Malcolm Swan

Professor Malcolm Swan, a legend in Mathematics Education died in April 2017 at the age of 64. Today, Tuesday 23rd May, the day of his funeral has been designated Malcolm Swan Day. Mathematics Teachers are acknowledging his work by using his materials in as many lessons as possible and tweeting pictures and examples using the hashtag #malcolmswanday.

MEI have dedicated their monthly magazine M4 to Professor Malcolm Swan. The magazine includes articles describing a particular item connected with Malcolm Swan explaining how that item an impact or influence on the writer’s own thinking or development as a practitioner. Note Carol Knight’s classroom resource in the magazine; some excellent ideas. I think I’ll start Year 9 today with the bus stop queue. As you can see Bus Stop Queuefrom MEI, this is taken from the Language of Functions and Graphs which you can download free from STEM Learning. Both the book and masters for copying are available.

I was fortunate to meet and talk to Malcolm Swan at an event for Maths teachers at Greenwich University some years ago. Having discussed a problem he had spoken about, always cautious about making sure it is permissable to store and share resources I asked him if it would be OK to upload his wonderful Improving learning in mathematics: challenges and strategies to my own blog. He said – “of course”. I think this should be compulsory reading for all Maths teachers. It is certainly something I have often referred back to.

My own favourites include the brilliant Standards Unit Resources. This is available from many sources, my go to source is appropriately I think from The University of Nottingham.
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With all my examination classes on Study Leave I don’t have many lessons today but I do have Year 9. After we have started with the Bus Stop Queue which is a good choice having seen one or two misconceptions in a recent school examination I want to do some Algebra. Mostly Algebra has several resources which work very well indeed and I have used many times. Today I think we’ll have a little Number Magic! Note the html resources too, the Number Magic pyramid for example.

More later when Year 9 have tried this.