Archive | October, 2011

Maths Free Online Resource Banks

30 Oct

Essential, essential resource banks that I have found invaluable and a good starting point for lesson planning, inspiration and ideas.

1) TES Teaching Resources

The TES teaching resources in particular Mr Barton‘s Secondary Maths Collections. It is free and easy to sign up and the possibilities are endless!

2) Mr Barton

Although already mentioned, Mr Barton is such a great website it needs a mention of its own. This website is run by a UK mathematics teacher. Great resources including bingo, collective memories and an impressive collection of tarsia puzzles suitable for key stages 3 to 5. This website is free, no sign in is required but please support Mr Barton by linking to Amazon through his page!

3) Guardian Teacher Network

In particular the mathematics resources are great. The site is easy to navigate, signing up is required but easy to do.

4) MyMaths Integrate

This part of the site is free, unbeknown to many. It has many resources organised by topic, many downloadable Powerpoints, Smartboards and printable worksheets.

5) Mathsfaculty

Wow, this has it all. Their schemes of work are available but the great thing is they include many resources that are innovative. Look out for their collect a letter resources. We loved this idea so much that we have created many collect a letter or joke resources (links to our resources to follow soon). Thank you Hemsworth Arts and Community College mathematics faculty for sharing your inspiring teaching approaches. No sign up required.

6) S.Peter’s Collegiate

Among many great resources look at the revision and exam material, great for practice and/or homework sheets. No sign up required.

7) Mathed Up

Resources, including teaching Powerpoints for key stages 3, 4, 5. Key Stage 5 material is a great starting point for anyone who is new to teaching A Level mathematics (as I was two years ago). No sign up required.

8. Kangaroo Maths

Do not miss the interactive schemes of work available to download for free from Kangaroo Maths. Each scheme of work links to ready to use resources, I have found the level ladders very handy!

9) nRich

These website is a must for puzzles and developing pupils lateral thinking skills. We particularly like the posters for there great aesthetics, copy and display on the whiteboards or add to school newsletter/website.

10) Primary Resources

Although aimed at Key Stage 2 (i.e. level 4 and below), I have found resources here useful for teaching SEN (Special Educational Need) pupils and some great starters to keep those basics fresh in pupils minds.

These ten sites are few of many websites I use on a regular basis. There are also some great blogs I have read detailing their best online resources. Check out Colleen Young’s latest Top >10 websites and Mr Barton’s links to the best websites in the world.

Have I missed any out? Get in touch @numberloving

Sweets, Cocktail Sticks and 3D Shapes

30 Oct

Another idea for shape and space; using small jelly sweets (midget gems in the UK), cocktail sticks and almost any 3D shape can be built! Leave them for a few days and the sweets go hard.

This simple activity has a number of uses across the key stages. You can investigate the basics, such as the properties of 3D shapes (number of edges, vertices and faces), to using Pythagoras and trigonometry in 3D shapes. By constructing the 3D shapes and labeling the vertices, by writing on the sweets, pupils find it easier to extract the correct right-angled triangle which they need in order to complete the Pythagoras or trigonometry calculation.

In addition to basic shape described above they can be used to identify planes of symmetry, the shape of cross sections when calculating volumes. Or even building up 3D coordinates.

If you try it or like this idea please comment, I would love to hear how it goes! Get in touch @numberloving

Handy Maths

27 Oct

When all else has failed for learning the ‘difficult’ times tables try these handy tricks!

The classic nine’s known by most, is described nicely in the this youtube video by funkyversion


The following trick will take some practice to get the hand of, but works a treat.  To support pupils they can use stickers to number their fingers, or some numbered plastic gloves!

Great for learning


I hope your students find these tricks useful! Feedback always welcome! Get in touch @numberloving


Carpet Constructions

26 Oct

Bringing ‘Old School’ into new school

So every store cupboard has them, the yellow ‘old school’ construction equipment.

Bring this old school equipment back to life by allowing pupils to graffiti the carpet with maths! I couldn’t think of more beautiful art work.

Pupils can construct bisectors, triangles, regular polygons, angles, using the equipment and some chalk (easily brushes off). Alternatively this can be done in the playground.

Not only do pupils enjoy this but it actually helps pupils who struggle with their fine motor skills.

The uses of chalk are endless; completing a venn diagram on the floor, drawing 2D shapes and labelling as much as they can (equal lengths, parallel sides). Write the answer 5, ask the pupils to come up with as many questions as they can that equal 5. Basically using chalk will hook pupils into doing anything you would do with pen and paper!

If you try it I would love to hear how it goes. Good luck! Get in touch @numberloving

Teaching Loci

25 Oct

I use these ‘free’ paper rulers from that famous furniture store we know to teach shape and space, in particular loci.
There are many ways you can structure the lesson using the rulers. Here is a brief description of how I have used them when teaching loci.
Having cleared a space in the middle of the classroom, pupils are given a paper ruler and told they need to position themselves with the following rules. For example “You must be 2m away from the wall with the windows” or “You must be 3m away from the chair in the middle of the room”. In addition, pupils can position them selves around a line (I use a broom handle) to produce the race track shape. Or given multiple rules around the room. For example must be at least 3m away from the chair in the middle but 2m from the back wall. Positions were pupils are stood can be drawn on with chalk or just discussed as a group.

If you have limited space pupils can be asked to place a counter, or some marker (do you have enough teddy bears? I managed to get enough together and created a teddy bears picnic with one class!).

Great way to introduce the topic, or as a hands on plenary.

Good luck and let me know if you give it a try!

Too late to blog?

25 Oct

Is it too late to blog? Has blogging lost its cool? Am I year’s behind everyone else? Yes maybe but does that mean it’s too late to start?

Can I blog a blogger? Is that cool?

So I have recently caught onto the existence of blogs about teaching.

Yes it is embarrassing to admit that the thought hadn’t entered my mind until a colleague discovered Colleen Young’s blog Mathematics, Learning and Web 2.0 about Midd Spots. Wow, a whole new world appeared. Soon after I discovered Larry Ferlazzo’s blog Websites of the Day, and the rest is history!

No it’s not too late, of course not. Does it matter if its cool? No. Am I year’s behind? Yes some but no it’s not too late to start. After all I wouldn’t be a teacher if I answered any differently.

Thank you to those bloggers, Colleen and Larry who have been an inspiration and brought sparkle to my teaching.

Now I hope to spread the word and share good practice. Wish me luck!

%d bloggers like this: