# Christmas 2016 Update

Following the recent Christmas 2016 Christmas collection – an update – try a Desmos Christmas present!
Having reminded Year 8 about equations of lines and developed the topic this year, this Desmos Christmas present graph will make a good starter. They can identify the lines, hopefully quickly!

I also created a version where the lines are all black which means I can easily change the colour of just one of the items to clearly display each.

We can also discuss that bow! Whilst we don’t study equations of circles until Year 10 or 11, I will frequently “plant ideas” earlier so when students meet them later they have at least heard of them! Younger students can easily be asked for points that satisfy x2+y2=25 for example.

Christmas Relay – Problem Solving Puzzles

On TES we have a complete set of relays from Chris Smith; my classes have enjoyed his Valebtine 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 the these relays from Chris – all the answers are provided – brilliant!

GCSE Christmas Puzzles

Looking further at the TES Christmas 2016 Collection these GCSE Maths Christmas Puzzles from chuckieirish look good as do these Christmas Puzzles from ryansmailes. (Note I included one of Ryan’s resources, a Christmas Maths Activities Booklet as a favourite from earlier years.) The GCSE resource is a collection of four files and all the answers are supplied. I particularly like the Christmas Maths problems files – a very good collection to choose from.

GCSE Maths Christmas Puzzles – TES

Mark McCourt has a great collection of Christmas Activities on his Emaths site. These resources include a lovely variety of activities for your students to do some valuable Maths as well as getting in the Christmas mood!

It’s that time of year again…!

December means Advent Calendars and Nrich have published two 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 primary Calendar tasks focus on encouraging mathematical habits of mind and the Secondary tasks have been chosen to encourage mathematical creativity.

You can in fact find a whole collection of advent calendars on Nrich and clearly the year doesn’t matter! Note the different themes available – a Sudoku for each day perhaps? Or a tangram? Maybe you want to play a game?

Alex Pett created his advent calendar complete with history and problems for each day. Alex has provided a pdf version or use as a Google document. For an Activeinspire resource this version also has sound.

And for an A Level Advent calendar, try this one from Mathsbank.

With Mathsbank you can display solutions step by step.

# Christmas Update

Oxford University Press Christmas Problems

From Oxford University Press a very helpful email with some Christmas resources, some more problems to solve and some star decorations to make for your classroom. The festive Venn diagrams I referred to in the previous Christmas post which has many ideas for Christmas are included too.

Oxford University Press – C1 C2 Quadratic Functions

You can find many free resources from OUP here. It strikes me that higher level GCSE students may appreciate the A Level C1 – C2 Practice on Quadratic functions.

The A Level assessments look very useful – collections of exam style questions which include solutions and mark schemes. I always find it useful to have resources like this to use in class. Thank you OUP!

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Now, staying with the theme of Christmas presents from the examination boards – some clever wording from AQA here on Better Maths who can tell us what the student of GCSE past can tell us about GCSE papers yet to come! See An Early GCSE Maths Christmas Carol on Better Maths. AQA have very helpfully provided resources on Exemplar Student Responses for trial of practice papers. So thank you to AQA too!

and a few more Christmas resources:

# The last few days of term …

So – just a few days to go. I have a couple of Year 12 (UK age 16-17) lessons left. We have done everything we should and made a very good start to the Year 13 course – so what to do for the very last lesson? These logic puzzles from John Pratt should keep us happily and usefully occupied. (I have added these to the Puzzles page on Mathematics Games.) Or we could try another Kakuro Puzzle, students were fascinated by these when introduced to the puzzles by a member of the class. At the end of the year we ask Year 12 students to do a presentation to their peers which works well.

I wrote last week on End of term activities and mentioned the excellent Bingo games on Maths Box, colleagues have said how well the Treasure Hunts from the same site worked with their classes. Thank you Maths box!

Still thinking about games, I see that in the latest Nrich newsletter, Strategy games are featured for Primary teachers; these would also be useful for lower secondary.

This week I was pleased to see the new podcast from TES, ‘The Big Conference Interview Special’ which features interviews with some of the speakers from the TSM conference and  includes the pros and cons of using iPads in the classroom, a new curriculum for post 16s and an in-depth discussion about what the new UK mathematics curriculum will look like. At about 16.5 minutes in you can catch Criag Barton talking to me about the use of technology in the Mathematics classroom. The links I refer to can all be found in the slides here.

By Colleen Young Tagged

# End of term activities

The school year is coming to an end for teachers in the UK and looking at the statistics for recent popular posts I can see people have been searching for end of term activities. I have recently updated this post with suggestions for such activities. Recent additions include fun with some plots on WolframAlpha; there are in fact a whole family of Star Wars curves! See also many other fun curves!

Other additions to the original post include Bingo which works really well. You might like to try a team game? Try The Workers of Zen(ATM publish books of team games) and I must mention A Little Problem for the Holidays

PacMan by Alec Schultz on Desmos

If those WolframAlpha equations are a bit much for younger students they could try something simpler using the Desmos graphing calculator; look at Alec Schultz’s PacMan for example, you could just show your students how to restrict the domain for straight lines, maybe show them the equation of a circle and see what they can produce! For more Desmos art have a look at this wonderful collection! (I have added a post to Mathematics for Students to show how to display parts of lines and circles on Demos)

Wishing teachers everywhere a happy holiday (only WolframAlpha would give you the Scrabble score as well as the definition!). For teachers already on holiday I hope you are having a great one.

# Happy Easter

Google graph – click on the image.

A reminder that you can just type a function into Google and its graph will be returned!

Darth Vader on WolframAlpha – click on the image

WolframAlpha of course can show you some graphs of Easter eggs!
I noticed whilst using WolframAlpha today random suggestions of queries popping up that somebody out there thought I might enjoy (very worrying how right they are!). This popped up – I had not realised that typing for example Darth Vader curve into WolframAlpha would give me just that!

Looking for Easter ideas and resources I came across these Easter games on the excellent mathsticks.com site which has an extensive collection of resources for younger students ( a site I have recommended for younger students).

On the subject of Easter eggs I must return to this definition.
WolframAlpha – a little fun!

# Last Lessons ….

Update: end of term activities page.

In the UK schools are finishing for the summer, some have already completed school for the year.

What to do for those last lessons?

No videos – though I could make an exception for the counting chimps, a video I was introduced to by Alex Bellos at the SSAT conference which he included in his session and shows the astonishing recall of a chimp – compare the human!

Some Mathematical games and puzzles perhaps? There are plenty to choose from.
Maybe….