Calculator Questions

Just a quick post this weekend…looking forward to the BCME Conference this week where I will be presenting two sessions, one on Low Stakes Testing in the Mathematics Classroom and one, co-presenting with Julian Gilbey on the brilliant Underground Maths resources. I will update this blog with details of both of these sessions.

A quick look at Twitter this morning and I noticed this tweet from the ADA Project, a free Mathematics Question Bank with no login required. The ADA Project is created by Sam Powell, a mathematics teacher from the UK, working in Australia. All questions have answers, some have a fuller solution and a video explanation. The site is a work in progress with questions added regularly. I rather like this calculator exercise which caught my eye today; students can check that they can key in all the calculations correctly by answering the questions and checking their answers.

ADA Calculator Questions

On the subject of recurring decimals, some older calculators have dedicated buttons, with others like the Casio Classwizz, for example, there is a way…
From the very helpful Calculator Guide:

Returning to the ADA Project, several categories of questions are available; look at Algebra for example and we see some nice use of colour in presenting a solution to a problem expanding double brackets. These examples could be helpful for students when revising.
ADA Project Algebra

On the subject of colour in Mathematics…

Easter Mathematics 2018

It’s Easter time again, so time for some Mathematical Easter treats!

Also a post for students – a puzzle from Mathisfun which is just an excuse to solve some simultaneous equations (and how to do it on Excel with the neat MINVERSE function!) The post also includes some notes and examples for students on simultaneous equations.

Chris Smith - Easter Relay

Easter Relay – Chris Smith

From Chris Smith, try his great Easter relay and note the whole set. I have used many of these very successfully – have fun whilst doing plenty of Maths!

Google - easter

WolframAlpha, of course, can show you some graphs of Easter eggs!

Darth Vader curve
Darth Vader on WolframAlpha – select image

I have noticed whilst using WolframAlpha random suggestions of queries popping up that somebody out there thought I might enjoy (very worrying how right they are!); this popped up – typing, for example, Darth Vader curve into WolframAlpha gives you just that! And my favourite Dilbert and associates are all there too!

On the subject of Easter eggs, I must return to this definition. An updated edition of…
WolframAlpha – a little fun! 

Easter Egg AutographFrom an Easter post some time ago, Douglas Butler created this Easter Egg in Autograph, just enter:
x²/4 + y²/4 + 5z²/36 = 1
and: r = z + 3.5
Autograph Easter Egg

Happy Easter to educators and their students everywhere! Why not give your students a calendar from Just Maths, so they can do a little bit of Maths each day…?

Calendar Just Maths

Just Maths – a little bit of Maths every day



Mathematical Miscellany #20

SSDD tweet Craig Barton

Last week,  I mentioned Craig Barton’s two latest websites; Maths Venns and SSDD Problems – Same Surface, Different Deep Structure maths problems. Read more on the website.

I was amused by Craig’s tweet to see that it’s not just himself, his wife and his Mum using his SSDD Problems website!  Take a look at the many problems now available.  The menu on the right is helpful for finding problems. I rather like f(x) and g(x). The topic menu offers the chance to find more problems on functions; try function notation.

f(x) and g(x)
f(x) and g(x) – SSDD Problems

For Chalkdust Magazine, Rob Eastaway thinking outside (and inside!) the box with the nine dot puzzle and extensions.
Don Steward has also featured this classic puzzle in his post, Dot Connecting.

9 dot puzzle
9 dot puzzle illustrated on Desmos

I often update posts, particularly very popular ones. As people bookmark the original I want the original address to be unchanged. I thought I would add a new indicator to show when a post has been updated. Here we have for example – Functions.

Maths Genie Functions
Maths Genie – Inverse and Composite Functions

SPrice Legacy questions mapped to Further Core Pure.
Stuart Price (right-click once you have followed the link and you will be able to save the image) has very helpfully mapped legacy A Level questions to the Further Mathematics Core specification. This has also added to Mapping Documents, part of the A Level Reform series.

On Saint Patrick’s Day, (check Wolfram Alpha anniversaries and more for March 17th) it seems appropriate to have a look at Project Maths, an Irish site supporting Mathematics teachers. Looking at the teacher area, many resources are available. The traditional Leaving Certificate examination is the terminal examination of post-primary education and is taken when students are typically 17 or 18 years of age. These  teacher resources are for this group of students. A site well worth exploring, looking at Algebra we see for example under expressions:

Project Maths Student Resources Index
The student resources include many activities with accompanying GeoGebra files.
Project Maths Student Resources
Modulus Inequalities Project Maths

Integration and area

These whiteboard templates caught my eye, simply download the file, project it onto your whiteboard, use the interactive menu to choose the background you need and start writing!

Project Maths - Whiteboard Templates
Project Maths Ireland – Whiteboard Templates

Mathematical Miscellany #19

A series of resource updates this week…

Edexcel Codebreaker

Edexcel Worksheets – Codebreaker from @Just_Maths

The Problems and Activites series of pages, still a work in progress in the never-ending quest to make things easier to find, has had several updates, including a new page dedicated to the many excellent teaching resources from the Examination Boards. All the examination boards have excellent teaching resources.

The Problems and Activities Links page is just that, a simple list with brief descriptions. Further detail of resources can be found on the Problems and Activities Resources page. Further resources will be added in the coming weeks.

A new addition to the Examination Board resources is the result of the collaboration between MEI and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET); a set of maths resources.  This set of 20 KS4 activities have been created, aiming to:

  • address a range of GCSE Mathematics content
  • promote the development of reasoning and problem solving skills
  • make connections with engineering contexts and/or settings
  • promote student discussion and communication


MEI – IET Project Resources


Updates are regularly made to the 16+ Resources series of pages where you can find excellent teaching resources for this age group.

AQA has recently published a particularly valuable document, a commentary on their specimen papers, in which Dan Rogan, Chair of Examiners, explains how the specimen papers were created and how mark schemes will be applied.

AQA AS example

Note the new and very clear mark schemes which include a typical solution on the right-hand side. These will be very helpful for students. The document all includes information on how the use of calculators will be assessed.

AQA Mark Scheme example

The AQA page on specifications has been updated accordingly.

Venn Activity Craig Barton

Maths Venns – Craig Barton

Checking the tweets from Maths Conference 14, held in Kettering, note that Craig Barton has created a website SSDD Problems – Same Surface, Different Deep Structure maths problems. Read more on the website and you could get involved. Craig has created another new website Maths Venns; I have mentioned his excellent Venn activities before, they now have a dedicated website.


Women in Mathematics

March 8th 2018 is International Women’s Day.
We’ll start with an image I first shared two years ago that I think still says it all! Thank you Steve Lomax who shared this wonderful response to the task ‘Describe a mathematician’ from Mansfield Green E-ACT Academy.


Some useful references on women in Mathematics:

And for some History

On the subject of Caroline Herschel, are you aware of all the amazing stories of women in space? I highly recommend Libby Jackson’s A Galaxy of Her Own.