Mathematical Miscellany #49

In January 2013 I published a first compilation type post on this blog, showing a collection of resources. The title of such posts changed over the course of some posts and it was in 2016 that I wrote Mathematical Miscellany #1, looking back I see over these early collections sites that no longer exist, or use Flash, or perhaps refer to earlier specifications. Correcting / updating material is an ongoing job and I’ll work on a good index for the resources which are still useful. I thought it would be interesting here to look at a small sample of resources which are still useful now.


OCR GCSE 9-1 Check in tests

In the very first Mathematical Miscellany post in 2016, I included OCR’s Check In tests. Full details of the Check in tests with suggestions for use can be found in the Teachers’ Guide. Each test is of a similar format in that Questions 1-5 cover procedural calculations (AO1), questions 6-8 require the ability to reason and communicate mathematically (AO2) and questions 9-10 relate to problem solving tasks (AO3). There is also an extension task.

These test are still excellent and just recently new tests have been added for GCSE and for Further Maths A Level. For GCSE we have Analysing data and Interpreting graphs. (Choose a qualification, then Planning and Teaching under Resource materials).

OCR GCSE Check In tests


A site I have used for many years: Mudd Math Fun Facts. Try for example Squares Ending in 5 and Multiplication by 11 both make excellent starters, we looked at proofs as well as enjoying the mental Maths tricks! You will find more mental arithmetic suggestions on the site. You can search by difficulty and subject.


Splat – Steve Wyborney

In 2017 a resource that caught my eye was Steve Wyborney’s Splat! Definitely a resource to explore further; you can read Steve’s blog post and download the lessons here.

Steve is clearly still very busy! Have a look at his recent resources. He is posting a new math resource every school day for the rest of the school year.  You can read his plan. Also see this post on The 12 Most Popular Math Strategies and Downloads. I see the first is Splat!


westie’s workshop – AS Pure

Back in 2016, I first mentioned Gareth Westwater’s great resources (@westiesworkshop) and again some years later in Mathematical Miscellany #45 with a very welcome addition for Further Mathematics. All the past paper by topic PowerPoints are also now up on Westie’s Workshop; note that you can download the full PowerPoints as well as accessing individual sections. The PowerPoints are very clearly structured and use questions from past papers also from the sample assessment material. The resource can be used by pupils for self-study or worked through in class. For GCSE you can select AQA, Edexcel or OCR.

More updates are on the way. The video explains the very comprehensive Course Support section. This is really useful with so much in one handy place. Look at Integration for example discussed in the video and you will see that we have Dr Frost resources, Berwick Maths, Owen’s PowerPoints and much more.


Problem Solving is an open access (free) book which looks at research on Mathematical Problem Solving.

This has been added to the Free Books page.


I read an article from Science Alert back in 2016 stating that Australian researchers have discovered that school children fare better at solving maths problems when they trace their fingers over practice examples, outperforming students who simply read the questions without touching them.

Well that’s certainly easy to try and in fact reminded me of my love of dot to dot as a child. Some years ago I created some polar curves for my students. Work out the correct order to join the dots and trace out those curves! (Join the dots 4 curves for the file in case anyone wants it).

You can easily create some graphs in dots on Desmos – here’s an example: