Coordinate Geometry – Underground Maths

geometry-of-equationsExploring Algebra Review Questions from Underground Mathematics I came across some Coordinate Geometry questions I really like and yesterday spending a day with the very talented writing team and my fellow Underground Mathematics Champions we explored Straight Line Pairs, a question with much scope for exploration and possible methods of solution.
straight-line-pairs

The image above straight-line-pairs-1has been created from the Printable/supporting materials.

My Year 11s will be looking at Coordinate Geometry this week and I have some other questions I would like them to try. It is possible to create pdf files for a collection of questions, see Saving Favourite Resources, one of Underground Mathematics’ How To Videos. (See the tutorials page I have in the Underground Maths series of pages – a work in progress).

coordinate-geometry-resource-collection

You will find a whole collection of such questions if you look at Geometry of Equations. This includes many resources including Review questions. Note the Building Blocks resources. I think I’ll be using Underground Mathematics resources with ever younger students – Year 9 can try Lots of Lines! You will see from the the supporting materials that this has come from the brilliant Standards Unit (A10) collection. Students must sort the lines into six pairs, each pair matching one of the given descriptions.
lots-of-lines
Staying with the Building Blocks I do like Straight Lines where students must decide which of 17 equations are equations of a straight line.
Look at the list – a wonderful lesson in not jumping to conclusions here! Both my Year 9 and my Year 11 are going to be trying these this week!

ax^2+2hxy+by^2=0.

Straight Lines reminded me of Line Pairs, I feel an extension for Year 11 coming on!

 

Underground Mathematics Algebra Review Questions

Underground Mathematics provides such an outstanding collection of resources that I have begun to create a series of pages on the site. The resources are not only good for Advanced Level but for GCSE students too, particularly for students aiming at the very highest grades. This series of pages is very much a work in progress which I will be updating regularly.

I have used many of the Review questions for my able GCSE students. As you can see from the descriptions of  resorce types, the review questions are ideal for the new GCSE specifications as they have been selected to test students’ understanding of one or more topics and to exercise their problem-solving skills. The questions which have been chosen require non-routine thinking. You can browse all the Review questions or narrow your search by question type; note the O/AO-level questions which are questions from old papers. One can also search by line ( Number, Geometry, Algebra, Functions or Calcuus) and by Station.
underground-mathematics-review-questions

If you create an account you can easily save and organise your favourite resources. This list of favourites can be easily downloaded as a csv file. To further organise your favourites you can create subcollections.
subcollections

This too is a work in progress, I will create a collection of resources I believe are particularly useful for GCSE. I have several Algebra favourites so far. This Excel file has hyperlinks to all the resources shown here. algebra-gcse-9-1. Alternatively this pdf file also has the relevant hyperlinks. algebra-gcse-9-1
algebra-gcse-9-1

Iterative Methods

Looking at the new content for UK GCSE Mathematics a completely new entry on the specification is “find approximate solutions to equations numerically using iteration”.

Teaching the new specification this year I needed to work on this and wrote this post;
GCSE New Content – Iterative Methods for Numerical Solution of Equations.

I see from my blog Statistics that this is a very popular post so have made it my first summer holiday job to update it.

Note the additional section on Further Resources / Questions (scroll down the post).
Eq solved by iterative method

 

Review Questions – Underground Mathematics

Underground Mathematics - QuadraticsI wrote earlier on the wonderful resources on Underground Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Thinking about the new A level specifications  I believe this site will provide us with rich resources for these new specifications.

Each section includes Review Questions, look at Thinking about Algebra for example; scroll down the different resource types for the Review questions for this station.

Alternatively you can browse all the Review questions.

Review Questions - types
An excellent feature of Underground Mathematics is the excellent search facility; we could look at the Review questions by type. One can also search by line ( Number, Geometry, Algebra, Functions or Calcuus) and by Station.
Review Questions - search

See the example question below, for each review question you will find the question, a suggestion, the solution and sometimes suggestions for taking it further with for example GeoGebra resources.

Note the star by the title – if you choose to log on to the site (you don’t have to but it’s a very good idea!) you can save any favourite resources to your collection.

Review Question - Gemetry

I can never resist a quick illustration on Desmos! I think I’ll start an Underground Maths Desmos collection! Note the use of the hyperlink on Desmos to link to the question.
Select the image for the Desmos page.
Desmos illustration

I think we have a wonderful supply of excellent questions here to challenge our students and help them see connections between the various areas of the subject. These are ideal to use with A Level students; some are also useful for higher level GCSE students aiming at those top grades or Level 2 Further Maths students. Any student who wants to study Mathematics at university should certainly be using this site.

Solving Linear Equations

A collection of resources to use to demonstrate and practise solving equations.

Student Exercises
I find Owen Elton’s worksheet, Balancing Equations on TES Resources very useful when introducing equations, the diagrams emphasise that we must do the same to both sides.
(See Diagrams in Mathematics, for more on the use of diagrams to help understanding).

Balancing Equations

Balancing Equations – Owen Elton

Linear Equations - Don Steward

Linear Equations – Don Steward

As an alternative to the balance approach, consider this doing / undoing approach, described here by Don Steward, this is an approach I use for finding inverse functions. The exercises Don refers to are here.

A2 - Mostly Algebra

A2 – Mostly Algebra

One of the Standards Unit resources, A2 Creating and solving equations (in Mostly Algebra) uses this approach, students create an equation and  then undo it; this is a great exercise for demonstrating notation. Another resource with this approach comes from the Mathematics Assessment Project (the design and development was led by the MARS Shell Center team at the University of Nottingham) Building and Solving Linear Equations lesson

For a superb collection of ideas and student exercises for solving linear equations see all Don Steward’s posts tagged linear equations. Many of these outstanding resources use a very visual approach with very clear diagrams to help students’ understanding.

Diagnostic Questions

Diagnostic Questions

There are numerous questions on linear equations on Diagnostic Questions.


WolframAlpha solve equationA simple way to check a solution to an equation of any type is to simply enter your equation as a WolframAlpha query. Note that WolframAlpha includes a graphical illustration; it is so important for students to understand how equations may be solved graphically; I always illustrate graphical solutions when we are working with Algebra to help students make these links. Desmos of course, is ideal here.
Desmos & solving equations


Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching
CIMT Interactive Resources
CIMT
have tutorials on equations: Linear Equations 1, Linear Equations 2, and Linear Equations with Brackets in their Interactive Resources


The following three resources work well for demonstrating the balance method of solving linear equations.

Duncan Keith’s Linear Equation Calculator is available on STEM Learning.


Choose the type of equation you require then the sequence of operations required to solve the equation.
Select Do it after each operation, for example -32 Do it were the keys selected to start the above problem.

The slideshow below shows how to use the calculator to solve equations where the unknown is on both sides.


Mathisfun

Mathisfun

Mathisfun

Mathisfun has this very clear and easy to use interactive illustrating the solution of linear equations.