Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple Choice Example
I have been updating posts on Multiple Choice Questions to make sure all links are working correctly and any outdated resources removed.

The posts Multiple Choice Questions and Multiple Choice for older students can be found on this new page, Multiple Choice Questions under Problems and Activities.

There are many excellent sources of questions in these posts, Don Steward for example, who has so many outstanding resources on his Median blog, includes some multiple choice quizzes.

Don Steward Multiple Choice

Don Steward – Rearrangement Steps

See this on rearrangement for example. Note that Don has a collection of practice and quiz questions which includes multiple choice quizzes.

amcA recent happy discovery is the excellent multiple choice questions from the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC). There are several competitions which increase in difficulty by student age. Detailed Problems and solutions are available, I do like this problem, a good one to use when teaching Systematic Listing Strategies perhaps.

multiple choice phil bruce

Phil Bruce – Multiple Choice Starter Questions

On TES resources, author pbrucemaths has a brilliant collection of clearly indexed multiple choice starter questionsPhil Bruce has aimed to cover every objective on the GCSE syllabus.

multiple choice

Colin Billet – GCSE Multiple Choice Questions

Also on TES, Colin Billet has created multiple choice questions from old GCSE papers, one set is for the higher tier and another for foundation.


Mathematics for Science

gcse science mathematical skills

GCSE and A Level Science includes much mathematical content, it strikes me that is important for Mathematics Departments to be aware of the mathematical requirements for these qualifications and where appropriate use resources which will support Science as well as Mathematics. The GCSE subject content for science clearly shows the GCSE requirements in Appendix 3, page 49; if we are teaching Algebra, changing the subject of a formula, for example, we might as well make sure we include formulae required for GCSE Chemistry and Physics or teaching Histograms, we can be aware that it is also a requirement for GCSE Science.


Guide to Maths for Scientists – Pearson

There is plenty of material available for supporting the teaching of Mathematical Skills for Science, try the following:

On Just Maths, note this Guest Post, Maths in Science, which includes PowerPoints and worksheets from an INSET session for Mathematics and Science teachers. Also, note the Guide to Maths for Scientists from Pearson.

The excellent Teachit Maths site has been recommended before on this blog, Teachit resources are also available for other subjects including Science. The generous subscription model options, like that for Mathematics includes free membership with access to all the pdf resources. Note the Maths Skills in Science resources, a search on Maths returns this collection.

tes resources

TES Resources

From TES Resources, a Maths in Science Scheme of Learning is available; this resource looks very helpful, Maths skills are shown in scientific contexts. Written as a transition unit before beginning GCSE work. The aim of the scheme was to increase the confidence of the students in the areas of maths that were common to all three sciences. The author wrote the scheme after consultation with the maths department to guide as to when and how these areas were taught in their school.

The scheme covers standard form, orders of magnitude, significant figures, shape (areas and volumes), ratios and interpreting graphs.

The GCE A Level subject content for science, clearly states the mathematical requirements in Appendix 6, pages 24-40. The assessment of quantitative skills will include at least 10% level 2 or above mathematical skills for biology and psychology, 20% for chemistry and 40% for physics, these skills will be applied in the context of the relevant science A level.

The examination boards have helpful teaching resources for each subject, looking at AQA for example:

Teaching Resources
Biology Teaching Guide for Statistics in Biology
Chemistry Chemistry website resource list

Looking at the Chemistry website resource list, we see that The Royal Society of Chemistry provides many resources for schools; a search on Maths returns a large collection of Maths resources for Chemistry.

aqa biology transition guide

AQA Biology Transition Guide


physics transition guide

AQA Physics Transition Guide

The teaching resources include a transition guide for Biology, Chemistry and Physics, these guides include mathematical activities for students to complete.

Maths Skills Briefings for A Level Science
AQA worked with a group of schools from Camden in London to create maths skills briefings to help with teaching the specific maths skills. Each episode is intended to fill about 15-30 minutes of a lesson and includes a PowerPoint presentation, Lesson plan and Worksheet for each skill.

Similarly, OCR has very helpful teacher guides and resources. Use this search page to search for teaching resources. Choose your qualification and resources type to explore the resources, look at the handbooks for each science, several mathematical skills handbooks are available.

pearson biology student maths support

Biology – Student Maths Support – Pearson

Pearson too has excellent guides for both students and teachers, see their Maths Guides for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Happy New Year – Part 2

Following on from Happy New Year 2019, some further resources for your classes at the beginning of 2019…

Manan Shah has given us Ten New Year’s Algebra Puzzles for 2019. These are excellent and will certainly get your students thinking.

manan shah - algebra 2019 puzzles

Manan Shah – Algebra Puzzles for 2019

Alex Bellos celebrated 2019 in his Monday Guardian column, starting with this number fact on 2019 from Ed Southall.

2019 - ed southall
Alex then provides us with two puzzles to celebrate 2019, Date Jam and Countdown conundrum. Solutions are available.

MEI has provided us with an appropriate Maths item of the month for January with some problems about the number 2019; continuing the theme from the above item one of the problems tells us that 2019 is the smallest number that can be written as the sum of the squares of 3 primes. (The two sums of squares problems got me thinking further about this, Sum of Squares Theorems from Brilliant is helpful.)

mei items of the month

MEI Maths Item of the Month Curriculum Mapping

MEI provides us with many wonderful classroom resources; the list of Maths Items of the Month is very helpfully categorised by GCSE/A level topics.

Looking at the mapping, showing I think the importance of good titles, I couldn’t resist ‘Possibly the best counter-example in the world!’ I like that, it will certainly feature in my Proof revision for Year 13!

So once again – wishing educators and students everywhere a very happy and successful 2019.

Happy New Year 2019

It’s that time of year again and we can play the 2019 Year Game in our January lessons. You can preview the 2019 game now. Can your students use the digits in the year 2019 and the operations +, -, x, ÷, sqrt (square root),^ (raise to a power), ! (factorial), and !! (double factorial) along with grouping symbols, to write expressions for the counting numbers 1 through 100?
FactorialsMy students have always been curious about the double factorial function.

Excel has a function for computing double factorials, illustrated here.

This year I think I will show my students a few examples and see if they can work out what is going on!

Have a look at this definition from Wolfram Math World or have a look at this article on Ask Dr Math. Note the relationship between the double and single factorial functions.

We could also look back and use the excellent MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. We could check today or any day for Mathematicians who were born or died on that day.

The site is searchable in several ways, including the comprehensive index of  History Topics.

We can always turn to Number Gossip from Tanya Khovanova for information on properties of a number.

2019 is a Happy Number – one of my all-time favourite investigations has to be Happy Numbers!

28 is happy

2019 is happy

Happy Numbers is accessible for a range of abilities and offers a great lesson in the value of recording results carefully so you can use previous results and save yourself work! The Happy Numbers page includes additional resources, have you seen the Dr Who clip – Happy Primes?!

2019 is square free as its prime decomposition contains no repeated factors. I have found students are usually interested in these number properties and we could certainly usefully revise prime factor decomposition and come up with some more square free numbers.

2019 is also a lucky number, note that 13 is a mathematical lucky number!

We can also look at WolframAlpha which provides further information including what 2019 looks like in historical numeral forms. We could use the various WolframAlpha queries to learn how Babylonian, for example, numerals work. I have successfully used this as an interesting starter for January lessons.

The Babylonian system was a positional base 60 system, though interestingly uses ‘units’ and ‘tens’ symbols to create the 59 symbols needed.


For more on the Babylonian system including how fractions were represented see History of Fractions from Nrich.

Calendar 2From trol, Teacher Resources on Line, we can make a calendar for 2019. I do like the fold and tuck models – no glue required!

Wishing educators and students everywhere a very Happy New Year.