# In Class …

Everybody is revising, though review of work is a regular activity for all my students all year round. I have been using a wide variety of resources detailed in the posts Revision Time 2017 and Mathematics Revision Resources.

Some recent favourites with the students:

My Year 9 and my Year 11 students all like the exam collections on Diagnostic Questions. Looking at the Insights for my classes I can see they have answered thousands of questions between them. I find it very quick and easy to create a quiz which can provide a great starter. For Year 11 I have used questions where I can see students have had the most misconceptions.

Many of my Year 9 students as I do really like David Smith’s ‘The Maths Teacher’, which includes GCSE exam questions by topic at both Foundation and higher tier. What I particularly like about David’s site is the choice between video, the video transcript or straight to questions and worked solutions. One of my year 9 students told me she had been using the various formats. She has been trying the exercises and really appreciating the very clear written solutions which she can then check with her own. She has also used the video lesson where she has been unsure of any exercise questions.

Another site which Year 9 have found helpful for revision is Transum Mathematics. A student asked for some practice questions for factorisation and I remembered the excellent Algebra activities on Transum; lot’s of factorisation practice, note the various levels.

Transum Mathematics

Questions which are working really well for Year 11 include AQA’s AO2 and AO3 questions which I have included on the AQA GCSE page and Edexcel’s Problem Solving questions – included on the Edexcel GCSE page. Edexcel have added another set of problem solving questions – 24th April. Note too Edexcel’s very useful Maths Emporium Guides to Life: to  guide for GCSE Mathematics Examinations. This applies whichever board you are using. My Year 11s will enjoy that this week!

Funny – but such wise exam advice from Edexcel

More resources which work very well are our sets of questions we have created using the enhanced results analysis. To help your thinking have a look at the AQA’s Guide to AQA Enhanced Results Analysis

AQA (use the login button at the top of the screen and then choose e-AQA box).
Edexcel Online

My Year 13 students have done many different past papers between them; I find delving into the archives to find old papers with some of the same content very useful, also using papers from other exam boards has been helpful.

I do like the fact that for GCSE the subject content is common for all boards; from September 2017 this will also be true for A Level. We can use resources from all the exam boards!

# Mathematics Revision Resources

I wrote recently on Revision Time 2017, noting several updates as well as checks of the revision series of pages. In this post – some more additions:

For GCSE, from Steve Blades on his excellent m4ths.com, have a look at his Right or Wrong Challenge, a series of 10 quick questions for Foundation GCSE students. Steve Blades has designed and written this section to test students understanding of the concepts involved in GCSE topics. Watch the video as Steve works through 10 questions and work out which answers are correct. It strikes me that many of these questions would make an excellent revision resource for younger year groups too – a great starter for my Year 9s I think! Note that Steve has very helpfully provided a pdf document with all the questions, (scroll to the bottom of the page).

I have mentioned reources from m4ths.com elsewhere, on the exam questons and solutions page I have included Steve’s eBook GCSE Higher wordy questions. On the GCSE page Steve has a section (near the end of the page) of eBooks, and one of those is on GCSE Higher wordy questions. See also Steve’s Think like a problem solver and mathematician book. And of course don’t forget his GCSE Help Book, included here for students.

PixiMaths

On Danielle Moosajee’s piximaths.co.uk you will find an extensive collection of outstanding resources for teaching and learning and revision. The Revision Resources are very clear and comprehensive revision booklets, packed with things to remember and examination questions by topic, answers are also provided. Five booklets are available for students aiming at grades 1, 3. 5, 7 and 9.

PixiMaths Problem Solving

Also from PixiMaths resources I really like the set of Problem Solving Booklets by curriculum area, all with very clear fully worked answers. Danielle has created these using collated Edexcel questions that will be on both higher and foundation tiers so can be accessed by most students. Like the first resources from Steve Blades mentioned above I think there are many useful questions here for younger year groups. We should clearly be looking at problem solving skills with all our students.

From Danielle Bartram, on Miss B’s Resources see her GCSE Maths Passports Grades 1 to 9 Revision. Five different passports are available.

For A Level I have two pages in the Revision series, MadASMaths with it’s excellent series of revision questions and solutions increasing in challenge and UK A Level (16-18) Exam Quesions and Solutions with resources good for all examination boards.

From Underground Maths, to challenge students I find the Review Questions excellent, so many excellent questions from old A Level papers clearly organised and with very full solutons.

Calculus meets Functions

From the Underground Maths team have a look at the Bundle Tying it together, which looks at effective mathematics revision. To quote Underground Mathematics “The resources in this bundle encourage students to bring together their experiences in multiple areas of mathematics, helping to reveal and reinforce connections between a variety of mathematical ideas and problem solving strategies.” Note the associated recorded webinar. I particularly like the fluency exercise Pick a Card which will be a great way to revise Quadratic Functions, linking together many student experiences in Algebra, functions and graphs; this is also useful for high ability students. What’s the shared area for these two circles? another resource  in this bundle illustrates so well how a good diagram can help.

Revision pages for students.

# UKMT Maths Challenges

The UK Maths Challenges provide a wonderful library of multiple choice problems; you can practice for the UK Maths Challenges with past papers for the Junior, Intermediate, or Senior Challenges. Questions and full solutions are provided.

As well as a full solution that does not use the multiple-choice answers further ideas are given for investigation.

Maths Challenge questions are an excellent resource at any time – not just for preparation for the competitions, particularly with the increased requirement for problem-solving skills at all levels. On the outstanding Diagnostic Questions site you can choose Junior Maths Challenge questions by topic by choosing the Themed Quizzes option. These quizzes consist of sets of four or five questions grouped by topic. (Log in to Diagnostic Questions to use the link.)

Further outstanding resources from UKMT include the Team Challenge resources.

The UK Maths Challenges are included on the Problems & Activities page.

For more sources of multiple-choice questions see this post.

# Mathematical Miscellany #11

Desmos Geometry
An exciting space to watch! Chancing upon this tweet I saw that indeed we have an exciting possibility here as Desmos does Geometry! Early days right now and this is still in early beta.

Have a play – it’s very easy to use. There are some examples to investigate. Excellent to have vectors as an option in the line tool and I like the way that once a line or segment is drawn construction options are available.

See the Desmos blog post The Desmos Geometry Tool. Such a thoughtful post. Reading it reminded me why this is one of the few websites I use on a daily basis to help my students learn.

First, our goals are different than those embodied by most of those other tools. When we design products, we design first for students who struggle with math and we assume they may also struggle with technology. We strive for a student’s first creation with our tools to feel effortless and joyful. For that reason, our geometry tool has a far shorter list of features than some of those above. We will carefully expand that list over time, never trading power for ease-of-use.

I have always said that what I like about Desmos is the ease of use. A young student can just ask for a graph of a straight line and my Year 13s can play with Polar Curves for example.

With revision for examinations very much in mind at this time of year, have a look at Tying it together, a bundle from Underground Mathematics which looks at efficient revision for mathematics; to quote Underground Mathematics: “The resources in this bundle encourage students to bring together their experiences in multiple areas of mathematics, helping to reveal and reinforce connections between a variety of mathematical ideas and problem solving strategies”. (And note the free webinar on April 19th looking at revising effectively and sharing resources for AS revision.)

Being very conscious of our first students aiming for grade 9 GCSE I particularly like the fluency exercise Pick a Card which will be a great way to revise Quadratic Functions, linking together many student experiences in Algebra, functions and graphs. What’s the shared area for these two circles, another resource  in this bundle illustrates so well how a good diagram can help.

Pick a card is a Fluency Exercise, Note that you can search resources in many ways including by type.
(More on Underground Mathematics).

Staying with the subject of exam revision, The Learning Scientists have an important post here on studying with Retrieval Practice. For further valuable resources to support study techniques see the excellent downloadable materials on study strategies. Note how each strategy is backed up by research.

MEI Maths Item of the Month example

From MEI this curriculum mapping for their Maths Items of the month resources is a great resource, both for GCSE and A Level. (This has been added to the A Level Resources page.)

See all Mathematical Miscellany compilations.

# A Level (16-18) Resources – STEM Learning

For the new A Level Specifications from STEM Learning comes this A level mathematics resource packages. To quote STEM Learning “Each resource has been hand-picked to cover key subject content in Pure, Mechanics and Statistics, as well as meet the overarching themes of mathematical argument, language, proof, problem solving and modelling.”

The package includes resources covering all the sections in the subject content given for Pure, Mechanics and Statistics in the Department for Education’s document: Mathematics AS and A level content. The references I have added to the images are those used in that subject content document.

STEM Learning A kevel mathematics resource packages

STEM Learning A kevel mathematics resource packages

Indices – Odd one out. Susan Wall

Each section begins with a reminder of the subject content and leads to several resources selected by STEM Learning, Have a look at Algebra: Indices, linear and quadratic functions for example.

Marking from Further Indices

I see some resources from Susan Wall’s excellent resources. (Resources from Susan Wall can be found in this Active A Level Mathematics collection on STEM Learning.) I do like marking activities such as the one illustrated here and have used many such resources successfully.

Exploring these resources I see familiar excellent resources such as those from the Standards Unit; note the Mostly Calculus resources and I have been happily side-tracked looking at some less familiar collections, Exponential Graphs for example which is part of the Exponentials and Logarithms collection comes from the Core Maths Support Program resources.

The collection includes a great variety of resource types, we have for example Michael Bawtree’s Prove It Algebraically

Prove It algebraically – Michael Bawtree

If you like this resource then take a look at the Virtual Textbook Secondary collection.

Turning to Mechanics and Statistics examples, we have a great variety of resources including some great use of Excel. I like this Descriptive Statistics resource very much, a combination of Excel sheets and work cards this should really help understanding. This and some of the other resources could be adapted for use with younger students too.

I see a Mechanics resource which is a link to one of the PhET smulations; I would recommend the HTML5 collection as this will work across platforms and devices.

Moments – Revision

These resources have been added to the A level resources page.