Have you seen…? #4

The Kent maths puzzle from The University of Kent?

Kent Maths Puzzle

The puzzle has been set to both challenge and entertain. The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Kent contribute to BBC Radio 4’s Puzzles for Today.

#Have you seen…? is one of a series of short posts, simply to quickly provide links to interesting information and/or resources; a subset of the Mathematical Miscellany series.


Colin Foster - Instant Maths Ideas

KS3 Instant Maths Ideas – Colin Foster

For various free Mathematics books, check the Books (free) page from the Reading Series of pages; do you have Colin Foster’s lovely KS3 Instant Maths Ideas, the brilliant A Level worked examples from Hodder and the Shell Centre books in your collection?

Note that the Reading series includes these Research pages:

For news, check The Independent on Mathematics; this week we have the discovery of a new Mersenne Prime. See more on this story on the Mersenne Prime website.
Interactive Comic on Memory N Case

How about an interactive comic on the Art and Science of Memory? How to Remember Anything Forever-ish by Nicky Case (October 2018).

Such an important topic – see also Retrieval Practice.

I was very happily distracted by Nicky’s website, there is so much to explore. Try Explorable Explanations, look at these Mathematics explorations for example; try The Birthday Paradox Experiment or The Monty Hall Problem.

Explorable Explanations - Mathematics

Explorable Explanations, Math – Nicky Case


Graphing Quadratics

To help students understand the links between algebraic and graphical representations technology can be so helpful. Try Graphing Quadratics from PhET Interactive Simulations. Using this you can generate definitions for vertex, roots, axis of symmetry and compare different forms of a quadratic function. For your older students, you can define a curve by its focus and directrix!

PhET Quadratics Explorer

PhET Graphing Quadratics

PhET Quadratics Explorer focus directrix

Focus & Directrix

These interactive simulations work on phones and tablets as well as desktops.

We could also use Desmos, GeoGebra or WolframAlpha to quickly demonstrate a graphical representation.

For an excellent teaching resource for looking at multiple representations of quadratics, try Pick a Card from Underground Mathematics.

Quadratics - pick a card

Underground Mathematics – Pick a Card

Each of the cards in this interactivity describes the same quadratic function. If you reveal one card (by clicking it), can you work out the content of all the other cards? Some questions to consider and more details about the interactivity are also given.

As with all Underground Mathematics resources, teacher notes and supporting materials are provided.

See Malcolm Swan’s wonderful Improving Learning In Mathematics for commentary on using multiple representations (See section 4.2). This publication discusses effective teaching so well to help us think about just what makes a quality resource for learning.

Improving Learning In Mathematics is part of The Standards Unit. (The link takes you to a page where you can access all the Standards Unit resources.)
Multiple Representations

Nrich has many articles and tasks which encourage students to explore multiple representations.
Multiple Representations