#mathsjournalclub Poll for the Sixth Chat

As promised, here is a chance to vote on the next #mathsjournalclub article. The poll will be open until the 9th June and then we will discuss the chosen article on Monday 11th July at 8pm – this will be the last chat before the summer holiday.

The choices are as follows (thanks to Rob Beckett and Danny Brown for some suggestions):

 

Vote here!!

I look forward to finding out what article you decide 🙂

Complex Loci

Complex loci and transformations in the complex plane are probably my least favourite topics to teach in A-Level Further Maths. It feels very negative to say that, but I don’t think I am alone! I also think it is one of the hardest topics for students to get their heads around in the further maths A-Level.

Last week I posted on Twitter asking if anyone had a complex loci card sort and Hannah (@LorHRL) pointed me into the direction of this one on TES. However being a Mac user it wasn’t easy for me to open the Microsoft Publisher file I decided to make my own using Geogebra.


Download the card sort here to use with your classes. 

Teaching KS5 Mathematics

On Friday 20th May 2016 I was lucky enough to be asked to lead a session for the University of Nottingham maths PGCE students on teaching KS5 mathematics. It was three hours long and I really enjoyed doing the session and working with a great group of PGCE students.

I have embedded the presentation below, and you can also view it here.

 

FP1 Revision Relay

Tomorrow is the last day for FP1 revision with classes. I have just made a relay activity to use tomorrow so thought i would share it here in case it is useful for anyone else.

Screenshot 2016-05-18 22.29.09

The questions are here. I am intending on running this like the UKMT Team Challenge relays with one person working on the odd numbered questions and one person working on the even numbered questions.

I hope it is useful.

 

The Fifth #mathsjournalclub Discussion

On the 9th of May we discussed “Fifty years of A-level mathematics: Have standards changed?” by Ian Jones, Chris Wheadon, Sara Humphries and Matthew Inglis. A pre-print of the article is available here since the published article is behind a paywall.

https://storify.com/tajbennison/mathsjournalclub-discussion-5-a-level-standards#publicize

We were lucky enough to have one of the author’s take part in the discussion and he provided some important insights. I feel that having the authors take part in the twitter chats is very powerful and something I hope we will see more of in the future.

Later this week I will release a poll for the next article, you have a few days to send me any suggestions – please make sure that they are open access 🙂

I will also announce the date for the John Mason article chat as soon as I have one.

 

Should we mark “mathematical style” at A-Level? 

Something that I have been meaning to write about for ages and seemed pertinent to today’s #mathscpdchat hosted by Rob Beckett (@RBeckett_Yd) is the idea of mathematical style. 

I’m often saying to my A-Level students that mathematics isn’t just about succeeding at getting an answer. The steps to the answer are the most important along with being able to structure a mathematical argument that is stylish. 

Style and mathematical elegance is of course subjective, but I am beginning to think style should be assessed in A-Level examinations. The proposed problem solving questions with multiple possible approaches would be ideal for this. I believe a comparative judgment on “the most mathematically elegant” approach would be a robust way of assessing this. 

As an example, to me, for the below question the first approach is significantly more elegant than differentiating! 


What do you think? 

FP1 Revision Clock

Inspired by posts from Mel (@Just_Maths), a nice C1 revision activity from Jo (@mathsjem) and a Core 3 version from Eve Pascal (@Pascal1Eve) I decided to make an FP1 “Keeping Time” Revision Clock activity.

The questions are a mix of my own and past exam papers. I haven’t used it with my class yet, but all being well they will be able to complete all 12 questions in an hour.The questions are here and the generic clock template for printing on to A3 is here.


Please use 🙂 I’m hoping to have an FP2 one done before the end of the week too!

UPDATE: Solutions now available here.