Mathematics Subject Special – UKEdChat

UKEdChat Maths

The UKEdChat Mathematics Subject Special was on Thursday 23rd October, the previous link now includes a record of the chat.

Note the questions raised during the chat:

  1. What are some of your key mathematical questions you use in lessons? Share your favourite maths starter activity.
  2. What are your favourite maths resource sites for inspiration? Who are inspired maths tweeters you follow?
  3. Which maths topic do your students struggle the most with? What support strategies do you use for them?
  4. Homework … Which are the most successful strategies you use for maths?
  5. Maths and computing go hand in hand. How are you tapping into this connection?
  6. Final call. Please showcase your favourite aspects of maths teaching / resources / tips.

I have mentioned many resources you may find useful in connection with many of the questions in my ‘Resolutions for Mathematics Teachers” reproduced here:



It started with a tweet!

Sine curve & transformations

I noticed a tweet from Darren Kuropatwa..
DK tweet1

Here is what Darren was referring to, a video made by Desmos on exploring the sine function:

Sine function with sliders

Sine function created on Desmos by Darren Kuropatwa

Darren has recreated that graph here.

Now I rather like that and thinking it would be useful for my revision session this week with a GCSE (UK age15-16) class, decided I would simplify it so it was more suitable for my students. I changed  the units to degrees and restricted the transformations more so it was more in line with our specification (these students are studying for a second GCSE in Mathematics – AQA Further Mathematics level 2).

Along came Desmos having seen the Twitter conversation..
Desmos tweet

and look at the awesome graph Desmos created which shows a sine curve and a transformed curve clearly illustrating how each point is changed.

We could for example translate the curve 2 units parallel to the y axis:
sine curve and translation

Using the slider for angle we see very clearly that each y coordinate is increased by 2.


Thank you Desmos (and Darren!)

Happy Easter

Happy Easter 2017! (Click the link and WolframAlpha will tell you more than you wanted to know about Easter Sunday!)

Since it’s a holiday we should be relaxing! A conversation on Twitter (click the link for an updated post on Twitter) this morning reminded me of the excellent Set Game – a daily puzzle which is provided by the new York Times for age 6 – adult.

For many more puzzles and games see one of the companion blogs to this on Strategy Games and Puzzles. 

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.

Why Twitter?

Why would a teacher want to use Twitter?

Because just a few minutes spent on Twitter can be very productive. Take this tweet from Craig Barton on an excellent resource – perfect for my Year 11 students revising for their GCSE module in the summer.

Being very selective in who you follow allows you to connect with teachers and other educators beyond your own institution.

Resources I discovered through my early investigations of Twitter –  included Maths posters to download. 

I was also interested to see that teachers on Twitter have shared teaching tips and ideas; see the #movemenon book, from Doug Belshaw (the pdf is free to download).

Some further examples:  Mathscareers Website,   Wolfram Fun Facts  and Mathslinks

For a quick way to find Mathematics related tweets do a search on the hashtag #mathchat.

For learning to use Twitter see Russell Stannard’s training videos and some Twitter bookmarksnote the very clear Twitter Lingo guide from Mashable.

See other posts featuring Twitter and Mathematics Conversations.

So why do I use Twitter (and Diigo and belong to various teaching communities and..)?
For the reasons so well explained by Sacha Chua in her ‘Teacher’s Guide to Web 2.0 at School’.

Searching for things!

Looking at the statistics for this blog I see that I’m Looking For…. is popular.

How to find things again?

My own solution – Evernote because its search facility is awesome (here’s why), even when I don’t tag resources all that well, Evernote finds them again! Evernote still features highly in Jane Hart’s Top Tools for Learning 2016
Evernote is the ultimate online notebook – an outstanding application for capturing just about anything you want from wherever you want and finding it again! I would recommend it for both teachers and students. Create a note using a phone or any web browser or use a desktop application. Evernote have created a clear guide to getting started.

As a teacher I use Evernote all the time and have a notebook for each class I teach as well as numerous other notebooks.

I also use Evernote shared notebooks as a way of sharing information, for example see Mathematics videos. Having used a shared notebook to share some useful resources with students at school, some students then created their own accounts.

The free version of Evernote is excellent and more than adequate for millions of users! (Millions of users has to be good – I don’t think Evernote will go away any time soon!)

For a simple way to bookmark favourite websites I like Diigo because I can then access my favourite sites from anywhere but lately, wanting to be sure of a backup plan – I have been sending all my bookmarks to Evernote courtesy of ifttt (if this then that).Using ifttt I can automate tasks such as sending my Diigo bookmarks to Evernote – there are many applets available to copy.

A word of warning to Twitter users – don’t automatically thank someone for mentioning you in a tweet! If you take part in Twitter discussions your stream can suddenly turn into a constant ‘Thanks for the mention.’ series of tweets and I share Kelly Clay’s sentiments in his blog post that automating social media can make you ‘look like a jerk‘!

I also use my WordPress blogs to gather together groups of sites for example Mathematics Starters and Plenaries, Calculators on Mathematics for Students and Games.

If you are wondering where you put your keys see Professor Solomon and his 12 principles to lead you to your lost object!