I have been updating the Advanced Level series of pages (UK 16+) this will remain an important work in prgress as I teach the new Mathematics and Further Mathematics specifications during the next Academic years.

A new page is on challenging questions for this age group. The Oxford Maths Admissions Test multiple choice questions could make ideal starters (or anytime!) questions.

To really challenge your students, MAT, STEP and AEA questions provide an excellent source of questions. Dr Jamie Frost has created such a useful resource with his STEP, MAT and AEA questions all aligned to new A Level chapters. This document is 156 pages of categorised questions (brief answers are given). Also available is a pdf file of just the STEP questions.

For mark schemes see:

MAT (Maths Admissions Test), see right hand menu, question papers, followed by solutions as separate documents. For superb resources for these questions see these Underground Mathematics Review Questions where you will find not only the questions but suggestions and complete solutions.

STEP mark schemes (under STEP past papers). See also this post which includes details of a superb site for STEP questions as well as further resources; the site described has free access to fully worked solutions for STEP papers.

Ahead of Thursday’s (27th July, 8.30 – 9.00pm) #UKEdResChat on communicating educational research I thought I would check and update my Reading series of pages which includes some very useful educational research summaries.

The various pages on free books have also been checked and updated. With the new A Level Specifcations coming perhaps some of those old textbooks might come in handy and will take older readers on a trip down memory lane – anyone for Porter’s Further Elementary Analysis?!

From Harvard Graduate School of Education, see Communicating Research with readings, tips and strategies for clear expression. There are many good points here for communication generally not just in communicating research.

Select ‘Find by topic’ for a menu of Usable Topics’; try Teaching for example for a further menu including the chance to ‘Ask a researcher’. The series, Ask a Researcher, offers evidence-based guidance for the classroom in the areas of literacy, mathematics, and English language learning.

Easy to digest research on Mathematics education from Cambridge Mathematics, see their Espresso page where in their words, “Each month we bring you an Espresso – a small but intense draught of filtered research on mathematics education, expressly designed with teachers in mind. Each Espresso considers one particular issue in mathematics education, and how the latest good-quality research can provide helpful guidance or further reading.”

The latest version of this post with new activities added is here.

What to do for those last lessons?

Some of these activities would be great for any lessons, not just at the end of term. The complete collection can always be found on the End of term activities page. For readers familar with this collection all links have been checked and there there have been several updates.

You might want something other than a video, though perhaps consider a Numberphile video or I could make an exception for the counting chimps, a video I was introduced to by Alex Bellos at the SSAT conference which he included in his session and shows the astonishing recall of a chimp – compare the human!

Try some UKMT team challenges, their crossnumber puzzles make a great end of term activity. The junior materials can be found hereand senior here.

From JustMaths a great end of year pub quiz. I do like the way this ends with a round on Matchstick puzzles, this will keep our students happily busy! Note the very useful recommendation for Matchstick Puzzles from Dawie van Heerden.

Get your students thinking with some resources from Underground Mathematics. Try Equation Sodukuor perhaps LCM Sudoku. Another possibility from Underground Maths, try the Division Game.

Let your students get their phones out to play Factris, a new App published in July 2017 developed by Richard Lissaman, of MEI.

Learn the syntax for WolframAlpha, perhaps a chance for students to explore WolframAlpha, using the various slideshows, note the questions on the worksheet. Note the last slideshow on a little fun with WolframAlpha!

Explore the Desmos Graphing Calculator(and note the further reference to Desmos below, use Desmos to create some art work!)

For a main activity a Tarsia puzzle provides an engaging activity. I intend to use one to see how many of the formulae needed for the part of the course which my Year 10 students (age 14-15) will be studying next year are already known.

Have you seen Wolfram fun facts? (You can view these on Twitter whether or not you have a Twitter account). Why not try modifying these queries? Note the different cookies you can try in the cookie query shown below. You could perhaps invent similar problems! How many pizzas would it take to fill the moon?OrJupiter?

If those WolframAlpha equations are a bit much for younger students they could try something simpler using the Desmos graphing calculator; look at Alec Schultz’s PacMan for example, you could just show your students how to restrict the domain for straight lines, maybe show them the equation of a circle and see what they can produce! See this post on Graph Art on Mathematics for Students.

To generate some more pretty curves why not try Spirograph?! Students could experiment with these online versions to see the various curves that can be generated.

These logic puzzles from John Prattshould keep students happily and usefully occupied. (I have added these to the Puzzles page on Mathematics Games.) Or we could try another Kakuro Puzzle, studentswere fascinated by these when introduced to the puzzles by a member of the class. At the end of the year we often ask students to do a presentation to their peers which works well.

If you create an account (all free) on Underground Mathematics you can easily save and organise your favourite resources.

Select User from the menu at the top right, then New User to create an account. Note that you also use the User menu to log in.

When you are logged in you can add any resource to your collection by selecting the star to the right of the title. And note this resource Pick a card, which I highly recommend, think about multiple representations for Quadratic Functions. This could be used with younger students too.

See also: Tutorials – Saving favourite resources – a video from Underground Maths
To see your resource collection, select ‘Your resource collection from the User menu.

You can also use subcollections to help organise your resources.

When you display your resource collection, note the options for each resource, the first of which is the ability to add the resource to a subcollection.

Note the choice to add to one of your existing subcollections or the option to create a new one.

Note that when you display your resource collection you can select a subcollection if you wish:

See for example Building Blocks resources I personally like; I created a subcollection and downloaded as a csv file. The ability to add notes is really useful too.

As mentioned in my previous post I am continuing to develop the series of A Level pages, for students aged 16-18 which will be a major ongoing project during this Summer and beyond. With a growing collection of resources, I have now split the Resources section into a series of pages and also added a tab to the top level of this blog for I hope easier navigation.

Having just returned from an inspirational MEI Conference I have much to reflect on and will be returning to many ideas from this in future. For now I must highlight MEI’s Problem Solving – Examples and Solutions which has just been published. As well as all the problems and solutions with very valuable suggestions and commentary, MEI have provided a guide to support teachers with the problem solving content of GCSE (14-16) and A Level (16-18).

Underground Mathematics, STEM Learning and Nrich have all mapped resources to subject content which makes it simpler to look for good resources for learning which means we can concentrate on teaching well and just how our students will learn. With MEI’s Interactive Scheme of work we have a suggested resource for each unit as well as ideas for using Technology and of course crucially very helpful commentary on learning and teaching. Jonny Griffiths RISPS collection has a very clear resource listing by topic. The list goes on. All the examination boards too have very clear and helpful documentation.