Last year, on the first anniversary of my blog, I wrote Gem Awards 2015. Since then I’ve published an additional 28 updates from the world of Maths EduTwitter. Today I bring you some highlights from those posts. So raise a glass of champagne with me, and toast the winners of the second annual Gem Awards!
1. Best Game
The maths teachers at my school love Is this prime?. We get students from Year 7 through to Year 13 playing it in the classroom. We compete against each other in the Maths Office too. It’s fun, addictive, accessible and surprisingly challenging. Top marks to Christian Lawson-Perfect for a wonderful game.
2. Best Teacher’s Website
3. Best Gif
Special mention to this Order or Operations gif that I featured in Gems 46 – it still makes me laugh!
4. Best Demonstration
This is exactly the kind of thing that Twitter is good for – sharing pictures of things you’ve done in the classroom that other teachers may not have thought of.
5. Best Prompt
Anything that prompts interesting class discussion is worth a look. I really like these lovely statistics graphics which get students thinking about the reliability of statistics. I used them in my first S1 lesson of the year.
7. Best Resources
Don Steward has always been my favourite resource provider – in fact I gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award in last year’s Gem Awards. His blog is approaching its millionth view and I look forward to hosting a #mathscpdchat next month in which I will be asking people to share their favourite Don Steward resources.
- I love angle chases! They’re lots of fun. I was delighted when Mo from MathedUp! shared a great set of angle chases which I featured in Gems 35.
- In Gems 48 I shared a resource from Dan Walker on TES. He has taken problems from Junior and Intermediate Maths Challenges and organised them by topic in a PowerPoint, with solutions. This, along with Leanne Shaw’s new website Maths Problem Solving, means that it’s now much easier to find problem solving activities for specific topics.
8. Best Revision Idea
I love Mel’s Keeping Time idea in which students are given twelve 4 – 6 mark questions to complete in an hour on A3 paper which has been split into twelve sections, like a clock face. This is a great way of practising working under timed conditions ahead of the exam and it helps keep students focused throughout the lesson. Maths teacher Miss Suganthakumaran read about this idea in Gems 42 and found it worked really well in fast paced revision lessons with her Year 11s. She has uploaded her adaptation of this resource to TES. I look forward to using it with my Year 11s.
Special mention to John Corbett for sharing his revision idea which involves sending packs of goodies to students at Christmas. Read his post to see how it worked. I’ve seen lots of lovely adaptations of this idea, including this example from @mathsbrowning.
My prize for the best puzzle this year goes to a different type of puzzle. The winner is Lisa’s Puzzle from The Simpsons, because I really enjoyed my students’ reactions when I took it into school. I put it on posters in the maths corridor to advertise an enrichment talk, and I later saw students crowded round it trying to work it out. Some people solved it instantly, but others (including maths teachers and Year 13 Further Maths students) couldn’t work it out at all. I tried it with some Year 4 children and once they’d solved it they were really excited to take it home to try on their parents! It’s great that a puzzle can appeal to all age groups.
10. Bright Idea
My final award category is ‘Bright Idea’ where I look at some of the best original ideas that I’ve featured in my gems posts over the last year.
John Corbett had a lovely idea, featured in Gems 39 – he put stationery baskets and photo frames on desks. The frames display Nikki’s presentation standards. The picture can be changed regularly, for example to display information about revision sessions, star students and so on.
Other ‘Bright Ideas’ that deserve a special mention include Videoscribe, which I used to make expectations videos for each of my classes back in September; Famous Five, a lovely idea from Emma Mccrea that you can read about in my post ‘Some Things I’ve Tried‘; and Hannah‘s resources noticeboard for the Maths Office on which teachers pin their recommendations for upcoming topics – see Gems 39 for more on this.