always as secure as they might be. I have started making a note of questions to ask them as I notice any misconceptions.

Coming up to examinations I often use a timed exam question as a starter which could be just a few minutes, I work out the marks per minute rate for the exam for timing.

I recently set a homework for my Year 11s to look at some specific topics and let them know they would have 35 minutes in class to answer exam questions. We then went through the questions straight away, they marked the paper and I collected their work to see how they did; I always tell my classes I am looking at their careful marking and corrections as much as their original answers. I was amused to see that one of my students had headed her paper ‘Mini-Mock’.

I have started a new page under resources for these mini-tests in case they are useful – just four there at the moment but more to come.

WolframAlpha – Handwritten!

Handwritten cubic curve
WolframAlpha: Handwritten style plot y=(x-2)(x-1)(x+3)

Reading the WolframAlpha community newsletter recently I was amused by their April fool on the introduction of the WolframAlpha Handwritten Knowledge Engine. It seems this has proved rather popular so what was originally intended for an April fool has now been made generally available. I really like the look of these diagrams, I suspect they will appeal to students and teachers, look at this number line for example.

handwritten number line

WolframAlpha: handwritten style number line

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