# Top Posts and Pages

A new page on this blog is on Top Posts and Pages which I can see from the WordPress statistics has been a popular page itself this week.

Top Posts and Pages details the most popular posts and pages in the last seven days and also for all time (since starting this blog in January 2009).

 Top 10 – last 7 days World Maths Day 2012 Top >10 Mathematics Websites Top 100 Tools for Learning 2011 Four Nations Maths Challenge Manga High For Students…. Bloomin’ Mathematics Useful Links Rich Tasks Top Posts

It is interesting that some recent posts such as Top>10 Mathematics Websites have made it very quickly into the top posts and pages for all time.

Top Posts and Pages will be updated regularly.

# Top >10 Mathematics Websites

I was asked recently about my own top ten Mathematics websites, this request and remembering Edna Sackson’s comments on her ’10 Ways…’ series  reminded me of the various ‘Top (insert number here) Mathematics Websites’ posts I have read; all of them have left me with the thought that so many excellent sites are missing from such lists. Really such posts (including this one) should be titled ‘My Top 10….’  as they understandably include the author’s favourites. For my own list I have decided to include some categories as well as individual sites which gives me the excuse to mention far more than 10! Note that every site mentioned here is free to use.
So in no particular order:

# Wisweb Applets

I can see from the WordPress statistics for this blog that people often end up here searching for the excellent WisWeb applets.
For further details on the plans and elevations applets see this post.

Try this applet  which shows how a solid is formed from a net, just move the red slider from 0 to 100.

Using  Algebra Trees form inputs, operations and output by dragging them onto the main workspace, connect them up and optionally connect to a graph. Click inside any of the elements to change the content.

Once you have tried a few of these applets you will find them intuitive to use.

Algebra Arrows for example could be used to compare different orders of operations. Build a tree, make the input x and note the output generated:

There are several applets which are excellent for showing plans and elevations, see for example Building Houses with side views where the user must construct a house given top, front and right views. Teachers familiar with the ‘Improving learning in Mathematics’ materials will recognise some of these applets.

# For Students….

With older students in mind including those about to enter higher education, there are many free resources available to support students in their study of Mathematics.
Note that a new blog aimed at students is now available.

There are many sources of excellent notes online. See this Evernote shared notebook: Mathematics notes for useful links. (You do not need an Evernote account to view the notebook). Some of these sites include videos, for an extensive collection of videos try Khan Academy.
Alternatively, use the Livebinders version of Mathematics Notes.

On the subject of Evernote - it is a valuable tool for any student or teacher.
Other tools which may be of interest are on Digital Tools for Students.

Students going on to study Mathematics degrees have a look at Kevin Houston’s ‘How not to get a good mathematics degree‘ and ‘How to get a good mathematics degree‘. He also has provided a pdf file you can download: 10 Ways to Think Like a Mathematician. Kevin Houston works at the University of Leeds.

I would advise students of any subject to learn to use WolframAlpha. Suppose you wish to do some revision on techniques for differentiation for example – ask WolframAlpha to differentiate x2sinx, and the derivative will be returned with possible working available if  ’Show steps’ is selected. (Further Calculus examples). WolframAlpha provides an excellent way to check your work.

WolframAlpha will plot graphs, there are many other free and excellent online graphing tools, see the Desmos Graphing Calculator for example and many other online graphing tools. (See this page for polar curve plotters).

Thinking longer term – have a look at the excellent Maths Careers site.

# Mathematics Excel Files

For a site with an extensive collection of Excel files for both GCSE and A level – see Mike Hadden’s MathsFiles site.
There are other  resources also, including some for Autograph.

A useful feature to help explore the Excel files is the option to see a screenshot.

These spreadsheets could be usefully used for demonstrations in the classroom and students could then study the examples further themselves.

# Solving Equations

There are many excellent resources online for solving equations.

A simple way to see a complete solution to an equation is to enter it into WolframAlpha then select ‘Show Steps’. (Update 2012 – using the free version of WolframAlpha allows you an unlimited number of queries, so excellent for checking any work but you can only use ‘Show Steps’ three times a day!)

# Waldomaths

Waldomaths by Ron Barrow has extensive resources for students to explore. These work well on the interactive whiteboard.

There are numerous applets for ages 11-16, also for ages 16-19.

I like using these in class as students can then experiment themselves at home.

A recent addition is this applet on fractions which allows students to study examples and see how to handle fractions.
The fractions A and B can be changed and students can see how to add, subtract, multiply or divide the two fractions.

I have used and like many of these applets - Circle Theorems for GCSE for example or the Normal Distribution in KS5 to show how the probability changes for different areas under the curve. (I have used this together with a Normal Distribution calculator – see link on this page).

# Math Open Reference

John Page describes his ‘Math Open Reference‘ project as a free interactive textbook on the web, initially covering Geometry.

The  tools include various function explorers. Younger students could explore linear functions for example, whilst older students could use the general Graphical Function Explorer to explore any functions, trigonometric for example.

# Triptico

A variety of excellent classroom resources are available from Triptico. They work very well on the Interactive Whiteboard.

Triptico resources are accessed from a desktop application, free to download, so an Internet connection is not required to use the resources.

Try Find 10, perhaps as a starter. This allows you to show 15 statements, 5 of which are incorrect, students have to find the 10 correct statements.
Activities can be saved for subsequent use.

This is an application well worth exploring. The resources include timers, a random name selector, team scorers, also an excellent vocabulary activity, Word Magnets.

Once you have downloaded the application scrolling allows you to see all the activities or use the Favourites menu.