#117 Jonathan Hall: MathsBot, teaching visually and behaving mathematically

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This episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast is kindly supported by Cambridge Assessment.

You can find more information about being an assessment specialist and how to apply by visiting cambridgeinternational.org/examiners


Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast, with me Craig Barton.

This time around I spoke to Jonathan Hall.

Jonathan is a Lead Practitioner at Leeds City Academy, a school where he has been teaching for 13 years and held the role of Head of Maths. Jonathan now also works part time as a CPD Lead for La Salle Education. But he is perhaps best known as the creator of the incredible MathsBot website – many teachers first stop when they need anything from randomly generated questions to sets of virtual algebra tiles.

In a wide ranging conversation,we discussed the following things, and plenty more besides:

  • What is Jonathan’s favourite failure, and what did he learn from the experience? And it is a cracker!
  • How does Jonathan feel teaching has changed in the last 15 years?
  • How did MathsBot start, and which part of it does he wish people used more of?
  • Why does Jonathan feel so passionately in the use of visuals and manipulatives, and how do you balance using physical versus online visuals?
  • What does it mean to behave mathematically, and what are some of the challenges of running these kinds of activities?
  • Finally, what is an example of something important that Jonathan has changed his mind about?

Jonathan has been on my list of guests I wanted to have on the show for many years, and I am so pleased we finally managed to set it up. His experience, modesty and ability to articulate the ideas he believes so passionately about make for a cracking conversation. It is just a shame h is from the wrong side of the Pennines.

On Twitter, Jonathan is @StudyMaths
MathsBot can be found here: mathsbot.com

Jonathan’s session as MathsConf23 is here
My interview with Bernie Westacott is here: craigbarton.podia.com/teaching-visually-with-bernie-westacott

Jonathan Hall’s Big 3:
1. Don Steward’s Median maths blog
2. Dave Taylor’s Increasingly Difficult Questions
3. Corbett Maths


My usual plugs:


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