Mathematics in Psychology

You can also find these skills on the exam board websites, see AQA for example who state that “overall, at least 10% of the marks in assessments for Psychology will require the use of mathematical skills. These skills will be applied in the context of A-level Psychology and will be at least the standard of higher tier GCSE mathematics.”

Exam Board Teaching Resources

OCR student workbook
OCR Teaching Activities

The Association for the Teaching of Psychology has collaborated with the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme [AMSP] to support teachers of Psychology in their teaching of the maths and statistics requirements of the psychology specifications and provide free CPD and resources.

Catherine Van Saarloos – Desmos Activities for Psychology

Catherine Van Saarloos has created online resources for lessons on data collection and for the delivery of the mathematical requirements of Psychology courses. Here you will find a collection of Desmos activities.

Deb Gajic has created How to guides for non-parametric inferential statistical tests.

This information has been added to the UK Assessment series of pages where you can also find Mathematics for Science.

Compare & Discuss/Multiple Strategies

Have you seen…this important resource for our teaching?

From researchers at Harvard University and Vanderbilt University, the Compare and Discuss Multiple Strategies (CDMS) routine, and the curriculum materials for algebra courses?

Explore the curriculum materials and learn how to use the resources. See the About page for a summary of the Create & Discuss/Multiple Strategies routine which it is suggested should take about 20 minutes.

See also “One way is the wrong way to do math. Here’s the right way.” from The Harvard Gazette

Within each resource, you will find questions that could be used for discussion of the example, a “think-pair-share” routine and a “Big Idea” page that summarises the lesson objective for the example.

The teacher’s guide also explains each of the four strategies.

Compare & Discuss/Multiple Strategies – from researchers at Harvard University and Vanderbilt University

As you can see from the image here you can filter the resources by Type, Lesson Use and Topic, within each topic you will find several subtopics.

Fill in the blanks …

Trigonometry (Area) – Fill In The Blanks, Andy Lutwyche

There is also a good deal of evidence that the use of worked examples can
be helpful in introducing new ideas (Booth et al., 2017; Sweller et al., 2019).
Particularly effective are ‘completion problems’ where students are given
partial solutions and required to complete them
. These can help students to
focus on the examples but also manage the difficulty level while retaining
authentic tasks

Great Teaching Toolkit – Evidence Review, June 2020 Rob Coe, C.J. Rauch, Stuart Kime, Dan Singleton
Great Teaching Toolkit – Evidence Review, June 2020

In dimension 4, Activating Hard Thinking, we see this element on explaining. Part-worked examples can be so useful when presenting new concepts and ideas to students.

So this week, a collection of fill in the blanks type resources.

The trigonometry activity above is from Andy Lutwyche; Andy has other resources in his fill in the blanks series. Searching his TES resources on “fill in the blanks“, returns other fill in the blanks resources and also other resources where students must complete missing information such as his What was the question or Spiders collections. Some of Andy’s latest resources include his Lazy Lionel resources, Lionel does not show his working, so loses marks! We also have Hasty Hazel and Methodical Mabel, this really is excellent and I’m sure can promote excellent conversations in the classroom on misconceptions and showing sufficient working. And I must include Andy’s brilliant resource on the quadratic formula.

So many teachers share their resources, for more of this type of activity, try the following:

From Jonathan Hall on Mathsbot, try his Directed Number.

Mathsbot – Directed Number

PhET Simulations

I have used these excellent PhET simulations for many years, a page on the PhET Interactive Simulations has been available for some time. I have now created an index to the Math HTML5 sims by topic area which includes the topics covered by each simulation.

PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder,

Remember that teachers can register with PhET and gain access to comprehensive supporting documentation for each resource.

Trig Tour, PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder,

 See for example the supporting documentation for Trig Tour.

Algebra Manipulatives

Algebra Tiles

White Rose Maths

From White Rose Maths – new digital tools are free for use by teachers and parents. You can watch the short webinars introducing their first two new interactive tools – Place Value Charts & Algebra Tiles – scroll down to the Resources and CPD collection.

The very clear webinars introduce the key features of the tools.

This is an outstanding resource and very easy to use.

White Rose Maths – Algebra Tiles

For further information and resources, see this Algebra Tiles collection including an excellent read on the subject with examples which is one of NCETM’s Using Mathematical Representations at KS3 seriesAlgebra Tiles.

Purposeful Maths – Completing the Square

A recent resource on the excellent Purposeful Maths from Martin Green and Phil Bruce using algebra tiles is Completing the Square, under Quadratic Equations in the Algebra resource collection.

Algebra Discs

Using Algebra Discs from Oxford Education is a series of short videos on doing just that – using Algebra discs for addition and subtraction of integers and collecting like terms.

Starting Points Maths – Collecting Like Terms

Resources using Algebra discs:

Phil Bruce – Linear equations with algebra discs


On Jonathan Hall’s Mathsbot, in the Manipulatives collection, we have Algebra Discs.

BossMaths Algebra Discs.