Tidying Up!

A break is always a good time for tidying up and reorganising things!

Continuing the Use of Technology series of pages, the PhET Simulations, Standards Unit Software and Wolfram Alpha pages have been added to the series.

Added to the GeoGebra series is a new page, GeoGebra Resources-Edexcel so all the resources for GCSE and A level Maths and Further Maths are available in one place.

A recent addition to the top menu includes Updates where updates to popular posts are noted. A further new page added today is Popular Posts and Links, just a small number of currently popular posts and/or files. I see that the file of legacy coursework tasks from Edexcel has proved very popular this year as has The Workers of Zen.

Use of Technology – Graspable Math

Continuing a reorganisation of Information, I have added a series of pages on Graspable Math to the Use of Technology series.

The pages in the series:

As you can see from these pages there are many ways to learn about this excellent interface. In Solving Equations, you will see at the end of that page I have created a canvas which includes a video – you can watch a video and try the steps shown on the canvas.

The Activity Bank includes many great examples which will show you how to use Graspable Math.

Use of Technology – Autograph

A major announcement was made at La Salle Education’s Maths Conference #21 in October 2019.

Autograph for graphing and geometry is now part of the La Salle Education family and with the backing of La Salle Complete Maths, Autograph (version 5) is now available free to everyone forever. Teachers and students can download the software.

Reading the journal of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics, December 2020, and looking at the videos of the 8 tasks in the article, we see the exciting announcement that an all-device web version is due in the new year. That will be a game-changer for this sophisticated object-based dynamic geometry system in 2D and 3D; I look forward to being able to use Autograph more with students.

Do have a look at the videos of the 8 tasks which show many lovely features of Autograph.

So a reorganisation of some pages, there is now a new top level page, Use of Technology and a new series of pages on Autograph. The series will be developed further in the coming months.

Christmas Resources

…for 2020

From the brilliant Transum Mathematics try the numerous Christmas activities. Try Christmas Tree Lights for example, or for a great exercise in being systematic try Christmas Tree Trim with 8 levels; students must use the given lights to create different Christmas Trees.

I have used many of Tom Bennison’s resources, including his Christmas colouring for A Level students – these make perfect Christmas activities for older students. Have a look at his Christmas themed resources.

For the last few years I have made Christmas Cards for students using the wonderful Chalkdust resources, Matthew Scroggs has designed the 2020 Chalkdust card. You can use an interactive or pdf version.

Lucy has recently created this Maths GCSE Christmas Relay which she describes as “16 GCSE style Higher/Foundation crossover questions with a seasonal twist. Great for an end of term relay race or just as extra practice questions to do as revision.”

Perton Maths Department are providing us with Christmas challenges once again.

From STEM Learning, a present for teachers, a collection of Christmas-themed mathematics resources. I rather like 3, on Christmas Tangrams, and for when it isn’t Christmas – look at all those other Shape in the Classroom books!

STEM resource 8 is Christmas Puzzles; The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) published four seasonal puzzles from Amusements in Mathematics by Henry Ernest Dudeney, published in 1917, in their Secondary magazine. I have mentioned Henry Ernest Dudeney’s – Amusements in Mathematics before (see Free Books), the Kindle edition is free. Several categories of puzzles are available. A search on Christmas returned 23 puzzles, solutions are all provided.

This Advent Calendar collection has problems for every age from young Primary age children to A Level (UK age 16-18).

The Advent Calendar Collection, of course, include the Nrich calendars. For more Christmas Nrich resources try Christmas Chocolates    Christmas Trees      Sums of Powers – A festive Story and Elf Suits – which looks good for thinking about systematic listing strategies!

From Teachitmaths, create a masterpiece! Mistletoe & lines; the description reads ‘Practise your graph drawing skills with a Christmassy theme! Plot the given points to draw a Christmas tree, then add your own lines of tinsel, giving the equation of each one.’ The pdf resource is free, you just need to register with the site. Further Christmas activities are available.

For more plotting, try this ATM open resource, Santa Plotting. Plot the points given and note the challenge questions at the end.

From earlier years some personal TES Christmas favourites include Christmas Countdown (which although designed for daily use I have also used as an end of term activity) and Santa’s Reindeer (logic and number properties) both of which I have successfully used in class. Try this Twelve days of Christmas algebra activity or try Christmas shading graphical inequalitiesThis Operation Christmas Tree Excel resource makes a rather nice starter, it is possible to customise the tree.

On TES we have a complete set of relays from Chris Smith; my classes have enjoyed his Valentine and Summer relays, try his Christmas relay to complete this term. You can find more excellent resources from Chris on TES and follow him on Twitter here.

As with all these relays from Chris – all the answers are provided – brilliant!

These GCSE Maths Christmas Puzzles from chuckieirish look good as do the Christmas Puzzles from ryansmailes. Also from ryansnailes, try a Christmas Maths Activities Booklet. Perhaps a Murder Mystery; from whieldon on TES, a well-received worksheet, this mini murder mystery has 6 characters who have been buying presents. The character who spent the least murdered the character who spent the most, students must use the clues to identify the murderer and the victim.

Oxford University Press have some free resources including some Christmas themed problems (AO2 and AO3) for your GCSE students.

Another set of Higher (Geometry) problems is here. I like their festive Venn Diagrams, they would make a nice introduction / reminder on Venn diagrams for younger students.

From MEI, the November / December 2017 M4 Magazine includes an excellent collection of 10 puzzles and challenges for your students. Full teacher notes and solutions are included and the problems are ready for you to project for your classes. A search on the MEI site returns a collection of Christmas themed articles and activities.

MEI’s M4 Magazine archives (GCSE resources are indexed by topic) include many teaching resources, note also MEI’s Newsletters.

Here’s a Christmas tree on the Desmos Graphing Calculator site. Note this is simply a collection of lines and circles, as you can see from the syntax it is very easy to restrict x or y values.

How about a Desmos present to review equations of lines? This Christmas present graph makes a good starter.

I also created a version where the lines are all black which means I can easily change the colour of just one of the items to clearly display each.

For more on getting creative with Desmos, see Graph Art on Mathematics for Students.

Dr Matthew Lettington of Cardiff University has helped Admiral create an online tool to calculate how many baubles and fairy lights are needed for the perfect Christmas tree. Answer four questions to find out how many baubles and the length of fairy lights you need!

If you are creating any resources yourself you might want to install some Christmas fonts! (shown here: christmas lights, christmas tree and kingthings christmas)

… and a few more Christmas resources:

We could do the annual calculation and work out how many gifts are received over the 12 days of Christmas. Murray Bourne has all the answers and more on squareCircleZ or have a look at this YouTube video.

On the subject of videos, try a video advent calendar from Numberphile! The 24 video links are just below the video.

Using the excellent MacTutor History of Mathematics archive we learn that Christmas Day 1642 was celebrated on Newton’s birthday in England.

click on the image …

Christmas 2020 WolframAlpha count and other information you probably are not too worried about for Christmas Day!

An unusual Christmas this year perhaps, but still wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year. Thank you for reading and for all the various comments. Have a wonderful and well-deserved break when we get to the holidays!