The Best of TES Maths – MEI Conference, Thursday 27th June

The Best of TES Maths – MEI Conference, Thursday 27th June

On Thursday 27th June, I presented (or will present, depending on when you are reading this), a “Best of TES Maths” workshop at the 2013 MEI Conference, held at the University of Keele.

For the workshop I chose 10 of my favourite TES Maths resources of the last 12 months. These resources ranged from Prison Break Loci to Pirate Trigonometry, and they have led to some of my favourite maths lessons of the year. Most importantly, each one of these resources have been uploaded by the kind, generous and ridiculously talented users of the TES maths website.

I hope you enjoy using them as much as my students and I did, and a massive thank you to all of you who share your work. You make TES what it is and help improve the teaching and learning of mathematics all over the world.

Craig Barton
TES Maths Adviser

Prison Break Loci
If your students are not inspired by working out how far a tethered goat can walk around a field, or where a factor should place its new gas pipeline, then perhaps they will be more keen on using their loci skills to track down some escaped prisoners. Get your compasses and rulers at the ready!

17 Equations that Changed the World
A lovely set of posters to display that will intrigue and inspire students, get them asking questions, and maybe help them to scratch the surface of the rich history and importance of mathematics. Failing that, they will look nice on the wall!

TriTetra Flexagons
I remember when I tried to demonstrate how to make one of these in front of my Year 8s a few years ago. It was such a disaster they were still talking about it in Year 11. But if I had had this resource and accompanying videos, it may have been a different story. A lovely, practical, inspiring lesson activity.

Comparing Data Distributions
Comparing Data Distributions is a crucial skill that is usually lacking, even in the most able of students. Often the problem lies in the fact that students have no interest in the data they are asked to compare. Well, step forward this resource, where students are asked to analyse the performance of boys, girls, monkeys, Martians, flying pigs, and Barbie.

Area and Volume – Tick or Trash
I am growing a little obsessed with Tick or Trash resources. They are a great way to assess students’ misconceptions, and marking them seems to be a challenge that my pupils rise to. Inspired by this, I have now started setting my students the challenge of creating their own Tick or Trash worksheets to then try out on each other. A great challenge for them, and less work for me. Everyone is a winner!

Distance-Time Graphs Lesson
Sometimes when I am about to start planning a lesson I think “I bet someone else has done the hard work for me”, and more often than not that person is Manoj Mistry. All the lessons are well planned and jam-packed full of material. Just choose the bits you like and mould the lesson to fit your students and your teaching style.

Google Earth and Maths
Given the power of the technology that students carry in their pockets and on their tablets these days, it seems a shame not to use this. This wonderful lesson make full use of QR scanners, apps and Google Earth to take students on a journey around everyone’s favourite holiday destination… Blackpool! A wonderful lesson covering lots of areas of maths.

Grid Games
The simplest ideas are often the best. This wonderful set of resources involve projecting a gird of questions up on the board, splitting the class into two teams, and racing to get three squares in a row. I can testify that they students love it, reporting that it is fun and does not feel like work. How little they know!

Pirate Trigonometry
There is no getting around the fact that students need to learn to interpret questions and draw appropriate diagrams for solving questions involving trigonometry and Pythagoras. Given that is the case, they may as well do it with pirates! I really nice, challenging resource for higher GCSE students. Aaaaargh!

Binomial Distribution Calculator
I hope you will forgive me for sneaking in one of my own resources at the end! I have found this online Autograph activity ideal when teaching statistics for helping my students visualise the Binomial Distribution. You can get them to predict what will happen to the shape and calculations when you adjust the parameters, all of which gives them a more intuitive feel and deeper understanding for what can be a tricky and abstract concept.