Just over three years ago I started writing compilation posts, a kind of newsletter-style – a mix of mathematical goodies. I was inspired by Doug Belshaw’s Thoughts This Week – now **Thought Shrapnel**. It’s been on my blog to-do list to revisit this idea again; how appropriate that Doug’s Thought Shrapnel today includes newsletters he enjoys. I was very happily distracted by some of these great compilation posts this morning and particularly struck by a post from Doug’s first suggestion Austin Kleon – important for any blogger, **What to leave out and what to leave in**. Some great quotes there including Elmore Leonard’s:

“Try to leave out all the parts readers skip.”

(Wondering which bits you are all skipping here!)

So I decided it was time for a new title for posts of this kind – hence ‘Mathematical Miscellany’. Previous compilation posts can be found under the category (note the drop down menu on the right for categories) **Mathematical Miscellany**.

**In class**

With my Year 10 GCSE class I used some ideas from a site I often use: Mudd Math Fun Facts. **Squares Ending in 5** and **Multiplication by 11 **both made excellent starters, we looked at proofs as well as enjoying the mental Maths tricks! You will find more **lightning arithmetic** suggestions on the site.

**Resources**

OCR have published some very useful new resources; I have written before on their **Check in tests**. New tests for Foundation and Higher have been added. The Higher resources include Triangle mensuration, Language of functions and Algebraic expressions; these really are excellent resources and I will definitely be using all of them.

The **GCSE New Content pages** are updated regularly, note all the further resources at the end of that page, including from the wonderful Just Maths, **GCSE questions by topic**.

**Assessment**

Published this month we have the **KS2 Mathematics 2016 teacher assessment exemplification**, and also the **KS1 version**. Clearly teachers of secondary age children need to know what students are covering in Primary school. These documents have been added to the **GCSE New Content** page.

**Reading**

If you read just one blog post this week – from 2014, but Tom Sherrington’s **10 Silver Arrows: Ideas to penetrate the armour of ingrained practice **is as valid now as it was then. I think these ideas are important for any teacher to reflect on – I’m pleased to see 6, a subject I have often written on (see **Mini Tests**).

“Tests are good.”

**…and finally**It’s coming up to that time of year again, I see Valentines cards in the shops, save your money and send your loved ones (or anybody!) a math-o-gram!

In what happily seems to have become an annual tradition Desmos have provided you with the means to **send a math-o-gram **to the mathematicians in your life!

Geeky people you could even use the **Desmos API …**

Valentine’s Day seems an appropriate time to express love for Desmos!

Elsewhere – **express your feelings for WolframAlpha!**

and here’s **a logic starter from Transum for Valentine’s Day**!