Number Loving Loves…

Valentine’s Day is the time to acknowledge those things you love and couldn’t live (or teach) without, so here are my top ten teaching crushes…

1) @taylorda01 and his blog to infinity and beyond

2) @mrbartonmaths and his fabulous website do follow him on twitter as every day he recommends a brilliant resource of the day (ROTD – wonder where he thought up that acronym(!))

3) @mrprcollins and his really interesting blog reflective journal 

4) @ColleenYoung and her amazing blog mathematics learning and web 2.0

5) William Emeny’s blog great maths teaching ideas

6) @riley_ed and his blog new tech timeline, check out his most recent post about manga high

7) @mrbuckton4maths and his YouTube channel past paper solutions, also check out his tes page for over 1,000 quality resources

8) @reflectivemaths aka Dave Gale and his blog reflective maths teacher

9) @Mr_BRouse and his blog Ben Rouse has some really interesting thoughts and resources for use of technology in the classroom

10) Time for some shameless self promotion, @laurareeshughes and @numberloving, follow us for updates on the blog and news on the new resource site which will be up and running next month!

If you are not signed up to twitter then I would really recommend it, it is a great forum to find new ideas and inspirational teachers to follow. Tips for beginners here.

Get in touch @numberloving and check out our free and premium resources in our NumberLoving Store.

Beautiful Reflections

Mirror mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest of them all?

Beauty is often linked closely with the symmetry of the face meaning there are many applications in the classroom!

Reflecting faces

For the hook to my reflection lesson I created a short investigation into beauty of the rich and famous! Some stars with a symmetrical face (Angelina Jolie) and some stars not so fortunate (Wayne Rooney and Susan Boyle).

Find a portrait photo of the star (or pupils can investigate their own face) and paste the photo into Power Point three times. The first gets left as it is, the second they crop to just show the left side of the face, the third the right side of the face.

Then make a copy of each half face, select one of the half faces and in the picture tools go to rotate and flip horizontal. They can then compare the reflected celebrities with the original! Here is a Power Point of some of the famous faces I looked at with my year 7 class.

Please note your school’s policy regarding photography of pupils.

On-line web cams like this one are great for school laptops with built-in cameras, pupils can look at their face using the symmetry camera. Be warned this is not something to do at the beginning of your lesson!

Substituting into expressions

On the topic of beauty this is another activity I use when studying substitution into expressions. Students have to measure lengths on the faces and sub into the expressions, the closer to 1 their answers the more ‘attractive’ the face (the expressions are all based on the golden ratio). I ask them to find the mean of all their answers and then order the celebrities. Measuring lengths, substitution, calculator skills, surds, averages and ordering decimals, so much Maths and they won’t even realise! You could of course ask them to do it with their own faces but in my experience this quickly descends into chaos!

You could even start with this video from the BBC or this video all about the golden ratio presented by none other than Carol Vorderman!

Get in touch @numberloving and check out our free and premium resources in our NumberLoving Store.


Computer room lessons sorted – no mymaths allowed!

Computers are a great way to enhance student learning and there are so many great resources out there there’s really no excuse for not letting the students loose! And there’s no excuse for letting them sit on mymaths for an hour (my pet hate!), so here are NumberLoving’s favourite computer lessons.


Geogebra is a brilliant software package which is totally free and allows students to explore all sorts of mathematical concepts. I have made some ready to go lessons (available here) on a range of topics from circle theorems to adding fractions. There are also hundreds of resources on the geogebra website which are all free to access.

My favourite lesson in geogebra is getting students to create some transformation patterns (instructions here) which they can then manipulate to investigate the effect of transformations on length and angle. You can also use these patterns in the following lesson to get students to identify which transformations were used.

Middle Spot

I discovered this website a while ago and it transformed by computer lessons, it is very simple and allows you to produce your own website with instructions, links and downloadable content. This is where I link in everything which I want students to do.


This is a great website which allows students to post virtual sticky notes on a message board, this is one made by my year 10 class whilst investigating straight line graphs in geogebra. You can ask them to post their findings or any questions.


Autograph is a fabulous piece of software which has endless applications in Mathematics teaching, if you want to learn more I would suggest you have a look at the tutorials by Mr Barton – you will be an expert in no time.


Excel is a great tool for graph drawing but students find this pretty simple so it’s often a good way to get them drawing graphs quickly in order to compare some data. This investigation by Nrich is great, if students want to draw boxplots you can give them this template otherwise it gets a bit tricky.

The national strategies have loads of really good lessons using excel which are really worth a look at. This is a good resource in which students can use trial and improvement to find square and cube roots, and this one where they investigate using trial and improvement to find solutions to an equation.

If you are looking for a little starter for students in the computer room then dwatson802 has shared loads of interactive worksheets on the TES which are really worth a download, they even mark themselves too!

World Maths Day and Sumdog

If you are not signed up for world maths day then do it NOW! Registration is free and students love going on this to compete against other pupils from around the world. They can practice for the next month until the challenge on the 7th of march. If your students like it then Sumdog is a similar website which is free all year round, yay!


My students love xtranormal, it is basically a website where they can make their own cartoon animations. They will not need any instruction on this, it is very intuitive. You could ask them to make a revision cartoon, or act out a distance time graph or loads of other ideas. Sign up yourself but pick a generic login like ‘year9maths’ and then they can all login using this.

If you have a computer lesson you love doing then please leave us a comment below! Get in touch @numberloving and check out our NumberLoving Store for free and premium resources.

Mobile Phones – Friend not foe

Granted, the presence of mobile phones can be a problem in many classrooms, but  the fact that every student has such a powerful piece of equipment in their pocket should be overlooked at your peril!

The app store is a maths teachers dream with all sorts of fantastic little resources such as compasses for when you teach bearings, reaction time testers for ordering decimals and revision quizzes for KS4. Go on and have a look, you will be inspired.

Amongst all the apps one of the greatest has to be the QR code scanner. You see these little codes popping up all over the place. You scan the code using the app and could be sent some text, a picture, or you may be directed to a webpage.

One of the best generators can be found here . It’s free to use, so you just select what you want to happen when it is scanned and hey presto you’ve got a QR code, the colours can be changed too which is a nice touch.  So, how can these be used in the classroom? Well the presentation beneath should answer that question!

[slideshare id=8055885&doc=qrcode-110521201458-phpapp02]

Get onto! Present & Collaborate

If you haven’t yet got onto “The zooming presentation tool”, you simply must. Presenting using Prezi is a great way of wooing your colleagues and impressing pupils, and the more recent developments with this free software means it is even more fabulous and your presentation really will sparkle.

Have a look at my latest Prezi, used to deliver inset to Science staff about the differences between graphs in Mathematics and Science. Feedback welcome on this, as huge discussions took place around both terminology and the use of a line of best fit v fitting a curve or joining the dots.

Prezi is free online software, it is fairly intuitive software which you and your pupils can explore as you learn. Videos and photos can be uploaded and embedded into the presentation, a path is then made to link each element into a smooth presentation. In addition to the fact that more than one person can be editing, or viewing each Prezi at anyone time, presentations can now be made online.

The possibilities are endless! Definitely worth a trial, if you find this is useful please leave your comments and share the sparkle. Get in touch @numberloving