#mathsconf4 took place on Saturday 20th June in London and I was lucky enough to attend my second #mathsconf having been to the previous one in Birmingham. Check out my previous blog post on #mathsconf3 here.

At #mathsconf4 I took part in 4 different sessions, each of which had their own things to share and I learnt a lot from each. I'll outline each of these below. However, before the first session we had the traditional 'speed dating' event. The event came with a lot more pressure this year - the final 'date' being the potential future wife according to @LaSalleEd! No such luck. However...I did pick up some great ideas that included:

1) from Chloe - a healthy reminder of open questioning and how she'd taken one of her school's units of work and created open questions from their previous statements. For example, rather than showing a triangle and asking what the shape was she'd ask 'what facts/statements do you know about this shape'?

2) from Miguel - www.graphingstories.com - I love the look of this website. Students get given a blank graph and then are shown a small video clip (one of Dan Meyer's) and are then asked to graph the story that is being shown in the video. For example, Miguel showed me one of the videos where students had to record the distance an object was from the camera over the time the video was recorded. The video clip is shown 3 times, once in normal speed, once in slow-mo and again with the iterations of time included. I'll definitely be including this in my teaching of real-life graphs next year - it's going in our SoW too as a suggested resource.

3) from Chris - I really like this idea...when teaching rotations or transformations: give students a set of axes with a shape in one quadrant and just ask them to rotate/reflect the shape - no other information than that and then just see what they come up with. Don't ask them questions, don't hint at anything and then get volunteering students to come to the IWB to draw on where they reflected/rotated their shape. Loads of discussion can then be had as to the direction, centre, number of degrees, line of reflection, etc.

After the 'speed dating' session I went straight to the first of my 4 sessions...

The first session I chose to go to was @MissBResources' 'Inspiring Independence and Progress'.

I'll say at this point that I recorded loads of notes on my iDoceo app as a separate 'lesson' on my planner - this made it very easy to refer to as it's stored under the right date, etc and is just another wonderful use of the app - I will be writing a post about this soon as I've used it all year for the first time instead of a traditional 'school planner'!

Referring back to my notes I took away lots from Danielle's session...

Danielle reminded me of @c0mplexnumber's growth mindset displays that would be great for our Mathematics corridors. This also reminded me of an idea @mathsjem spoke about at the last conference about having students 'success stories' on display when they had overcome something in their learning to succeed in their Mathematics.

Here are @c0mplexnumber's displays from the TES:

https://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/growth-mindset-displays-6441854

and

https://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/maths-classroom-displays-6441851

The next thing Danielle spoke about that I'd jotted down was having whiteboards on tables in your classroom at all times. Danielle spoke about the need to 'train' kids into using these responsibly, but the main purpose of this being that they could use them at any point to do workings, etc and not be afraid to make mistakes as with a whiteboard they can easily rub them off and start again, whereas some students don't like writing something in their exercise book in case they get it wrong - especially at the start of a new year when they've got a nice shiny new exercise book and want to make it all nice and neat and tidy (usually the girls)!

I love www.magicwhiteboard.co.uk's new Mathematics Notebooks and my department will be using these next year in a similar way with our Y7s at least and then see how things develop. More about these soon...but take a look at them here.

A reminder of the book 'Manglish'.

Learning Objectives should say '...to be able to...so that...'. The key part of this being the 'so that' to give students a purpose behind what is being learnt.

I totally agreed when Danielle said about the need to go broader with topics in terms of the contextualisation and links to other subjects/problem solving.

Oh on that note...I found in my #mathsconf4 goodie bag a very good poster on problem solving from AQA. Here it is...(this will be going up in my classroom next year, and my colleagues' if I can get it photocopied/can get more from AQA)?!

We then got introduced to a website similar to Socrative to get students to do a quiz on their mobile devices called 'Kahoot' www.kahoot.it - this website is free and looked really good. Worth a look.

Finally, I remember Danielle talking about getting students to convert between/from/to cumulative frequency graphs, box plots and histograms and getting students to think about how they would go from one to the others. This then linked in really nicely to my next session as this came up again there...

Second Session: Douglas Butler's (@douglasbutler1) 'Putting the Web to Work in the Classroom'

I must say before I start noting down the things I took away from this session that I found Douglas hilarious! He could definitely be a stand-up comedian if he ever gets bored of Mathematics and all things TSM. I could have quite easily listened to him all day.

In other news...I sat, like, 2 seats away from @ColleenYoung and only found this out right at the very end of the session - was a bit of a Twitter Maths Celeb moment for me having not met her before!

There is so much on Douglas' website that (ashamedly) I knew little of prior to this session. All of the things I will mention here can be found on there...

www.tsm-resources.com

The most impressive thing about Douglas' talk was the ease at which he took us all through Google Earth and Autograph to show us how you would use these resources to explain/show to students all about gradients, bearings, data and graphs/charts you can create, etc.

I love the idea of using images at the start of lessons on gradient and then using Google Earth to explore these further. I now know how to create paths in Google Earth and analyse the routes. It reminded me of a cycle app I have that maps out my routes for me and shows me the gradients at each point.

I like the real-life versions of hexagons and pentagons using Google Earth.

Jing is a great tool for screen capture and for creating movies. These can be used in a 'flipped learning' style where students can watch them prior to a lesson, or even as the 'Eastenders' moment at the end of a lesson to set up the next!

I need to look at Douglas' recommended apps for iPads on his site and I also need to use the linear clock he showed us - that looked really nice!

Then came the ease at which Douglas used a spreadsheet of data from his website and imported it into Autograph to then create histograms and box plots from, which I thought I could use when doing Danielle's task of getting students to consider how they could go between each one. I now know how to import a column of data from Excel into Autograph and will use this so much next year, where possible. I know I have Google Earth on my school PC, but need to check Autograph!

There was so much more here that Douglas spoke about from his website that I need to really check that out when I next have some free-time and I'll definitely be exploring over the Summer ready for September.

Session Three: Sarah Flynn's 'What I've learned from teaching new GCSE content to year 10 and 11 students'

This session was really interesting to see the difference in preparation teachers have had if they did the 'linked pair pilot' specification over the 'normal' GCSE when looking to the new GCSE spec. A lot of the topics that are 'new' to the new 1-9 GCSE have already been taught and covered in the linked pair pilot and so there are already resources out there that we, as Mathematics teachers, can use when teaching these 'new' topics. Sarah gave us a selection of these past paper questions to look through to see the difficulty of them/what students are expected. We were given questions on Venn Diagrams and on Graphs and finding areas under curves.

The main points I took away from this session were the emphasis on making links in Mathematics and students being able to form and solve linear equations from any context. Also, there is a stronger emphasis on ratio, proportion and fractions and these skills are combined in other questions meaning students need to be proficient with these skills.

Session Four: Amir Arezoo's (@WorkEdgeChaos) 'The Art of Leading a Mathematics Department'

I was looking forward to this session the most I think as it was the one session, when making my choices prior to the conference, that I really felt was relevant to what I needed at this stage of my career; I'm going to be Head of Mathematics at my school from September and so any advice I can get now is greatly received! I have a whole list of questions that Amir gave us to consider at the start and throughout next year - these will be really helpful and I will refer to these regularly. Amir went through each point throughout his session and in addition to these 'prompts' I also took away the following from this session...

A few books to look out for/get for 'Summer reading': 'Nix the Tricks' and 'Teach Like A Champion'.

Having a 'Common Calculation' policy across the school/our local feeder schools. I like this idea and it could tie in with our numeracy across the curriculum on a more formal scale. However, we have been used to saying 'let the students decide what works for them and allow them to use that method', rather than prescribing a single method?

We have a very old 'Mathematics' sign above our staircase at one end of our Mathematics corridor - Amir said about having a 'Welcome to Mathematics' sign and this will be one of the things I 'update' over the Summer at both ends of our corridor and above each staircase.

Interestingly, Amir spoke about departmental observations and how best to record these, who should observe whom and getting everyone in the department to observe one another. He then also spoke about what data to record on each teacher within the department and how that data should/would be used. I have no right or wrong ways to do any of the above - just ideas/questions to consider in line with my school and department and what currently works for us. The main thing I took from this session is that whatever I do has to be in the best interest for our students learning and our department - there is no 'one size fits all' approach to leading a department, but finding what is needed and what works already and going from there seems sensible. Our department is in a very good position and I don't plan on changing that! :)

So that was #mathsconf4 - another thoroughly enjoyable day spent. I took away so many ideas from so many different people. I haven't even mentioned the 'Tweet Up', which was another highlight. I even met up with my old NQT mentor from my previous school and another of my previous colleagues - it was great to see them and catch up. One of the best things about the events is knowing others, and, in turn, knowing that I do have lots of contacts with other Mathematics teachers in other schools that are all trying to be better. I have no idea if other subjects have a similar conference, but can safely say that being a Mathematics teacher at present is both exciting and inspiring.

I do like that about @LaSalleEd - they have the aim of all Mathematics teachers working together and these conferences go a long way to making that possible. So a massive thank you to La Salle for putting on such a fantastic event again. Thank you.

# Mr Collins Mathematics Blog

I am a Teacher of Mathematics working at a Secondary School in Surrey. I am the same Mr Collins from 'Mr Collins' Reflective Journal' Blog (http://mrcollinsreflectivejournal.blogspot.com) This is my stream of consciousness...

## Thursday, 2 July 2015

## Monday, 29 June 2015

### Simplifying Surds Task/Resource

A couple of weeks ago I was teaching Surds to my Y9 class (doing the new Edexcel 1-9 GCSE Spec). I was looking for a resource to use with them, having covered simplifying surds. I looked on the TES and found the below resource by Sharon Derbyshire (@numberloving).

The resource is differentiated into 3 different treasure hunt style tasks. There's a green, amber and red set. I just used the green and amber sets with my class. I gave them the worksheet, printed on both sides of A4 paper. They then chose which set of questions they attempted, the green or the amber. However, instead of running the task like a traditional treasure hunt where they move around the room answering a question then find the answer on another, I decided to just scatter the cards onto my whiteboard (as shown below). My students then answered the questions on the sheet and then, when ready, came to the board to write the lines of the joke in the space on their sheet. Some students chose to do all the questions first and then piece together the joke. Others did a question at a time, found the answer on the board (according to the colour route they chose) and then wrote a line at a time of the joke.

What I really liked about this task is that the joke is the same regardless of the route they chose and so students are working towards the same 'end game', just on differently difficult/paced questions. The scattered effect of the cards on the board worked well as some could see from their desks and others got up as they needed to. The different colours on the board made it easy for them to see which set they were looking for and there were a few cards that had the same answer, which got them thinking about whether the joke was actually making sense as they went through it.

The cards scattered on my board:

You can download the resource free by clicking on the below link...

https://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/simplifying-surds-3-levels-6158196

A massive thanks to Sharon for sharing and uploading.

### Intro to Indices (Starter task/ideau)

After the May half term we set our Y9s according to Edexcel's 'Baseline Tests' for their new 1-9 GCSE Spec. Since then we have started teaching them through the Edexcel new 2 year GCSE course. The first 'unit' of this is 'number' and includes topics such as HCF/LCM/Surds/Indices/Standard Form/Calculations/Estimation, etc.

When introducing the topic of indices I thought about how I wanted to do this as it's always been a topic I've found a bit 'dry' teaching as in the past I've kind of just gone down the route of giving classes the rules and then applying them to questions once explained. But, I wasn't sure where their current understanding of these would be and so I decided to write a bunch of indices related questions on the board (these progressed in order of difficulty from the top left of the board to the bottom right) and then, as students came in, gave them a post-it note to write their name on. I then told students to have a look at the questions on the board and then stick their post-it note on the board next to the question they felt was the 'trickiest' that they could do.

What I liked about this was that they were all, on entry, looking at the board to see the questions and immediately thinking about what they could do, what they had learnt in the past and what they didn't know/understand. They were asking each other questions, they were asking me questions, which I avoided answering at this point, and tried to place their post-it note on the 'trickiest' question they could!

After a 5-10 minute go at this, and once they had settled down, found their seats and done the usual title, date and margins I delved into the discussion part of this 'starter'.

I referred to the post-it notes and asked students to explain how they thought they'd 'evaluate' the expression on the board. This was the best bit as there were a lot of 'laws' that came from this discussion alone. I was able to do a bit of 'Pose, Pause, Pounce, Bounce'ing with the class as I already had post-it notes with different names on for the same questions. So, I was able to ask a whole bunch of 'Amelia...do you agree with Ryan...you've placed your post-it note on the same question' type questions.

I rewarded those students that were questioned and then, as the lesson progressed, those questions that weren't answered from the initial phase of the lesson were answered. Rather brilliantly, students suggested answers to the unanswered questions as they were learning the new 'laws' and we managed to fill in all but two of the questions on the board. This, for me, was great as my AfL was partially done by this alone as I could see which type of questions (negative indices) that we hadn't covered and needed to progress onto.

### Y2 Problem Solving Day 2015

Last week, on Wednesday, I hosted my school's Y2 Problem Solving Day event for 7 of our local primary schools. In all we had around 40 students from our primaries in for a carousel of Mathematical activities. I planned the day based on the success of last year's event and here's how the day went...

To see last year's Y2 Problem Solving blog post, click here.

Like last year there were a number of 'bases' with tasks for students to move around in ascending order. Now, as we had more schools attend this year I had to add in a few 'bases'. This meant that the 7 schools all had something to be doing for each of the 5 sessions scheduled during the day. Each school completed 5 of the 7 'bases' throughout the day and then there was a 'Team Challenge' right at the end.

Base 1:

Same as last year - a 4 operations tarsia puzzle. The schools found this generally quite challenging and didn't have enough time to piece the jigsaw together. Once completed the numbers around the outside added to..guess what...27!

Base 2:

Same as last year - the magic square task. students had two sets of 9 numbered tiles; an 'easier' set and a 'harder' set. Their task was to put the 9 tiles into a 3 by 3 square so that each row, column and diagonal added to the same amount. The 'easier' set's answer was 16 and the 'harder' 99.

The accompanying teachers from our primaries enjoyed this one as at first they struggled to do the 'easier' set. Strangely the 'harder' set was completed more so than the 'easier' one.

Base 3:

Return of my awesome Frogs! Thanks to Carol (Mrs Murphy) for these once again.

Students had to find the minimum number of moves needed to swap over the differently coloured frogs. One of my extremely enthusiastic Y8 helpers was bound to this 'base' and asked the students to then see how many moves only 2 frogs on each side would need and then got them to estimate how many 4 frogs would need. She was great at engaging the Y2 kids in this and made it into a competition within the schools that visited this task.

Base 4:

New for 2015!

The Mathematical Egg Hunt! Thanks to some last minute help from my HLTA (Thanks Jane) I managed to scatter around 50 plastic eggs around the two rooms I used for the Problem Solving Day. Each egg had a question in it for students to answer. All they had to do was find 7 eggs and then answer the question inside on their answer sheet. Their answer sheet was given to them on arrival to our school. For this task they had to write the question and answer on the sheet so I knew which question had been attempted when marking answers.

Base 5:

Same as last year - pentominoes

Students had to arrange the 12 pentominoes into a 6 by 10 rectangle. A tricky one this one. Another of my Y8 helpers was really good here at providing hints to schools as they worked on the task. At times, he would show them a correctly placed pentominoe and get them to carry on from there. Side note: I gave all my Y8 helpers (of which there were 10) an answer pack so they were all able to prompt/help out the Y2 students on the tasks.

Base 6:

Stolen from my Y6 Problem Solving Day...The Marshmallow Challenge!

As it goes down so well at the Y6 day I decided to include it here. I had 2 of my Y8 helpers here to help provide the necessary resources to the schools as they began the task. I roamed around the two rooms but would always see how this one was progressing as they all found it tricky as the spaghetti breaks so easily - I hinted at backing a triangular base (stuck to the table) and going from here to make a pyramid (tetrahedron). One school did similarly with a square...

This school also won the whole day!

Base 7:

Also NEW for 2015:

Mathematical Balloons. Hidden around the two rooms we used were 5 sets of 5 differently coloured balloons. On each balloon I had written a question for students to answer. However, you couldn't answer the question without blowing the balloon up first. So students found the balloons on a little 'treasure hunt' around the rooms, blew up the balloons, read the question, answered it and then put this on their answer sheet.

The Team Challenge:

This was the same as last year too...The Cocktail Stick/Midget Gem Bridge challenge (for want of a better name).

The schools all took part in this challenge at the same time. They had a pack of 100 cocktail sticks and a bag of midget gems and had to create the best bridge they could that would allow a 10 stack of multilink cubes to pass underneath. I got our Resource Manager to judge the bridges based on: structure, stability, design and adherence to the given criteria (free standing, multilink stack has to pass under).

Here are some of the bridges that were made...

The winning bridge!! With a little help from my Y8 helpers!

The day ran very well with all schools seemingly enjoying their day at 'big school'. It was a hot day and so the students were given a couple of breaks in the day (at different times to our usual school day: I was off timetable and covered). They went outside at one point and played on our flagpole area at the front of the school, which they enjoyed.

The day came to a close when I had totalled up the scores and announced the winners. Every student that participated received a certificate and chose between a pen with our school's logo/name on it or a little 'book bug' to take back with them as a memento (hopefully they'll remember us when it comes to them choosing their secondary school)! The winners each received a small gift, which was a 'Minions' wristband and lolly - these went down very well!

These days are a lot of hard work to organise and run, but are so worth it. The links we have with our local feeder schools are stronger as a result of it and I've heard lovely comments already from our community by friends of colleagues, etc. I wasn't without help when organising the day either and have to thank Jo, our faculty assistant for liaising with our primaries throughout, getting names and details. She printed and made all the certificates and name badges, contacted the office etc at our school to inform them all of the day taking place, arranged the refreshments and so so much more that I'm probably not aware of. So...THANK YOU JO!! I also need to comment on how fantastic and enthusiastic our Y8 helpers were too. They were brilliant. We chose the students that were our Maths prefects and also some others from one of my colleagues' tutor groups. They did our school proud and the Y2 kids really appreciated their help throughout the day.

If you're planning a similar day at your school it would be great to hear from you. What sort of tasks do you do at your days? How to you organise the days, etc. Get in touch my commenting below or find me on Twittter @mrprcollins

Here's to another fantastic Y2 Problem Solving Day in 2016!

To see last year's Y2 Problem Solving blog post, click here.

Like last year there were a number of 'bases' with tasks for students to move around in ascending order. Now, as we had more schools attend this year I had to add in a few 'bases'. This meant that the 7 schools all had something to be doing for each of the 5 sessions scheduled during the day. Each school completed 5 of the 7 'bases' throughout the day and then there was a 'Team Challenge' right at the end.

Base 1:

Same as last year - a 4 operations tarsia puzzle. The schools found this generally quite challenging and didn't have enough time to piece the jigsaw together. Once completed the numbers around the outside added to..guess what...27!

Base 2:

Same as last year - the magic square task. students had two sets of 9 numbered tiles; an 'easier' set and a 'harder' set. Their task was to put the 9 tiles into a 3 by 3 square so that each row, column and diagonal added to the same amount. The 'easier' set's answer was 16 and the 'harder' 99.

The accompanying teachers from our primaries enjoyed this one as at first they struggled to do the 'easier' set. Strangely the 'harder' set was completed more so than the 'easier' one.

Base 3:

Return of my awesome Frogs! Thanks to Carol (Mrs Murphy) for these once again.

Students had to find the minimum number of moves needed to swap over the differently coloured frogs. One of my extremely enthusiastic Y8 helpers was bound to this 'base' and asked the students to then see how many moves only 2 frogs on each side would need and then got them to estimate how many 4 frogs would need. She was great at engaging the Y2 kids in this and made it into a competition within the schools that visited this task.

Base 4:

New for 2015!

The Mathematical Egg Hunt! Thanks to some last minute help from my HLTA (Thanks Jane) I managed to scatter around 50 plastic eggs around the two rooms I used for the Problem Solving Day. Each egg had a question in it for students to answer. All they had to do was find 7 eggs and then answer the question inside on their answer sheet. Their answer sheet was given to them on arrival to our school. For this task they had to write the question and answer on the sheet so I knew which question had been attempted when marking answers.

Base 5:

Same as last year - pentominoes

Students had to arrange the 12 pentominoes into a 6 by 10 rectangle. A tricky one this one. Another of my Y8 helpers was really good here at providing hints to schools as they worked on the task. At times, he would show them a correctly placed pentominoe and get them to carry on from there. Side note: I gave all my Y8 helpers (of which there were 10) an answer pack so they were all able to prompt/help out the Y2 students on the tasks.

Base 6:

Stolen from my Y6 Problem Solving Day...The Marshmallow Challenge!

As it goes down so well at the Y6 day I decided to include it here. I had 2 of my Y8 helpers here to help provide the necessary resources to the schools as they began the task. I roamed around the two rooms but would always see how this one was progressing as they all found it tricky as the spaghetti breaks so easily - I hinted at backing a triangular base (stuck to the table) and going from here to make a pyramid (tetrahedron). One school did similarly with a square...

This school also won the whole day!

Base 7:

Also NEW for 2015:

Mathematical Balloons. Hidden around the two rooms we used were 5 sets of 5 differently coloured balloons. On each balloon I had written a question for students to answer. However, you couldn't answer the question without blowing the balloon up first. So students found the balloons on a little 'treasure hunt' around the rooms, blew up the balloons, read the question, answered it and then put this on their answer sheet.

The Team Challenge:

This was the same as last year too...The Cocktail Stick/Midget Gem Bridge challenge (for want of a better name).

The schools all took part in this challenge at the same time. They had a pack of 100 cocktail sticks and a bag of midget gems and had to create the best bridge they could that would allow a 10 stack of multilink cubes to pass underneath. I got our Resource Manager to judge the bridges based on: structure, stability, design and adherence to the given criteria (free standing, multilink stack has to pass under).

Here are some of the bridges that were made...

The winning bridge!! With a little help from my Y8 helpers!

The day ran very well with all schools seemingly enjoying their day at 'big school'. It was a hot day and so the students were given a couple of breaks in the day (at different times to our usual school day: I was off timetable and covered). They went outside at one point and played on our flagpole area at the front of the school, which they enjoyed.

The day came to a close when I had totalled up the scores and announced the winners. Every student that participated received a certificate and chose between a pen with our school's logo/name on it or a little 'book bug' to take back with them as a memento (hopefully they'll remember us when it comes to them choosing their secondary school)! The winners each received a small gift, which was a 'Minions' wristband and lolly - these went down very well!

These days are a lot of hard work to organise and run, but are so worth it. The links we have with our local feeder schools are stronger as a result of it and I've heard lovely comments already from our community by friends of colleagues, etc. I wasn't without help when organising the day either and have to thank Jo, our faculty assistant for liaising with our primaries throughout, getting names and details. She printed and made all the certificates and name badges, contacted the office etc at our school to inform them all of the day taking place, arranged the refreshments and so so much more that I'm probably not aware of. So...THANK YOU JO!! I also need to comment on how fantastic and enthusiastic our Y8 helpers were too. They were brilliant. We chose the students that were our Maths prefects and also some others from one of my colleagues' tutor groups. They did our school proud and the Y2 kids really appreciated their help throughout the day.

If you're planning a similar day at your school it would be great to hear from you. What sort of tasks do you do at your days? How to you organise the days, etc. Get in touch my commenting below or find me on Twittter @mrprcollins

Here's to another fantastic Y2 Problem Solving Day in 2016!

## Monday, 25 May 2015

### GCSE Data Handling Revision

It's half term, which means I'll be heading to school on Wednesday to do a revision session with my Y11 classes, well those who have been 'invited' in; we've picked those students who still need a bit of help and/or are below their target grade.

I'm also doing a bit of private tutoring at the moment and so have plenty to do tomorrow.

As a result, I've created a presentation which goes through the main data handling topics and highlights key bits of information students need to remember for their exams. Things like where to plot points and what to plot, how to arrange a stem and leaf diagram, how to set up a two way table, etc.

I have added the presentation to my TES resources (free), which is available here.

I plan on showing the presentation to my Y11s/private tutees this week and at the same time have them annotate an A3 poster(s) that I will create at school tomorrow when I can get some paper and print off the particular questions/graphs/charts. I will add this poster to my resource on the TES when it is completed (NOW UPLOADED! [26/05]). I will use the same questions that are on the slides, but just leave them as that on the A3 sheet(s) so my students can annotate over them, make their own notes, etc. This, they can then keep for their own revision.

Here are the sheets (before completion):

Higher and Foundation Topics

Higher Topics (at present) only

I will post a picture on here tomorrow once one of my tutees has tried out the resource to show you what the finished article looks like.

I'm also doing a bit of private tutoring at the moment and so have plenty to do tomorrow.

As a result, I've created a presentation which goes through the main data handling topics and highlights key bits of information students need to remember for their exams. Things like where to plot points and what to plot, how to arrange a stem and leaf diagram, how to set up a two way table, etc.

I have added the presentation to my TES resources (free), which is available here.

I plan on showing the presentation to my Y11s/private tutees this week and at the same time have them annotate an A3 poster(s) that I will create at school tomorrow when I can get some paper and print off the particular questions/graphs/charts. I will add this poster to my resource on the TES when it is completed (NOW UPLOADED! [26/05]). I will use the same questions that are on the slides, but just leave them as that on the A3 sheet(s) so my students can annotate over them, make their own notes, etc. This, they can then keep for their own revision.

Here are the sheets (before completion):

Higher and Foundation Topics

Higher Topics (at present) only

I will post a picture on here tomorrow once one of my tutees has tried out the resource to show you what the finished article looks like.

Update 26/06 - - > Here's the finished version:

## Monday, 4 May 2015

### GCSE Trigonometry Revision

On arriving back at school after Easter I got my Y11s to write down, on a cue card, all the topics that they still felt they needed to go over or wanted to revise in class.

It was the perfect time to do this as they had sat a 2nd mock set of papers before Easter and were able to go through these papers, and all previous papers given to them over the course of the year, to pick out the topics that they were still getting wrong or needed support with.

I then told them that I would look over their topics and choose those that came up more often than others to cover in class in the run-in to their GCSEs. I also said that I would keep all of their cards bound together so that if/when they should seek support after school at our 'Maths Club' I have their personal list of topics to hand to go over with them. Here are there cards...(I keep them in my folder for their class so they're always at hand/easy to locate)...

One of the topics that came up on almost all of their cards was some form of Trigonometry, whether it be 'basic trig (SOHCAHTOA)', or using the Sine and Cosine rule, or Pythagoras' theorem. So, I decided to put together a revision sheet for them to use when deciding how to answer exam questions on these topics. I created the sheet in ppt and then saved it as a pdf to print off onto A3 paper - making the revision sheet large enough for them to see all the different Trig examples and write their own answers to the questions on the sheets along with any of their own personal notes/mnemonics etc.

On the sheet I included a series of sections, some for right-angled triangles and some for non-right angled triangles, with questions for each type (finding a length/angle, etc). I then added in when they would need to use each formula/type of Trig.

The only thing I didn't put on the sheet was finding the area of a triangle using 1/2abSinC as we had gone over this in the week or so before Easter.

I gave these out in class and then got students to answer each question on the sheet adding in any notes. I got them to put all their answers to 3 significant figures to also practise this skill.

Here's one of my students' completed sheets...

This is available to download from my TES resources if you think it'd be useful for your students too.

Click here.

After my students completed their Trigonometry revision sheet they then used it to answer questions from our text books/past exam paper questions I printed off for them.They found it really useful having the notes/examples that they had completed themselves when doing this and later took their sheets home to use when revising.

I plan to also do one of these sheets for coordinate geometry and have previously done a similar activity for the Circle Theorems. I'll upload these to the TES too in due course...

It was the perfect time to do this as they had sat a 2nd mock set of papers before Easter and were able to go through these papers, and all previous papers given to them over the course of the year, to pick out the topics that they were still getting wrong or needed support with.

I then told them that I would look over their topics and choose those that came up more often than others to cover in class in the run-in to their GCSEs. I also said that I would keep all of their cards bound together so that if/when they should seek support after school at our 'Maths Club' I have their personal list of topics to hand to go over with them. Here are there cards...(I keep them in my folder for their class so they're always at hand/easy to locate)...

One of the topics that came up on almost all of their cards was some form of Trigonometry, whether it be 'basic trig (SOHCAHTOA)', or using the Sine and Cosine rule, or Pythagoras' theorem. So, I decided to put together a revision sheet for them to use when deciding how to answer exam questions on these topics. I created the sheet in ppt and then saved it as a pdf to print off onto A3 paper - making the revision sheet large enough for them to see all the different Trig examples and write their own answers to the questions on the sheets along with any of their own personal notes/mnemonics etc.

On the sheet I included a series of sections, some for right-angled triangles and some for non-right angled triangles, with questions for each type (finding a length/angle, etc). I then added in when they would need to use each formula/type of Trig.

The only thing I didn't put on the sheet was finding the area of a triangle using 1/2abSinC as we had gone over this in the week or so before Easter.

I gave these out in class and then got students to answer each question on the sheet adding in any notes. I got them to put all their answers to 3 significant figures to also practise this skill.

Here's one of my students' completed sheets...

This is available to download from my TES resources if you think it'd be useful for your students too.

Click here.

After my students completed their Trigonometry revision sheet they then used it to answer questions from our text books/past exam paper questions I printed off for them.They found it really useful having the notes/examples that they had completed themselves when doing this and later took their sheets home to use when revising.

I plan to also do one of these sheets for coordinate geometry and have previously done a similar activity for the Circle Theorems. I'll upload these to the TES too in due course...

## Monday, 16 March 2015

### Pi Day and the National Mathematics Teacher Conference III

3/14/15 9:26:53

Pi Day!

Aston University

La Salle Education's 3rd National Mathematics Teacher Conference

This was the first of @LaSalleEd's Mathematics Teacher Conferences I had been to and it was a fantastic day of meeting with colleagues (in the wider sense), learning, doing Mathematics and listening to some great teachers speak about what they've been doing in their schools.

On arrival I was presented with my goodie bag for the day and my name tag.

The event was held, weirdly (for me) at my previous University where I studied Information Mathematics for 2 years before deciding Uni wasn't for me (that's another story [I eventually did my degree part-time, whilst working, via the University of East London and ICS]).

Aston Uni was our host and the Aston Conference centre was where I parked for the day and stayed overnight - all of which I was extremely impressed by.

Aston Uni entrance, the only part of the University that hadn't seemed to have changed since 2004 when I left (I was shocked to see that Lawrence Tower, and the other residential buildings, had been knocked down and in there place other facilities built)

The day started by us all gathering in the main lecture hall where we heard key personnel from La Salle Ed, AQA and the DfE talk, all, of course, kicked off at 9:26:53!

After these talks we had a brief 'Speed Dating' session where I picked up a few ideas from my colleagues around me. The ideas were:

1 - from www.mismatchtea.co.uk a starter task that students had stuck in the front of their exercise books at the start of the year. The teacher gave students a number of the day and then 3-4 letters to attempt

2 - 'Dicey Algebra' starter task - students get a dice in pairs to roll random numbers (not just a 6-sided-dice either) and then choose one of the 8 expressions on the sheet given them a value for that expression, they played until all expressions were chosen and valued, the person with the highest total for all their chosen expressions wins! I'll be using this one tomorrow with my Y10s prior to plotting quadratic graphs!

The idea I shared was the 'My Favourite No' starter task, which you can read more about in my previous blog post earlier this school year when setting up my classroom. Click here.

A massive thank you to the colleagues who shared these ideas with me during the 'Speed Dating'. If they were you...let me know by commenting below or via Twitter @mrprcollins so I can give you a shout out here!

Then, the first of the three sessions I signed up to started.

My first session was with @HelenHindle1 and was all about 'Growth Mindset Maths'. This was something that I have been reading about and interested in since a year or so ago when I was reading Jo Boaler's books and subsequently took part in her Stanford University online course, which drew on Carol Dweck's work on the 'Growth Mindset'. So I was looking forward to hearing about how other teachers were trying to implement this approach in their schools.

Our starter task on arriving to the session.

I enjoyed this session a lot and particularly liked the idea of having students' personal stories of how they had changed their mindset towards their Mathematics lessons and having these on display in the corridors, rather than having David Beckham's story on the wall - no offence Dave! Something that would highlight students perseverance, improvement and attitude in the subject for their peers to see. I can imagine if you got the right students pictures/stories up on the wall it'd have a good impact.

I also liked the fact Helen's school gave all students a 'mindset' questionnaire to complete at the start of the year, all the resources she pointed out that are available on her fantastic blog and the learning journeys whereby their school had come away from levels/grades and to where students were along a series of tasks/objectives.

See all of Helen's resources and more on her session via her blog here.

Next was lunch, time for the exhibition/networking and the #TweetUp

I spent some time in the exhibition speaking to various companies/organisations, mainly AQA to learn more about their new qualifications, the 'Core Maths' and their '90 maths problems'! Also, during this time there was a few Maths questions to answer as part of the 'treasure hunt' competition...

I nailed this one! :-p

During the #TweetUp I met with some of my South East colleagues, namely...

@Mr_P_Maths

@MrC_Cooper

@MrsOClee

@TheNerdLP

@sfrench21

We were working on the Bingo cards that @MrReddyMaths et al had organised for the event as well as trying to answer @solvemymaths' puzzles! It was great to put names to some famous Twitter folk!

That South-East selfie!

I'm at the back-right *waves*!

Following the lunch break I then went along to my 2nd of the 3 sessions. This session was with Robert Wilne (@NCETMsecondary) and was all about developing reasoning across KS3, 4 and 5. The session was as inspiring as it was fast-paced. I got loads of ideas from this session as to how we can be deepening students' understanding rather than just getting through a scheme of work. I totally agree with the depth rather than breadth argument and feel students in Y7/8 should only be focusing on developing their basic Mathematics/Numeracy and then in Y9-11 that's when they start building on their learning and preparing for their GCSEs and Mathematics after secondary school.

Here's what Robert found having visited Singapore...

Lots to think about here as to how we teach Mathematics

The third and final session was with the fantastic @mathsjem (Jo Morgan). Jo's session was all about the different methods and approaches to tackling certain topics. We were given a workbook on arrival and I liked that we did some Mathematics at the same time as learning of different methods that existed to teach certain topics - some of which I had used myself in the session, had taught before and others that I had never even heard of. It was good talking to those around me about what methods they used/taught and why they found that to be the best way for their students. I also got to meet @solvemymaths (Ed Southall) here.

Jo, obviously, has already written a blog post about the Mathematics Conference and you can see her presentation & more here!

Finally, we gathered back in the main lecture theatre and had the winners of competitions announced and the day ended formally by Mark from @LaSalleEd.

I had a fantastic day/weekend up in Birmingham and will look to attend all future events where possible. Back at school...on the Friday before Pi Day I got all my current students to sign my Pi Day t-shirt. I thought it'd be a nice idea to get them all to sign it so that in years to come I can look back and remember who I was teaching on the only Pi Day in our lifetimes where the date and time will sync up with the digits of Pi!

Here's my keepsake...

I'm planning on displaying this in my classroom when I can steal a mannequin/bust from Art/Textiles! :)

Thanks to all involved at the weekend to make the conference as beneficial as it was and hello to all/any new followers!

Pi Day!

Aston University

La Salle Education's 3rd National Mathematics Teacher Conference

This was the first of @LaSalleEd's Mathematics Teacher Conferences I had been to and it was a fantastic day of meeting with colleagues (in the wider sense), learning, doing Mathematics and listening to some great teachers speak about what they've been doing in their schools.

On arrival I was presented with my goodie bag for the day and my name tag.

The event was held, weirdly (for me) at my previous University where I studied Information Mathematics for 2 years before deciding Uni wasn't for me (that's another story [I eventually did my degree part-time, whilst working, via the University of East London and ICS]).

Aston Uni was our host and the Aston Conference centre was where I parked for the day and stayed overnight - all of which I was extremely impressed by.

Aston Uni entrance, the only part of the University that hadn't seemed to have changed since 2004 when I left (I was shocked to see that Lawrence Tower, and the other residential buildings, had been knocked down and in there place other facilities built)

The day started by us all gathering in the main lecture hall where we heard key personnel from La Salle Ed, AQA and the DfE talk, all, of course, kicked off at 9:26:53!

After these talks we had a brief 'Speed Dating' session where I picked up a few ideas from my colleagues around me. The ideas were:

1 - from www.mismatchtea.co.uk a starter task that students had stuck in the front of their exercise books at the start of the year. The teacher gave students a number of the day and then 3-4 letters to attempt

2 - 'Dicey Algebra' starter task - students get a dice in pairs to roll random numbers (not just a 6-sided-dice either) and then choose one of the 8 expressions on the sheet given them a value for that expression, they played until all expressions were chosen and valued, the person with the highest total for all their chosen expressions wins! I'll be using this one tomorrow with my Y10s prior to plotting quadratic graphs!

The idea I shared was the 'My Favourite No' starter task, which you can read more about in my previous blog post earlier this school year when setting up my classroom. Click here.

A massive thank you to the colleagues who shared these ideas with me during the 'Speed Dating'. If they were you...let me know by commenting below or via Twitter @mrprcollins so I can give you a shout out here!

Then, the first of the three sessions I signed up to started.

My first session was with @HelenHindle1 and was all about 'Growth Mindset Maths'. This was something that I have been reading about and interested in since a year or so ago when I was reading Jo Boaler's books and subsequently took part in her Stanford University online course, which drew on Carol Dweck's work on the 'Growth Mindset'. So I was looking forward to hearing about how other teachers were trying to implement this approach in their schools.

Our starter task on arriving to the session.

I enjoyed this session a lot and particularly liked the idea of having students' personal stories of how they had changed their mindset towards their Mathematics lessons and having these on display in the corridors, rather than having David Beckham's story on the wall - no offence Dave! Something that would highlight students perseverance, improvement and attitude in the subject for their peers to see. I can imagine if you got the right students pictures/stories up on the wall it'd have a good impact.

I also liked the fact Helen's school gave all students a 'mindset' questionnaire to complete at the start of the year, all the resources she pointed out that are available on her fantastic blog and the learning journeys whereby their school had come away from levels/grades and to where students were along a series of tasks/objectives.

See all of Helen's resources and more on her session via her blog here.

Next was lunch, time for the exhibition/networking and the #TweetUp

I spent some time in the exhibition speaking to various companies/organisations, mainly AQA to learn more about their new qualifications, the 'Core Maths' and their '90 maths problems'! Also, during this time there was a few Maths questions to answer as part of the 'treasure hunt' competition...

I nailed this one! :-p

During the #TweetUp I met with some of my South East colleagues, namely...

@Mr_P_Maths

@MrC_Cooper

@MrsOClee

@TheNerdLP

@sfrench21

We were working on the Bingo cards that @MrReddyMaths et al had organised for the event as well as trying to answer @solvemymaths' puzzles! It was great to put names to some famous Twitter folk!

That South-East selfie!

I'm at the back-right *waves*!

Following the lunch break I then went along to my 2nd of the 3 sessions. This session was with Robert Wilne (@NCETMsecondary) and was all about developing reasoning across KS3, 4 and 5. The session was as inspiring as it was fast-paced. I got loads of ideas from this session as to how we can be deepening students' understanding rather than just getting through a scheme of work. I totally agree with the depth rather than breadth argument and feel students in Y7/8 should only be focusing on developing their basic Mathematics/Numeracy and then in Y9-11 that's when they start building on their learning and preparing for their GCSEs and Mathematics after secondary school.

Here's what Robert found having visited Singapore...

Lots to think about here as to how we teach Mathematics

The third and final session was with the fantastic @mathsjem (Jo Morgan). Jo's session was all about the different methods and approaches to tackling certain topics. We were given a workbook on arrival and I liked that we did some Mathematics at the same time as learning of different methods that existed to teach certain topics - some of which I had used myself in the session, had taught before and others that I had never even heard of. It was good talking to those around me about what methods they used/taught and why they found that to be the best way for their students. I also got to meet @solvemymaths (Ed Southall) here.

Jo, obviously, has already written a blog post about the Mathematics Conference and you can see her presentation & more here!

Finally, we gathered back in the main lecture theatre and had the winners of competitions announced and the day ended formally by Mark from @LaSalleEd.

I had a fantastic day/weekend up in Birmingham and will look to attend all future events where possible. Back at school...on the Friday before Pi Day I got all my current students to sign my Pi Day t-shirt. I thought it'd be a nice idea to get them all to sign it so that in years to come I can look back and remember who I was teaching on the only Pi Day in our lifetimes where the date and time will sync up with the digits of Pi!

Here's my keepsake...

I'm planning on displaying this in my classroom when I can steal a mannequin/bust from Art/Textiles! :)

Thanks to all involved at the weekend to make the conference as beneficial as it was and hello to all/any new followers!

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