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Maths - Preparing core concepts

What is it?

According to TES Resources maths adviser Craig Barton, the jump between maths GCSE and A-level is the greatest out of all the subjects, so it's useful to draw on materials to help students bridge that gap. This collection of "A-level core concepts" should help teachers do just that, and help their colleagues in Scotland.

How to use it

The maths treasurehunt is a fun way to tackle difficult concepts (uploaded by nottcl), and looks at implicit differentiation, parametric differentiation, factor theorem, remainder theorem, vectors and converting parametrics to Cartesian form. Teachers stick the cards around the room and give pupils different starting points.

A good starter activity is a matching task on binomial expansion from angles2. Make up cards for the students to match up co-efficients with their numerical equivalents.

There are a number of links to videos from the Autograph maths resource site, including a simple, visual introduction to calculus and a 3D look at volumes of revolution.

For a more practical task, Marcopront has developed a worksheet where students can write out the equation of a quadratic graph in three different ways and find the intercepts and the turning point. Another practical activity looks at the idea of connected rates of change by asking pupils to compare increasing blots of ink, shrinking balloons and the like. There is also an accompanying video to explain the concept.

Other useful resources include a set of notes and worked solutions for the topic of integration (Wish147); an Excel spreadsheet demonstrating how trigonometric graphs work (aliali); and a lesson plan on simultaneous equations (Jonny Griffiths).

Where to find it

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