From Simon Haines, comes an excellent new site for learners and teachers of A Level Mathematics, most definitely one to keep any eye on. Do explore. On Mathematico, you will find resources for learning and teaching online, including Videos, tutorials, interactives and more. Additionally teachers can create classes and invite students. Follow @mathematico_org on Twitter.

Quadratics – Factorising quadratics

I do like the clarity of explanations in the tutorials I have seen on Mathematico and high quality of the resources; the site is uncluttered and visually appealing. Examples are carefully chosen and progress from fluency to challenge. The Pure topics covered as I write are as follows:

Each section here leads to a new menu.

Looking at Functions for example, we see the following:

Activities are varied, looking at Domain and Range for example, we have a card matching activity.

For exercises and activities learners can choose to display hints.

One can so happily get lost in Mathematics on this site…!

As well as Pure Topics, an Enrichment section is under development – there are some lovely questions on factorials I see as well as a Geometry section.

I think the best way to describe the thinking behind this site is in Simon’s own words.

“I’m making Mathematico because I want to help students build confidence by mastering key skills, and then put those skills to use in a variety of increasingly challenging problems which highlight the connections with previous topics. I sometimes feel like my students would appreciate going through problems in more detail than lesson time allows, and they all have different needs. With Mathematico, they can practise skills until they feel ready to move on, get in depth explanations for every problem, keep on top of the course with spaced repetition, and give their teacher realtime feedback on what they’re finding difficult. I’ve been using it with my classes this year and it has been brilliant, not least because it has helped with remote learning. Over the next couple of years, Mathematico will grow to cover the whole A Level and several extension topics so students and teachers can benefit from it as a learning resource, revision guide, and hopefully a source of inspiration for those interested in STEM careers.”

Mathematical Advent Calendars

It’s December…it’s that time of year again…!

TeachIt Maths Advent Calendar Dec 1
TeachIt Maths Interactive Advent Calendar

And so to the annual update on Mathematical Advent Calendars. On Teachit Maths their Interactive advent calendar is a free sample resource available to everybody. (Remember that the free subscription on this excellent site includes hundreds of high-quality pdf resources.) Teachit Maths describe the resource as an advent calendar in the form of a presentation focusing mainly on mathematics. Suitable for KS3/4. (KS3/4 is UK age 11-16). For each day you will reveal a festive fact, joke, teaching idea, activity or game.

From Andy Lutwyche we have his Christmas Advent Calendar which covers lots of different topics in number, algebra, shape & space and data and gets progressively more difficult as you go on.

Andy Lutwyche Advent Calendar

Also from Andy, try his Advent Calendar – Solving Linear Equations. Students answer the questions (the solutions are 1 to 24) and each answer links to a word; when the words are put in numerical order an entire joke is revealed! And another…for older students, Differentiation Advent Calendar where students are asked to find the gradient of a curve at a given point. Cheesy joke included!

Andy Lutwyche Advent Calendars
Advent Calendars from Andy Lutwyche
GCSE Revision – A Lutwyche

Also from Andy, this “Advent” Calendar is a set of GCSE Higher non-calculator questions. Full answers are provided on a series of slides.
Further revision calendars are included later in this post.

Tom Bennison Integration

Staying with a calculus theme, I used Dr Tom Bennison’s Integration a day Advent Calendar last year and will do so again this year – perfect for year 13.

Mark Dawes – Mathematics Advent Calendar

Also on TES you can find an excellent calendar from Mark Dawes.
This is a lovely resource with over 30 problem-solving tasks for use in maths lessons in December. Suitable for starter activities, they span a range of abilities in KS3 and KS4. As well as the calendar the resource includes worksheets for some of the problems and an Excel file showing the difficulty of the tasks.

I do like Mark’s suggestions for use in class, he has given instructions for manipulating the resource so teachers can choose the problem they want for any day!

KS3 Calendar

For a collection of starters aimed at KS3 students try this Christmas Maths Advent Starter Calendar from MrCsMaths. This provides a nice mix of activities.

JCalderwood revision

J Calderwood has provided three Advent Calendars – Advanced Higher, HIgher and N5 Maths for Scottish Students. A great revision resource which could be adapted for different courses.

Transum Advent Calendar

From a favourite site, where you can find so many excellent resources, Transum has an Advent Calendar. Behind each door, you will find a Christmaths activity, laugh at a cracker joke and solve a mathematical word puzzle.
(See this post for more on Transum.)

Mathsvent Calendar
Try this Mathsvent Calendar from Phil BruceFor December 1st put the baubles in size order along the tinsel starting with the smallest at the bottom.

Mathsvent Calendar 1 Dec

Very usefully, you can find all 24 puzzles listed by topic. These puzzles are great, extensions are given for many of the problems too.

Nrich publishes annual Advent Calendars – one for Primary and one for Secondary. Both feature twenty-four activities, one for each day in the run-up to Christmas. Both calendars this year feature a wonderful variety of tasks from twenty-four different past features. Both Nrich and Plus Magazine have published wonderful collections of Advent resources, clearly, for an Advent Calendar, the year does not matter so we have lots of choices! See for example this whole collection of advent calendars on Nrich, note the different themes available – a Sudoku for each day perhaps? Maybe you want to play a game? The 2016 Primary Calendar featured tasks to encourage mathematical habits of mind something we need to encourage in students of all ages.

From Nrich in 2017 we have a calendar for Primary and one for Secondary each containing twenty-four problem-solving activities, one for each day in the run-up to Christmas. The secondary tasks come from the excellent Short Problems collection.

Nrich Short Problems

Fry & Evans

The Indisputable Santa Mathematical Advent Calendar comes from Dr Hannah Fry and Dr Thomas Oléron Evans who throughout December 2016, to accompany the release of their book on the Mathematics of Christmas, tweeted out Christmathsy bits and pieces, one a day, advent calendar style.

From the brilliant Mathigon site, see Puzzles 2020, and why not have a look back to their puzzles from earlier years…

Mathigon 2019 Puzzles
Matthew Scroggs – Advent Calendar

From Matthew Scroggs – try his Advent Puzzles; behind each day (except Christmas Day), there is a puzzle with a three-digit answer. Matthew is awarding prizes to ten randomly selected people who solve all the puzzles, see for details.

Access Maths Christmas Revision

Alternatively how about a Christmas Revision Calendar from Access Maths? Scroll right down this collection of very helpful GCSE Revision Resources for three Christmas Calendars, one for KS3, one for Foundation and one for Higher, also available are Christmas revision activities.

E Weston – GCSE Higher Revision Quiz

Alternatively, try this higher GCSE revision quiz, very attractively presented as an Advent calendar, answers are included.

Alex Pett – Advent Calendar

Alex Pett created his advent calendar complete with history and problems for each day. Alex has provided a pdf version or use as a Google document. For an Activeinspire resource, try this version.


Cube Buildings

A new page has been added to the top menu, Updates features recent changes to posts as well as showing recent posts.

Desmos Classroom Activity – Ben Sparks

I often check and update posts and pages, particularly very popular ones. I will use the Updates page to note any changes. So currently you will see that The Standards Unit page has been recently updated, not only with the HTML5 software but with some Desmos Classroom Activities by Ben Sparks for some of the Standards Unit Tasks.

We also have from AMSP, Where maths meets the world of work which has been added to Linking Curriculum Learning to Careers.

Further updates include links to GeoGebra resources on my Edexcel A level page and Jonny Giffiths’ wonderful publications on Free Books.

Maths Week England

This week, from November 9th to November sees the return of Maths Week England, an annual national celebration of mathematics. As well as the website, also available are InstagramFacebook, and Twitter pages. 

Note the menu item, Daily Pages, keep an eye on this during the week, each link becomes live on the day with a link to that day’s resources.

There are several organisations partnering with Maths Week England including MEI whose brilliant Sumaze apps are free from 9th November and are running a Desmos Art competition. Whether or not you or your students are entering the competition note all the instructions for creating Desmos Art. MEI has provided written and video instructions for creating art suitable for students at three different levels,

See my post on Graph Art for a little more on Art with Desmos and WolframAlpha.

Have a look at the free Primary and Secondary resources; the secondary resources include from amsp, Where maths meets the world of work. The AMSP is working on videos, which will showcase the maths in different careers; each video will be paired with a resource for the classroom or for use online, so students can get a real taste of what the job may entail. Looking at the first video ‘Try being a Data Detective’ there are 4 versions of resource available for students from KS2 to KS5 Core Maths and A Level Maths.

Gatsby 4

These look excellent, the activities highlight the importance of maths skills in careers and link directly to the Maths Curriculum. This provides superb support for Mathematics Teachers to meet Gatsby Benchmarks 4 and 5; see Linking Curriculum Learning to Mathematics.

Other secondary resources include Maths Week Escape Room! This resource is free and includes 15 puzzles with hints and answers available at the end of the 21 page document.

Various competitions are running throughout the week, remember that the Royal Statistical Society has a young statisticians section, the RSS are running a Chart Competition for Primary School aged children.

Having studied some Operational Research modules at University, I am always interested to see the outreach work of the Operational Research Society and have in fact signed up for their educational webinars running during the week at 1pm, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

To finish – a roundup of the weeks events from @maths_week:

Mathematical Miscellany #47

Experimenting with the new WordPress block editor! Looking at various posts…

Gallery Block
For some excellent resources to help students prepare for University Admissions Tests. see this updated post.

A Twitter block – Ben Gordon’s study strategies for Maths look great.

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