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Mathsy Art

By Mark Dawes and Cate Middleton (September 2019)

Mark writes:

Cate Middleton, subject leader for mathematics at Littleport and East Cambs Academy is keen on mathsy art.  When I saw some of the things she has done with her pupils I was blown away by both the quality and the quantity of the ideas she had gathered from lots of different places.  With Cate’s permission, I share some of these here.

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Boardgame Maths – Kingdomino

By David Banham (June 2019)

I am not sure whether my love of maths was inspired by my love of games and puzzles or vice-versa. What I do know, is that I am always fascinated by the intersection of these two great things in the Venn diagram of my life.

A recent example is the game Kingdomino by Blue Orange games. The game, which won the Spiel des Jahres in 2017, is beautiful in its elegance and simplicity but has an intriguing mathematical coincidence at the heart of its design.

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CambsMathsConf19

By Mark Dawes (June 2019)

I spent an interesting day (7 June 2019) at the Cambridgeshire Maths Conference.  Organised by the Cambridgeshire Maths Team, it followed a model of a full initial plenary, three smaller sessions and then a choice of final plenaries.  This is brief overview of some of things I got out of the day.

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Problem-solving in SATS

By Mark Dawes (June 2019)

This Year 6 SATS question from the 2019 paper 2 (Adam’s rectangle) has appeared in the press and on social media and has been commented on extensively because of its perceived level of difficulty and because of the wording that is used.

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Using a Visualiser

By Mark Dawes (May 2019)

I have lots of important piece of classroom equipment.  At the moment I am enjoying using my visualiser.

The Hardware/Software

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Easter Conference

By Mark Dawes (April 2019)

Despite having been a member of the Association for Teachers of Mathematics and The Mathematical Association for more than 20 years, this Easter was the first time I have attended a joint ATM/MA conference. It isn’t something to do lightly, given that it is four days over the Easter holidays and costs (at the advanced-booking rate for members) £500, although there are considerable discounts for trainee teachers.

I thought it was excellent and really hope to be able to go again in future.

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Marking: A discussion document for Maths departments

By Cordelia Myers (March 2019)

A group of maths HoDs asked me for some thoughts on marking. The NCETM already have an excellent marking policy in place. Surprisingly, there has been very little research into the impact of marking on teaching and learning so my comments are based only on experience and professional judgement.   This is a sensitive subject for me but here goes…

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The devil may make work for idle hands – but so can the angels

(The creative possibilities of being bored.)

By Mark Dawes (March 2019)

I was recently on a course day away from school and during a coffee break I was bored.  I had nothing to do and the others on my table were getting a cup of coffee, so I had no-one to talk to.

One of the pads of paper on the table was from a different organisation (nothing to do with the course I was on) and because I had nothing else to do I started thinking about the logo:

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Stars of the Cambridge Maths Hub!

By Mark Dawes (February 2019)

One of the great things about working with the Cambridge Maths Hub is that you get to meet and learn from lots of talented people.  It is therefore a real delight when some of those colleagues in the Hub are recognised nationally for their excellent work.

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Doing maths for the sake of it

By Mark Dawes (February 2019)

It is often noted that in certain subjects it is common for teachers to use elements of their subject in their personal and leisure activities.  For example, I know English teachers who write poetry, music teachers who regularly perform in concerts and write music, PE teachers who play for teams and drama teachers who also act and direct.  In my school there is a display titled “The Art of the Art Teachers”; all of the members of the art department are practising artists as well as being teachers.

So, what about maths teachers?  What do (or could) we do?

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