Linear Programming

A happy discovery recently on Transum, Linear Programming which provides a really easy way for teachers to illustrate several Linear Programming problems. Students could try these as an online activity.

Transum Linear Programming

Transum Mathematics – Linear Programming

I am pleased to see that a reminder of Inequalities is the first activity, something I always start with when teaching Linear Programming. Levels 1 to 5 provide 5 different problems providing very typical linear programming problems and we also have Exam Style Questions. The very generous Free model on Transum allows access to the extensive library of resources including checking answers such as illustrated here;  a subscription additionally provides answers to all of the pupil online exercises such as Exam Questions, quizzes and puzzles as well as additional benefits.

Students are required not just to solve these probems but to interpret solutions to such problems; this post on Mathematics for Students looks at using technology to do just that and includes online utilities and instructions on the use of the Excel Solver. Examination questions are used to illustrate the use of these tools.
Excel Solver

LP Vet Graphical Solution

A version of this post is also available for students on Mathematics for Students. Note the excellent notes and examples on Linear Programming available from CIMT, one of a series of chapters on Discrete Mathematics.


A Level Maths Resources

Following on from last week’s post which included some Advanced Level Mathematcs resources, some more this week with updates to some A Level pages.

Edexcel Teaching & Learning Materials

Edexcel frequently publishes new material, keep an eye on new publications by changing the Sort By filter to ‘Latest’. Published in October 2019 we have a new guide to support for AS and A Level Mathematics. On page 5 there is a really useful list of teacher guides, these are so valuable for teachers and on page 7 another great list – sample, exemplar and past assessment materials; these include model answers – a great teaching resource.

Edexcel Teacher Guides

Coming soon we are promised enhanced content guidance which will provide further exemplification of specific areas of the subject content and a new set of mock papers in January 2020 as well as more practice papers focusing on the new elements of content and new question types introduced in the reformed qualification.

Check all the Teaching and Learning materials where you can filter by content type, also Exam Materials and Specification and Sample Assessments which includes the data set for AS and A Level.

The above information is all included on my updated Edexcel page in the A Level series.  Also updated is the page with sources of worked examples to include weekly A level starters by topic for Year 12 and 13 from Edexcel past papers/specimen papers with mark schemes from @mathstiger70; these resources are included in the Maths Emporium from Edexcel and also available in a Dropbox folderThere are also Excel tracking sheets that print a QLA sheet for the student every 6 weeks.

Two more pages which have been updated are the Calculator pages on Casio’s ClassWiz and graphical calculators, including the CG50.


Edexcel Calculator Guide

From Pearson-Edexcel, one of their excellent guides from the Teaching and Learning Materials collection, we have this guide to using calculators when teaching AS and A level Mathematics. This very clear 5 page document lists specification content for AS and A Level Mathematics and provides video tutorials for a Scientific Calculator (Casio ClassWiz) and a Graphics Calculator (Casio CG50). It includes tutorials on both calculators – ideal for students learning to use these calculators.

Mathematical Miscellany #34

A Level Maths and Further Maths Resources
Jack Brown has over 990 teaching videos for the A Level Mathematics specification on his TLMaths site. There are now more videos for the core content for Further Maths, to date, videos for Proof and Matrices are available. These are included on this page for Further Maths teaching resources.

Desmos New Features
Keep an eye on new features from Desmos, we now have for example, Spearman’s rank coefficient. The data in this example comes from the exam paper, 
MEI S2 January 2006, question 3. Remember that Desmos has many useful and easy to use Statistical functions.
Normal Distribution

MEI Calculator Tasks
For resources using technology for A Level Maths and Further Maths, MEI’s series of tasks are excellent; all the student tasks, whether for Autograph, Casio, Desmos, GeoGebra, or TI-Nspire are structured in the same way, beginning with instructions on the use of the technology, also given are questions, a problem and further tasks. Integrating Technology Into Your Scheme of Work suggests activities aligned to the specification.

Note we now have a recently added collection of Autograph Tasks, currently for A Level Mathematics.  Remember that Autograph is now free, these tasks are helpful for teachers wishing to learn more about Autograph in that clear instructions are given on how to construct the objects in Autograph.

November 5th – Bonfire Night

OCR Bonfire Night

OCR Puzzle

Last week I mentioned Halloween resources from Perton Maths Department and OCR Maths, this week we have Bonfire Night. Check the Perton Maths bar model bonfire challenges and from OCR, check their latest Maths Puzzles including a challenging number grid for Bonfire Night.

Maths Week England – 11th-16th November 2019
Maths Week England aims to “Raise the profile of Mathematics throughout England, you can see the full aims here. Note the various competitions running including a Secondary and Post 16 quiz featuring questions for every age group from Y7 to Y13 and also the resources available. MangaHigh, Sumdog and TimeTables Rockstars are running competitions using their software for all schools whether or not they subscribe and we also have MEI’s Ritangle competition and Desmos Art Competition. All the details are on the Maths Week England competition page.

Mathematics for Halloween

A selection of Mathematical Halloween themed resources:

Perton Pumpkin 1
I do appreciate the dynamic Perton Maths Department, I have mentioned their various puzzle collections before – they are busy again, this time with Halloween puzzles!

Halloween Relay

Halloween relay – Chris Smith

From Chris Smith, try his great Halloween relay and note the whole set. I have used many of these very successfully – have fun whilst doing plenty of Maths!

From OCR Maths who are rather good at providing us with puzzles, try their fiendish number grid puzzle. OCR Maths regularly publish excellent puzzles many of which I have successfully used in class.

OCR Maths Puzzles

OCR Maths Puzzles

Nrich HalloweenFrom Nrich, thinking about systematic listing strategies with younger students, check this Halloween Investigation, just how many possible Halloween costumes are there?

Or a good starter for Thursday perhaps, try Halloween Day on Nrich, a problem taken from the UKMT Maths Challenges.

I like the way Nrich suggest related problems and strayed into Helen’s Conjecture here, one of many Nrich problems on Factors and Multiples similar to Helen’s Conjecture.

Transum HalloweenWe can rely on Transum Mathematics to provide us with starters appropriate to the date! Halloween is no exception.

Click on the windows for various starters….

And note the joke for teachers – a number base problem.

ghost curveAnd to finish, a ghost from WolframAlpha!

Checking popular curve examples on WolframAlha, a discovery – I had not realised that it was possible to, for example, create a randomly colored ghost curve


Linking Curriculum Learning to Careers

The October 2018 Careers guidance and access for education and training providers document details the Statutory guidance for governing bodies, school leaders and school staff.

The aim is to make sure that all young people in secondary school get a programme of advice and guidance. It is recommended that schools should use the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Benchmarks5 to develop and improve their careers provision.

From The Careers and Enterprise Company, the Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit is helpful, note in particular, benchmark 4, 

4. Linking curriculum learning to careers All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. For example, STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.

Pages 16 to 18 of the toolkit for school offers clear guidance on benchmark 4, or see this separate document, with just the pages on Benchmark 4. Page 18 includes examples including Tomorrow’s Engineers, an organisation I have mentioned previously as part of  my Posters collection. Tomorrow’s Engineers have a variety of careers resources.
stem jobs
MEI (thank you) alerted me to this poster – 100 jobs in STEM!

Further resources:
We are fortunate in Mathematics to have the wonderful Maths Careers site with its extensive collection of resources for students from age 11 to adult.

Plus Magazine has a whole series of Career interview articles.

Success at School has a whole series of Careers Guides by subject, including Mathematics.

With UCAS you can explore jobs in a variety of ways, by job family, by subject or by skill; look at Mathematics for example.

University Careers services include much useful information, see for example careers for mathematicians from Cambridge University.

Good Career Guidance: Reaching the Gatsby Benchmarks,

Forum Case Studies, FORUM has published many case studies about employer-linked curriculum projects.