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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
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!
of the Week Number
of the Week 1
Problem Solving Questions
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
of the Week 2
Division by Chunking
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
of the Week 3
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!
of the Week 4
Statements about Length and Area
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,
of the Week 5
on Plain Paper (GSP)
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.
of the Week 6
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
of the Week 7
- Given One Product...
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.
of the Week 8
and Surface Area
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.
of the Week 9
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.
of the Week 10
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.
of the Week 11
and Expanding Double Brackets
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.
of the Week 12
Stage 3 Mixed Topic CSI
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.
of the Week 13
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.
of the Week 14
Cards for use in Statistics
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.
of the Week 15
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
of the Week 16
- Match Up
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?
of the Week 17
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
of the Week 18
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!
of the Week 19
Language of GCSE Maths Exams
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.
of the Week 20
Gradient in Google Earth & Autograph
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!
of the Week 21
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.
of the Week 22
Cells GCSE Revision: Regions on a Graph
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
of the Week 23
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.
of the Week 24
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!
of the Week 25
Collins' GCSE Table Sheets
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.
of the Week 26
Should Win the Prize?
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.
of the Week 27
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!
of the Week 28
Games for the IWB
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!
of the Week 29
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.
of the Week 30
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.
of the Week 31
Jubilee Mathematical Mysteries
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.
of the Week 32
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.
of the Week 33
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.
of the Week 34
Exam Question Booklet
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.
of the Week 35
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!
of the Week 36
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...
of the Week 37
Best of Resource of the Week 2011/12
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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