Welcome to > teachers > TES resources and newsletter > TES Resource of the Week > 2011-12

This year I have decided to record a short video about each resource, looking at the resource in more details and suggesting a few ways it might be used in the classroom. Just click on the TES logo to be taken straight to the relevant page to view the video and download the resource. Each week a brand new video will be added, so remember to keep checking back, or better still follow @TESmaths and @mrbartonmaths on Twitter!

If you have any comments about any of the resources or wish to share how you have used them, then it would be fantastic if you could pop your thoughts in the relevant box at the bottom of each page. The more ideas the better!

Resource of the Week Number
Resource Title
Link to Resource


Resource of the Week 1


Algebra Problem Solving Questions
A truly phenomenal set of 10 algebra problems designed for Foundation level at GCSE. Different levels of support are offered for each problem, and the document itself is beautifully designed and laid out. I would pay big money for this – but here it is, on TES, and completely free


Resource of the Week 2


Interactive Division by Chunking
A really slick interactive Excel spreadsheet that clearly demonstrates how the process of "chunking" can be used to solve long division problems. With complete flexibility to change the number and the divisor, and a succient set of instructions, this should prove to be a really handy resource. The author has kindly uploaded more of his wonderful Interactive Excel resources, and they can be found on the following Collection page


Resource of the Week 3


Mega PowerPoint

We've all been there. You just need a couple of questions on Pythagoras for your Year 10s, and one or two on angle facts for your Year 8s, and you really can't be bothered typing them out. If only questions on almost every maths topic were stored in one place, just ready to be copied and inserted into your presentation, the world would be a better place. Well, good news! Thanks to Ben Cooper's Mega PowerPoint resource, you never need to look for questions again!


Resource of the Week 4


Evaluating Statements about Length and Area
The Improving Learning in Mathematics set of resources (also known as the Standards Units) are one of my favourite all time resources. They encourage positive collaboration between students, and deep levels of mathematical thinking. This particular resource takes the study of Area and Perimeter to whole new level, really challenging the students to think carefully about the concepts involved. To see all the Shape and Space resources in this collection, just click here


Resource of the Week 5


Rotation on Plain Paper (GSP)
It is now possible to upload a whole host of usual file formats to TES, including Autograph, Tarsia, Geogebra and Geometers Sketchpad files like this one from atitterton. Transformations, and rotations in particular, tend to cause students lots of problems, and dynamic geometry software can really help them in terms of visualising and avoiding making common mistakes. This resource is a simple, but highly effective, way of demonstrating how to rotate an object around a point using tracing paper. And the interactive nature of GSP means that you can easily adjust things such as the centre of rotation, the angle, and even the shape itself. A lovely resource.


Resource of the Week 6


Algebra Starter Problems
We've all been there – you are teaching solving linear equations, you are pretty sure your students have got their heads around it, and now you just want some quick fire examples to test out their knowledge. You could make up your own, use Ten Ticks, are cross your fingers that the textbook has some decent questions, or alternatively you could use this delightful resource from judsonb. It is an Excel file which randomly generates three different types of linear equations which can either be projected onto the IWB or printed out in handy worksheets. There are also more difficult applications questions, and best of all one tap of F9 on your keyboard, and the questions all change! Very useful indeed.


Resource of the Week 7


Tarsia - Given One Product...
The Tarisa software has become incredibly popular in the world of maths teaching over the last 4 years. It is incredibly versatile, allowing the user to quickly create a whole manner of jigsaws, dominoes and follow-me cards on every topic imaginable, it is simple to use, popular with the students, and best of all it is free. It is now possible to upload Tarisa files to TES, and I am slowly working my way through uploading my collection of around 600. This particular one, created by Gill Hillitt, is one of my favourites. It tackles the tricky concept of using the answer to one calculation to work out the answer to another. Misconceptions will be unearthed left, right and centre. Tarisa files like this one can easily be tweaked to make them even more challenging – leaving out a question, making a deliberate mistake, removing a piece. Tarisas really are outstanding resources.


Resource of the Week 8


Volume and Surface Area
I find it fascinating and incredibly useful watching other teachers teach. Whether I am observing an NQT or an experienced Head of Department, I always go away from the lesson with a new idea for approaching a topic that I have taught countless times before. Often it is hard to get that same sense when you download a resource, as in the main they are snippets of a lesson which you can adapt and then work into your own delivery. However, with this particular resource from diacoo, you get the full thing. It is an entire lesson on Volume and Surface Area, and what a lesson it is! There is a challenging starter, group work, built-in PLTS, opportunities for peer assessment, and an emphasis on the quality of written communication, all of which make for a rich, rewarding experience. I will certainly be using lots of this lesson the next time I tackle volume and surface area.


Resource of the Week 9


BIDMAS Top Trumps
I used to love Top Trumps as a child (and I am using "child" in the loosest sense – mt firend bought me a pack last Christmas). The tactics, strategy, skill and memory that was required to ensure you captured the cards off your opponent was far greater than your average playground game, and despite the influx of Xbox and Playstation, today's students still love an old-fashioned battle of wits. laura.reeshughes has capitalised on this by devising a series of outstanding Top Trumps resources covering a whole host of important mathematical topics. This particular one is concerned with the notoriously painful BIDMAS/BODMAS, and better than that it is differentiated into three levels of difficulty. I was amazed how keen students were to ensure they had calculated 3 + 4 x 2 correctly when the price of failure with a lost Kenny or Buzz Lightyear.


Resource of the Week 10


Tarsia Maths Facts
It will be no surprise to regular visits to TES or my website that I have not been able to resist selecting another Tarsia Jigsaw to be the Secondary Maths Resource of the Week. Like all Tarsias, this resource by chckierirish promotes positive team work amongst students as they work together in a bid to finish the jigsaw. However, I think that this resource is particularly special both in the way it is designed and in its content. There is no specific theme to the questions – hence the title of Maths Facts – and students are presented with posers such as: "how many legs has a chicken?". Now, my students argued vehemently that there was a mistake as they could not find "2", until one of them spotted the card with "10 x 10 – 98" on it. Yes, in this jigsaw questions match with questions, which raises the challenge level significantly. This resource is perfect as a starter, or if you find yourself at a loose end having finished a lesson or a topic early.


Resource of the Week 11


Factorising and Expanding Double Brackets
This is yet another example of a fantastic use of Excel. This resource can randomly generate every conceivable type of example to ensure students can expand and factorise quadratic expressions comfortably. There is a lovely representation of expanding double brackets that ties in nicely with the grid method of multiplication (another argument for banning the Chinese method!), there are questions for students to practice, and with one click of a button a whole host of new questions appear. And it gets better, because there are also starter questions to ensure that students have got to grips with expanding and factorising all things linear. This is ideal for use in the classroom, and also a lovely thing to email your students so they can practice to their heart's content at home. Very nice.


Resource of the Week 12


Key Stage 3 Mixed Topic CSI
A resource which promises to practice topics including bearings, collecting like terms and ratio is unlikely to initially spark the interest of your average Year 9 class. However when presented as a crime that they have to solve, involving suspects such as Russell Brand, Cheryl Cole, and the suspicious looking Justin Beiber, they might just be a bit more receptive. This is a well thought-out and beautifully designed resource that would produce an excellent lesson. Maybe get the students working I small groups, encourage them to carry out the tasks systematically and logically, and then present their findings to the class. A rich, rewarding and fun activity for all involved.


Resource of the Week 13


Forming Equations Crossnumber
I am always on the look-out for resources that add a nice challenging twist to a topic, and this resource certainly does the trick. Once students have mastered the basics of solving equations, the natural progression is perhaps to look at forming and solving equations in context. However, this lovely resource adds another possibility. Students are asked to fill in all the blanks on the cross-number and then challenged to generate the clues by coming with equations which produce those answers. What I really like about this activity is that it is naturally self-differentiating – the less able students can concentrate on simple equations, whilst those that have fully grasped the subject matter can be unleashed to create some algebraic monsters. I think that this is a simple, but highly effective resources.


Resource of the Week 14


Data Cards for use in Statistics
As we all know, it can be quite difficult to engage students in the topic of statistics. Furthermore, when it comes to working out the different types of average or constructing a variety of statistical diagrams, it can be tricky to help students understand exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it. Wherever possible I like to use real life data, either from the students themselves or from the web. However, this can sometimes be difficult to find or time-consuming to collect. This lovely resource may just provide the answer. There are 36 bright, colourful data cards which can be used in a variety of ways. I suggest giving each student a card to keep, thus giving them a degree of ownership and bringing relevance to the data, and then using these cards to generate all the averages and diagrams that you need.


Resource of the Week 15


Adding Fractions
Adding Fractions isn't exactly a topic that gets the juices of excitement flowing in most students. There is also the danger that having taught the topic you will find yourself with a class of students in which half understand the method and are ready to move on to a tougher challenge, whereas half need some extra consolidation. This lovely little resource might just do the trick for the former group of students. Set them the challenge of filling in the blank squares by adding up the four surrounding fractions. Once they have mastered this, can they extend the problem by creating a challenge for their fellow students? Which denominators make like the most difficult? Which make it easiest? How about we add in some mixed numbers? What about some extra operations? This resource has a lot of potential


Resource of the Week 16


Transformations - Match Up
Those of you who have followed my videos in the past will know that I am a massive fan of using dynamic geometry packages (especially Autograph) to convey and enrich understanding of transformations. Now, once students have got to grips with the basics of the four transformations, it might be a good idea to throw this lovely resource at them. It consists of three multiple choice questions which are cleverly designed to unearth any nasty misconceptions students might have about reflection, rotation and enlargement. And if that wasn't enough, at the end there is a lovely little discussion activity involving a ginormous sandwich. What more could you want from a resource?



Resource of the Week 17


The Painted Cube
The Painted Cube is one of my all time favourite thought exercises, and it is a great one to throw at students at the start or end of a lesson. Students are challenged to visualise a 3x3x3 cube which has its outside painted. Now, how many of those 27 little cubes have one side painted, 2 sides painted and 3 sides painted? If, like me, your students have trouble visualising this, then this resource has an amazing flash file accompanying it which allows you to break up the cube and look at each individual face. Better still, this then leads onto a challenging investigation about working out how many sides are painted for any size of cube, which brings in some lovely algebra. A very nice resource indeed.


Resource of the Week 18


Property Chart
Properties of Quadrilaterals is not renowned for being the most enjoyable topic, either to teach or learn. Collective Memories certainly provide one possible way of enriching the learning experience of the students, and there are a couple of nice examples of these on TES. Another possibility is to use this excellent activity from the wonderful NRICH. Here students are asked to play a game which involves taking it in turns to place shapes in a grid depending on their properties. Once students have got to grips with how the game works, then the real challenge begins. Can they arrange the cards so that it is impossible to place any shape in the grid? How about filling all the squares in? Can they come up with some cards of their own? And once you have dealt with quadrilaterals, there are also a set of triangle cards as well!


Resource of the Week 19


The Language of GCSE Maths Exams
One of the greatest difficulties that my students seem to face in the exam is understanding exactly what the question is asking them to do. Strange words like “evaluate”, “justify” and “prove” seem to stop the students in their tracks, confuse them and make them think that they can’t actually do the question. Any resource that can help alleviate the problem is always going to be popular with me, and that is what I think this particular resource from paulcollins is excellent. In the video we take a look at the resource itself, and then I suggest a couple of ways it could be made even more useful in the classroom.


Resource of the Week 20


Expolring Gradient in Google Earth & Autograph
Each week I record a short Autograph tutorial for TES, and you can find my entire collection here. However, for one week only we have Douglas Butler, the creator of Autograph, demonstrating how you can combine Autograph with Google Earth to bring the concept of gradient to life. We start off at Melbourne airport and then take a quick flight across to a school in Bolton, plotting gradients as we travel. This technique can easily be transferred to any part of the world, making it personalised to your students. You could even get them on the computer themselves plotting the gradients of various journeys. Excellent stuff!


Resource of the Week 21


Co-ordinates Mini Mystery
An absolutely fabulous mini mystery that delves deep into the world of co-ordinates. This resource has been expertly designed to offer differentiation within each of the tasks, making it perfect for group work. There are also nice little links into logic, types of numbers and even literacy! And once students have completed this task you will be in strong position to begin teaching the topic of straight line graphs, or if you have a lesson spare you could even get your students designing co-ordinate mysteries of their own. A very versatile, rich resource indeed.


Resource of the Week 22


Brain Cells GCSE Revision: Regions on a Graph
I have long been a fan of the Brain-Cells website, visiting it any time I needed some extra materials to support my students’ GCSE revision. Well, I am pleased to say that a complete set of 56 GCSE revision presentations are now available on TES. They are really good for taking students step-by-step through some typical exam questions, and the explanations are clear and concise. The presentations can be used online in the classroom, or downloaded so the students can take them away. The one we look at here is the notoriously nasty topic of shading regions on graphs. The entire collection is broken down into themes and available here


Resource of the Week 23


Thoughts and Crosses
I am a massive fan of the theory behind Bloom's Taxonomy. The problem I have, however, is that it all sounds well and good in theory, but it is then often difficult to transfer this to practical resources that will have a positive impact on learning in the classroom. This is where Dave Gale and Thoughts and Crosses come in. This is a resource structure that provides differentiation, and encourages students to attempt a whole range of different questions, challenging them to analysis, evaluate and apply. Dave has kindly produced examples of Thoughts and Crosses for Probability and Simultaneous Equations, and also provided a template for users to create their own. If you do, please share on TES as I think this resource is simply excellent.


Resource of the Week 24


Core 1 Jeopardy
One necessary evil of maths teaching is going through past papers. It has to be done for students to gain valuable experience of the types of questions that they will be asked and to have your support whilst tackling them, however it can lead to a boring, uninspiring lesson. This Core 1 Jeopardy resource might just be the solution. All the major topics in Core 1 are covered in a fun, game-show format. Get your students into teams, introduce a bit of competition, and away you go. Students will never have been so keen to differentiate a polynomial!



Resource of the Week 25


Mr Collins' GCSE Table Sheets
Last week we looked at how we might spice up A Level Maths Revision with a bit of Core 1 Jeopardy, and this week we turn our attention to GCSE revision with Mr Collins' GCSE Table Sheets. These are an excellent set of 34 bright, colourful, information-packed sheets, each containing 10 GCSE questions (five Foundation and five Higher). I used these with my top set Year 11 students, working in groups of 2 and 3, giving them eight minutes to work through one of the sheets, before I whipped it off them and gave them another one. It was fast, frantic, but a highly enjoyable and valuable lesson for all involved. I think these are simply brilliant resources. Click here for the full Collection.


Resource of the Week 26


Who Should Win the Prize?
One area of maths that many students seem to struggle with is the concept of averages. It's not just a case of how we work out the mean, median and mode, but why do we do it? When is the median better to use than the mean? How does the range come into things? Any resource that helps students get to the bottom of these important concepts is alright with me! This lovely, simple resource does just that. Students are challenged to make the case for who which of five contenders should win the prize for best overall exam performance. High level discussions about the merits of the various measures should ensue, and students understanding of averages should increase significantly.


Resource of the Week 27


Music and Probability
Probability is almost certainly my favourite area of mathematics, and I am always on the look-out for resources and ideas that can allow me to take a different approach with the topic. This resource from KerithLT does exactly that. It is a PowerPoint file that looks at the relationships between music and probability. Specifically we look at two pieces of music that have been composed using chance – one from John Cage, and one from Mozart himself. This leads into a lovely discussion about the chances of certain bars and pieces of music being created, and has the potential for lots of musical cross-curricular follow-up work. This resource certainly hits all the right notes!


Resource of the Week 28


Matching Games for the IWB
This resource from ibblet is simply outstanding. It consists of a series of Matching Games for the interactive whiteboard covering a wide ranging of mathematical topics, including multiplication, powers and roots, sequences and shapes. Students must find matching pairs in order to complete the board. What makes this resource even better is that the author has kindly included a template to allow you to create your own Matching Games. However, as I suggest in the video, an alternative might be to set your students the task of creating a Matching Game on a given topic. I believe this would be a really worthwhile, fun and effective revision strategy, and create you a load of extra resources into the bargain!


Resource of the Week 29


Every time I see the topic of Bearings approaching on the Scheme of Work I breathe a heavy sigh. There is just something about bearings that makes even the brightest of students struggle with it. Well, hopefully this wonderful resource from martynd will help your students along. You are the Captain of the Airbus 320 and it is your job to plot out your three days of work around Western Europe. Along the way you will not only encounter and revise bearings in a real life setting, but also calculations for average speed, time, percentages and currency conversions. And to top it all off, all the answers are included! This really is a comprehensive, well thought-out, high-quality resource.


Resource of the Week 30


Revision Races
There have been some outstanding resources aimed at GCSE Revision uploaded by teachers to TES this year, and this set of resources by alipon is right up there with the best of them. The resource consists of two Revision Races – one aimed at A-A* and the other at grades D to A*. Students are given a grid and are challenged to answer as many of the 20 questions as possible. Loads of important mathematical topics are covered, including transformations, area, scale factor, Pythagoras, co-ordinates and simultaneous equations. I find that Race Games like this work particularly well when students are given one question at a time and are only allowed to move on to the next question once they have shown you the answer to the previous one. The classroom will be buzzing and a lot of worthwhile mathematics will be taking place.


Resource of the Week 31


Diamond Jubilee Mathematical Mysteries
The weekend of June 2nd 2012 marks the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Help celebrate this occasion in the best way possible… with not one, but three mathematical mysteries! These are three fantastic resources carefully designed by Laura Rees-Hughes, testing thinking and logic skills, as well as topic-specific knowledge and application. They cover the topics of bearings (everybody's favourite!), probability and speed, distance time. Which horse should the Queen place her money on? Will Will and Kate make it to the celebrations on time? Get your students into groups and let the discussions, calculations and positive group dynamics flow. Thanks to Laura for the wonderful resource, and happy Jubilee weekend from all at TES Maths.


Resource of the Week 32


GCSE Revision Trail
If you are anything like me, you will always be on the look-out for ways to spice up GCSE revision. This Revision Trail might be exactly what you are looking for. Designed like a Treasure Hunt, students must work out the answer to each card and then hunt this answer down amongst the other cards in order to know what question to take on next. What I particularly like about this resource is that it is targeted at grade A/A* students, with the questions being in the style of the latter questions on GCSE exams to really stretch them. I hope you are your students find this resource useful.


Resource of the Week 33


Shape Taboo!
One of my all-time favourite games to play is Taboo, and so when I saw how mrs_lack had cleverly brought the fun and brilliance of the game into the maths classroom, I just couldn't resist making it Resource of the Week! Students are challenged to describe key words such as "rectangle" without saying any of the following words: "oblong, square, right, four". Try it, it is not as easy as it sounds! Not only is this great fun, but it also gets students thinking really deeply about the properties of the words and concepts used. Once they have played the game, there is then the opportunity for students to come up with their own words, which will stretch their knowledge and imagination to the limits. This is a wonderful resource that has great potential across lots of areas of maths, age ranges, and ability groups.


Resource of the Week 34


Functional Exam Question Booklet
Over the last couple of years we have seen the introduction of the dreaded asterisks (*) questions at GCSE. These are questions that specifically judge and mark students on their ability to communicate their answers in a structured, clear and logical way. Needless to say, this is something that students have always struggled with and in my experience it is the lower ability students that struggle the most. Step forward this excellent resource from mrbag! It provides a series of these asterisks questions, but crucially it also provides students with hints and tips for how they might go about working out the answer and communicating this. Once students' confidence has increased, they might then be ready to try out section two, where the questions remain but the hints do not! A really well designed and important resource that should make a lasting, positive impact.


Resource of the Week 35


Mathematical Olympic Mysteries
With both the end of term and the London 2012 Olympic Games fast approaching, wouldn't it be nice to find a resource that was suitable for both of these momentous occasions?... Well, I have good news for you, because here is the resource you have been looking for! Laura Rees-Hughes has kindly produced four amazing mathematical mysteries, each with an Olympic theme. Whilst trying to solve problems like "Who are you backing?" and "What is it worth?", students will be practising lots of key areas of mathematics, including percentages, speed, distance, time and money, as well as using their logical and thinking skills. You final few lessons will undoubtedly be awarded the gold medal. So, roll on the Olympic, and more importantly, roll on the end of term!


Resource of the Week 36


Block Busters!
A lovely mathematical version of everybody's favourite 1980s game show. Students must use clever tactics as well as fully harness their mathematical ability in order to succeed. This resource has a link to a very nice interactive version of the board. Everything can also be easily differentiated and adapted, making an incredibly versatile as well as engaging classroom resource. I'll have a P please Bob...


Resource of the Week 37


The Best of Resource of the Week 2011/12
Well, we have reached the end of another year of Secondary Maths Resources of the Week on TES, and what a year it has been! I can honestly say that I have never seen such high quality resources as I have seen over the course of the last 12 months. What makes TES so special is that every resource has been created for teachers, by teachers, completely free of charge, all with the aim of improving the teaching and learning of pupils all over the world. This video is a look back at some of the 36 resources that have been featured this year. We have mysteries, videos, card sorts, exam questions, jigsaws, and even a game of Taboo! So, when you get a bit of free time, have a sift through them, and perhaps they can help get your lessons off to a flyer in the new year. I'll be back with a fresh set of Resources of the Week in September, so let me leave by wishing you all a very happy and restful summer, and to say a massive thank you to all of you who share your resources. You make TES what it is, and you are making a huge and very positive difference to the teaching and learning of mathematics all over the world




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