Secondary Maths Collection: “York Maths Conference Competition”

TES Secondary maths resource collections

Collection Author: Craig Barton, TES Secondary Maths Adviser - creator of

Back in March 2012, TES Maths launched a competition to win places at the “Putting Maths on the Right Track” Conference in York, which takes place on Friday 15th June. The conference is all about showcasing the latest, most imaginative maths resources and ideas, and so to enter the competition TES users were asked to upload their most innovative resources.

The response was fantastic, and myself and the TES Maths Panel were blown away by some of the amazing resources uploaded. It was very difficult picking out the winners, but here are the three that we chose, followed by the ten best of the rest!

Thank you to everyone who entered, and to all of you who continue to upload your resources to TES – you make the website what it is, and you are contributing to improving teaching and learning in mathematics all around the world!

The Winners!

Barbie and Ken’s Transformation Adventure

  • I have seen transformations tackled with a whole host of objects, but never with Barbie and Ken! Help guide them around a department store, arrange their purchases in their house, and then (and why not?) design a t-shirt. A really fun activity that has some serious, important maths at the heart of it. And excellent resource.

Investigating Probability Activities

  • Probability is such a fascinating, practical and useful topic, and yet it is one that students often struggle to grasp. This wonderful bundle of resources will really help students begin to delve into the wonders of the topic. It consists of five, fun activities which have probability at the heart of them. My personal favourite is The Chicken and the Sheep Game! As the author suggests, set the activities up on separate tables, let the students have a play, and they will learn far more than through any discussion about how likely it is it will rain tomorrow.

Box and Whisker Group Activity

  • Box and Whisker plots can be one of the most difficult statistical diagrams for students to grasp. This innovative resource requires students to wander around the class asking other students questions in order to determine the 5 scores that have been used to create the box and whisker plot that has been stuck to their back! This should help students get to grip with this tricky topic, and lead to a fun, energetic lesson.

The Best of the Rest!

Simultaneous Equations Chatterbox

  • I remember when I was in primary school, all the girls would make “chatterboxes” (or “fortune tellers”, as I think they might also have been called) out of paper which revealed the boys they fancied. Little did I know that 20 years later I would be using one to help teach my students the joys of simultaneous equations. A great idea with a lot of potential to get students designing their own.

How long would it take Usain Bolt?

  • With the Olympics just around the corner, topical resources will be in great demand. This one is particularly nice, challenging students to consider how long it would take the great Jamaican sprinter to complete various events such as the Marathon. What I also really like about this resource is that it is differentiated into three difficulty levels, thus allowing all students to access it.

Spiderman Loci

  • Can you help Spiderman avoid the perils of the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus and Scorpion using your knowledge of Loci? I certainly hope so! What a lovely resource to spice up the practice of doing Loci Constructions. And if one superhero wasn’t enough, the same user has also created a Batman Loci resource as well!

Connect 4 – Soling Linear Equations

  • If you are looking for a fun way to spice up consolidation of solving linear equations, then look no further! Get your students in pairs or groups of four playing the classic game of Connect 4! What is particularly nice about this resource is that the questions are levels 5, 6 and 7, thus allowing for differentiation.

Solving Equations AfL Activity

  • Challenging students to spot the mistake is a really effective way of assessing and improving their understanding of a topic. That is never more crucial then when studying solving equations. This lovely activity will unearth any lingering misconceptions that students may have. I would love to see more of these on TES!

Diamond Jubilee Mathematical Mysteryies

  • A resource that is innovative, fun, topical and challenging - what more could you ask for! This set of three mathematical mysteries will challenge your students’ knowledge of bearings and construction, probability and proportion, and time and distance. This truly is a phenomenal resource, and it is just a shame that Laura is a member of the TES Maths Panel, and is thus ineligible to win the competition!

Mega PowerPoint – Version 2!

  • The much-anticipated sequel to the very popular Mega PowerPoint! This time the 100 sets of questions come complete with answers! Not only is this a great time saver and an ideal tool for revision lessons, it allows the user to be really innovative in how they use the resource. Perhaps a quiz, perhaps change some of the answers and have a spot the mistake challenge, perhaps a carousel activity? Lots of potential tucked away in this monster of a resource.

y = mx + c Loop Cards

  • Loop cards provide a really fun, quick and effective activity for assessing students’ knowledge and understanding of a given topic. They are usually used with number or algebra based topics, but here we have a beautifully designed set to test knowledge of the equations of straight lines. Get these laminated and they can be used time and time again!

Surface Area of Cuboids

  • A lovely applet that randomly generates different sized cuboids and challenges students to work out the surface area. Now, that alone would make it a very useful resource, but what I really like is how you can choose what information to reveal to the students. With a simple click you can hide dimensions, areas and the final answer. This then allows you to pose such questions as “what is the least amount of information you need to be able to work out the surface area”. Lovely resource.

Surds – Adding and Subtracting Lesson

  • A really well designed PowerPoint that covers all the key aspects of adding surds together. What I particularly like is the link to simplifying algebraic expressions which should help overcome a classic misconception that students often have.

TES Secondary maths teaching resources