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I’ll start this week with a quiz question!
Quiz Question v2
Click on the image to submit your response and see the answer.

So why start with a quiz question?!

I have just had an excellent few days at the TSM conference where I was delighted to meet Douglas Butler, the excellent tutors and so many teachers. Craig Barton’s quiz on Tuesday evening, after my own ‘Musings of a Maths Blogger’ where I showed delegates some of my favourite things has put me in a mood for quizzes! I would also like to remind everyone how brilliant Google forms are for gathering feedback, we have used many at school for gathering responses from students and staff. (See this page for some survey tools including Google Forms, links include Tom Barrett’s Interesting Ways to use Google Forms in the Classroom and a comprehensive manual from Sarah Eaton).

Craig’s tweets will give you some idea of the huge number of ideas shared and the expertise of tutors and delegates.

I thoroughly enjoyed the two workshops I attended myself, Mike Hadden’s ‘EXCEL for Advanced Users’ and Craig Barton’s ‘Autograph in the Classroom’.

I have written about Mike Hadden’s excellent MathsFiles site before so I was delighted to learn from such a master. I have used many of Mike’s files in the classroom and have put several on our VLE as they are useful for students for self-study and revision.

Autograph Activity – Craig Barton

Craig’s session looked at many excellent uses of Autograph in the classroom. Even if you don’t have Autograph you can use the activities via the free Aotograph viewer. Note that you could set an interesting homework for students by giving them a link to an Autograph activity and asking them to write their responses in their exercise books / or take a screen shot / or for more collaboration post their responses on your VLE or a wiki.

Martin Withington pointed me in the direction of an excellent source of real data for students, from unicef, ‘The State of the World’s Children‘; choosing a report for any year will show you several downloads including some under the heading Statistics; these include Excel files such as this:  SOWC_2013_Stat_Tables_EFS_FINAL, a rich source of data for many reasons. Martin has kindly shared many other resources with me which I am looking forward to exploring – watch this space!

Discussions at the conference included talk of ‘Flipped Learning’ always an interesting subject, in fact while I was away – I left my Year 12s to teach themselves the quotient rule using some, I think, excellent resources – more importantly I’ll find out what they think when I see them!

We’ll end with some entertainment, thanks to Martin again who showed me ‘Katie’s bad science’. I love this!
Original and re-edited version of Katie Melua’s song nine million bicycles proposed by Simon Singh and presented on Ted talks by Michael Shermer.

Answer Garden

Answer Garden provides a  simple and interesting way to get feedback. Responses (which must be 20 characters or less) are added to a word cloud.  Create your question, very easily (no registration is required) by entering your question and clicking Create, you can then note the url or embed code.

As people post responses the word cloud will develop. (Click on the word cloud link to give your favourite Web 2.0 tool!).  Hovering over a response gives the number of people who have made that response. It is possible to change settings such as colour but it is not necessary to do so.