What's it all about?
Is there a way of introducing algebra that will not make pupils groan? How can I make the properties of quadrilaterals seem like fun?
These were dilemmas I faced as an NQT, and I would ask more experienced colleagues or local education authority maths advisers, writes Craig Barton.
Now, many advisers have gone, but today we have the maths blog, to share thoughts, and teachers who find blogs dedicated to ideas on their subject have struck gold.
I spend an hour each week reading maths blogs, and my TES Web Whizz Video 21 picks out some favourites. These have become my number one source of ideas, inspiration and professional development. Here is a taster:
On Mr Collins' Reflective Journal (mrcollinsreflectivejournal.blogspot.co.uk), I learned about Maths DJing, which led to my Year 7s (P7s) begging to do the arithmetic-based starter.
On Don Steward's Median (donsteward.blogspot.co.uk), I found my new favourite shape, the "maxagon", which combines geometrical reasoning and problem-solving.
Using an idea on Number Loving (numberloving.com), my Year 8 (S1) pupils have been creating "maths fortune tellers", useful for revision on any topic - and they are differentiated.
On Reflective Maths Teacher (reflectivemathsteacher.posterous.com), I discovered Thoughts and Crosses, a resource that draws on Bloom's Taxonomy and challenges my very able Year 11s (S4s).
Check out Craig Barton's Web Whizz video and the blogs he recommends on the TES website. The Scottish Book Trust has shared some maths magic with Murderous Maths author Kjartan Poskitt. Or try paulcollins' colourful Pictionary game.