Feb 2020

2020 update – Have you tried PhotoMath? Some of my Sixth Form students were checking some integration examples using this recently, it seems very easy to use and for the examples I tried looked very helpful.



PhotoMath is a free camera calculator phone app available on Android as well as iOS and Windows. To use point the camera towards a printed mathematical expression and the app gives the solution, step ­by ­step solutions are also available. Problem types are  shown in the examples here and it can be a bit tricky to focus the camera sometimes, particularly where problems are very close together on a page but this is rather clever! The app supports handwriting recognition.


Photomath Examples

Experimenting, I have found that the app works if you point the camera at a screen, so one could zoom to an appropriate size first. Try these equations in the Year 7 text on CIMT for example:

CIMT Linear Equations

CIMT Linear Equations


Select for video demonstration

Select for video demonstration on Vimeo

Good Mathematicians Can Go Backwards

To be updated Saturday 18th June 2022 following my session at UCL Institute of Education.

Explaining to my Advanced level students recently that they need to know material like the laws of logs backwards and forwards because they don’t always immediately recognise the right hand side of a rule they know when seen in isolation, it struck me how often I talk about going backwards!

So, this week some ideas and resources for thinking backwards! (The presentation has been added to the series of Presentations pages in case I, or anyone else wishes to easily find it again!)


Box Plots with Plotly (& more Statistics Resources)

Nobel Prize winners by field
I have written on Plotly before. I will be revising Statistics with my Year 11 (UK age 15-16) class this week in preparation for their GCSE exam, so the latest Plotly blog post on Three Things That You Can Do To Explain Your Data is very timely.

I plan to use the Nobel Prize Data plots to revise Box Plots and importantly the interpretation of the plots. Whilst outliers are not on the specification for GCSE, they are for the A Level students and I believe that wonderfully clear outlier for for the Noble Peace Prize is worth a mention for all of them!

Fork and editNote that you can play with the data! If you then choose to Fork and edit, you can save the file so you can modify it for your own use; you will need to create an account (free) or sign in with social media. Choose Traces and you will see several options, you can choose to show points or not for example. Note the Style tab too where you have several options to customise your chart.

Plotly box plot traces options

Box Plots & Skew

Select the link to play with the data

You could use this to create your own charts – simply choose your theme, edit the data and choose your options to create very attractive and clear charts. I like the way the data can be displayed as well and created some simple box plots to demonstrate skew:

For more resources on Statistics see this page, also the worked examples plot

For more resources on Statistics see this page, also the worked examples here.

(Post for students on Box Plots)


Revision – day in and day out

That quote from Robert Collier seems so appropriate when it comes to revision. This academic year I have used the day in, day out approach even more with my students, frequently reviewing earlier work even for short sessions. I am convinced this is important in our teaching and help makes things stick for our students.

Once again we are in the final run up to examinations, so I thought time to check the various revision resources I have highlighted on this blog. The list seemed to be growing ever longer so I have created a new series of revision pages which I hope makes resources easier to find.

I’ll be combining some of the ideas with my classes, for example a treasure hunt (we will be using this TES resource – GCSE Revision – Trail Cards) will make a change but before we start wandering round the room we will discuss some hints for some of the questions first. As a starter the students will complete a worksheet with some blanks to fill in so I think they are prepared to tackle the questions. (I will upload this later).

Wishing teachers and students everywhere a successful final revision period.