27th April 2001 at 01:00
The Easter subject conferences give publishers and suppliers a showcase for new materials.This year, 'TES' reviewers joined modern language teachers, geographers and mathematicians to select highlights: Robert Barbour at the Mathematical Association conference, St Martin's College, Lancaster.

* TEXAS TI-83+ Texas InstrumentsFrom pound;55. Tel: 020 8230 3184. www.ti.comcalc

The key stage 3 strategy for mathematics is not resource-intensive, but schools will need to judge how well practical equipment, banks of ideas and software match the new framework. It places considerable emphasis on ICT, with many references to graphical calculators. The Texas TI-83+ will fulfil every need from KS3 onwards and, crucially, it can now take programs downloaded from a PC (TI supports a website with example programs).

This has two advantages: the calculator is less likely to become out of date as it will be upgradeable; and it is turning into a hand-held computer.

This machine promises to be something like a shrunken BBC microcomputer - if you can remember back that far.

An extensive system of teacher support also exists through the T3 scheme. For information on T3 contact Ros Hyde on 023 8051 0674, email: In Scotland: 0131 651 6034. ian_forbes@education. * SHARP EL-9400 from pound;22and EL-9600 pound;36. Tel: 01302 770113.

Schools wanting to follow the Sharp route will find the EL-9400 and EL-9600 also supported with Inset, teaching materials and a disc of programs to download from a PC.

SPEEDY SLUTIONS. pound;9.99 + pound;3.99 pamp;pfrom Maths Alert, PO Box 256, Scarborough, YO11 3GPTel:01723 581528.

The KS3 strategy promotes mental work, which is wider than just arithmetic. Speedy Solutions is a game for four to six players designed to practise solving linear equations. Players place their cards to solve the equations, and the first to use up all his or her cards wins.

* SMP INTERACT. Cambridge University Press Tel: 01223 325588. Email: educustserve@

The new SMP Interact scheme is a world away from the old SMP individual work books and contains a wealth of stimulating material. This is one scheme where it is absolutely vital to keep reading the teacher's guide, as the "guts" of the scheme lie not so much in pages of exercises as in active class discussions stimulated by various tasks.

* MATHS CHALLENGE BOOKS 1, 2 AND 3. Edited by Tony Gardiner. pound;5 each, from Oxford University Press. Tel: 01536 741068 or

Maths Challenge books 1, 2 and 3 for able pupils at key stage 3 have been well received. Instead of accelerating pupils through the curriculum, they provide enrichment, with extra depth on topics that pupils are meeting in class. Activities are varied and include group work and discussion.

Tandi Clausen-May is the ATM's conference leaderRobert Barbour is maths adviser for Worcesterl Next year's ATM conference is at St Martin's College, Lancaster, April 2-5. Next year's MA conference is at the University of Reading, April

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