For schools still in session in the run-up to the holidays, a couple of additions to Christmas 2017.

MEI M4 Magazine

From MEI, the November / December M4 Magazine includes an excellent collection of 10 puzzles and challenges for your students. Full teacher notes and solutions are included and the problems are ready for you to project for your classes.

MEI’s M4 Magazine is always worth reading and you will find an excellent mix of news and also teaching resources, note also MEI’s Newsletters.

From ATM, this open resource, Plotting Coordinates, Santa is aimed at younger students and offers the chance to practice plotting coordinates accurately. I like the extension questions at the end on changing the coordinates.

TheMyMaths team released free Christmas activities and worksheets every weekday between 1st and 15th December. The team have helpfully collected all these activities here on MyMaths or on Twitter. On day#6, for example, see some Yuletide Algebra.

Wishing everyone a wonderful and well-deserved break.

From Teachitmaths, create a masterpiece! Mistletoe & lines; the description reads ‘Practise your graph drawing skills with a Christmassy theme! Plot the given points to draw a Christmas tree, then add your own lines of tinsel, giving the equation of each one.’ The pdf resource is free, you just need to register with the site. Further Christmas activities are available.

Craig Barton has published the TES Maths Christmas 2017 Collection which has a large collection of very varied activities which come highly recommended by teachers. From earlier years some personal favourites include Christmas Countdown (which although designed for daily use I have also used as an end of term activity) and Santa’s Reindeer (logic and number properties) both of which I have successfully used in class. Try this Twelve days of Christmas algebra activity or describe the Christmas tree hereusing inequalities. This Operation Christmas Tree Excel resource makes a rather nice starter. Try this Advent Calendar complete with worksheets for students and teachers’ notes; clear instructions are given for adapting the calendar for your own classes.

Christmas Relay – Problem Solving Puzzles

On TES we have a complete set of relays from Chris Smith; my classes have enjoyed his Valentine and Summer relays, I think we’ll use the Christmas relay to complete this term! You can find more excellent resources from Chris on TES and follow him on Twitter here.

As with all these relays from Chris – all the answers are provided – brilliant!

Another set of Higher (Geometry) problems is here. I like their festive Venn Diagrams, they would make a nice introduction / reminder on Venn diagrams for younger students.

Here’s a Christmas tree on the Desmos Graphing Calculator site. Note this is simply a collection of lines and circles, as you can see from the syntax it is very easy to restrict x or y values.

How about a Desmos present to review equations of lines? This Christmas present graph makes a good starter.

For more on getting creative with Desmos, see Graph Art on Mathematics for Students.

On Suffolk Maths you will find this large collectionincluding games, puzzles, relays, quizzes, constructions…..

Mostly for younger children, Top Marks have put their favourite Christmas Activities together.

If you are creating any resources yourself you might want to install some Christmas fonts! (shown here: christmas lights, christmas tree and kingthings christmas)

We could do the annual calculation and work out how many gifts are received over the 12 days of Christmas.Murray Bourne has all the answers and more on squareCircleZ or have a look at this YouTube video.

On the subject of videos, try a video advent calendar from Numberphile!

Click on the graphic below to see just how hard Santa works! (Published: December 2010 by Advertising Agency: Benedict & Helfer, Hungary.)

Christmas 2017WolframAlpha count and other information you probably are not too worried about for Christmas Day!

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmasand New Year. Thank you for reading and for all the various comments. Have a wonderful and well-deserved break when we get to the holidays!

Studying Statistics with my Further Mathematicians I thought I would put some resources together. The use of Technology can really help with understanding here.

This GeoGebra applet allows students to move points and watch the effect on the line of best.

This can be used in class by asking students to plot the points, draw their lines of best fit and then comparing with the computer. This worked really well on my phone, I simply sent myself an email with the the link and was able to move points easily. This could also be used with younger classes when talking about lines of best fit.

Choose from a range of examples or choose Custom to add your own points and guess then check the correlation coefficient. You can also draw your own line of best fit and compare it to the theoretical line of best fit. Note the option to include residuals for both your own attempt and the line of best fit.

On the subject of correlation coefficients, we can play a game to see how well we can guess the correlation coefficient! Guess the Correlation Coefficient.

Guess the Correlation – Omar Wagih

From Cambridge PhD student, Omar Wagih ‘Guess the Correlation‘, a rather addictive game with a purpose – Omar Wagih is collecting the data on the guesses collected and using it to analyse how we perceive correlations in scatter plots. Select About to read the rules and further details.

We also need to look at ranked data and students must be able to calculate Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient from raw data or summary statistics. Again, Social Science Statistics, offers us a calculator which will be useful for checking work.

Social Science Statistics

Calculation details provide a useful check on work.

December means Advent Calendars and Nrich have published their annual Advent Calendars, one for Primary and one for Secondary each containing twenty-four problem-solving activities, one for each day in the run-up to Christmas. The secondary tasks come from the excellent Short Problems collection.

From Plus Magazine, their 2017 Advent Calendar brings you some of their favourite Plus videos.

Plus Magazine – Advent Calendar 2017

From Andy Lutwyche we have his Christmas Advent Calendar which covers lots of different topics in number, algebra, shape & space and data and gets progressively more difficult as you go on.

Andy Lutwyche – Christmas Advent Calendar

Also on TES you can find an excellent calendar from Mark Dawes, as mentioned earlier the year doesn’t matter – December still has the same number of days!

This is a lovely resource with over 30 problem-solving tasks for use in maths lessons in December. Suitable for starter activities, they span a range of abilities in KS3 and KS4. As well as the calendar the resource includes worksheets for some of the problems an Excel file showing the difficulty of the tasks.

Alex Pett created his advent calendar complete with history and problems for each day. Alex has provided a pdf versionor use as aGoogle document. For an Activeinspire resource, try this version.

The Core Maths resources, now available on STEM Learning include many excellent Statistics resources. The resources are designed to enable students to use and apply statistics in unfamiliar contexts. There are several resources with large data sets available, very useful for students to get used to working with such data sets

Many of these resources could also be adapted for younger students, with my Year 10 students (UK age 14-15) I will use the data and parts of the questions from Averages and Spread: two which explores how to calculate and interpret different measures of location and dispersion.

If we look at the first question, for example, we have the data shown here. Students are required to calculate the mean, median, mode, interquartile range, range, variance and standard deviation (these last two we can save until Year 12).

I particularly like this interpretation question which we can use to give some context to the use of the upper quartile as here we have the upper quartile of 21.2 above the safe limit, suggesting that a quarter of scientists exceeded the safe limit.

The safe level for one year’s exposure is 20.0 mSv. Explain if the following statement is correct, using the data you have just calculated.

‘The scientists at CERN are working within the safe levels of radioactive exposure.’

Full solutions are given in the Teachers’ notes. The activity also includes questions on frequency distributions, one with grouped data.

Core Maths Support Program

We will also be able to review some charts and diagrams using these examples, drawing a box plot for the first example and a cumulative frequency chart for the grouped data example.

For some further useful resources, on TES we have a simple but effective exercise for students to practise drawing box plots byjhofmannmaths, a good example of a time-saving resource for teachers with ready drawn grids for students.

Looking at other resources by jhofmannmaths, I see many well-received resources; I like his simple but useful Expanding simple brackets mistakes which could be a useful Starter / Plenary (or anytime!). Silly Suzie has made some errors! I appreciate resources like this with several copies to a page – very useful if you want to get a lesson started very promptly and have just changed room – it can be that the paper beats the technology!

Talking of silly Suzie reminds me of Erica and her errors by Andy Lutwyche. I used his Erica’s Errors on Integration very successfully with Year 12 this week, many of whom made the same mistakes as Erica. We had some great discussions on how easy it is to make such errors and they seem to believe me more than ever that having a look at the graph is a really good idea!