# Short Summary Sheets

One of my Y13 students intends to resit Statistics 1 and Core 2 in summer this year, alongside Core 3, Core 4, and Mechanics 1.  I devised a 5 week plan to cover the entire course in an hour per week.  This centred on 5 one-page summary sheets for five broad areas.  For some reason […]

# A Level Summary Sheets 1

Continuing my work tutoring A level students, I have been writing some one page, A4 summaries of Mechanics 1 for the Edexcel M1 component. I have got the full course down to five pages.  These are not meant to be a complete, perfect summary of the course, simply an idea to prompt the memory and […]

# Surd Form

Accuracy in mathematical language I was preparing some revised GCSE booster lessons for MyMaths recently on the topic of Quadratic Equations.  In some examples I requested that answers be left ‘in surd form’. By this I meant those irrational solutions coming from completing the square or using the quadratic formula. My editor’s response made me stop […]

# The Alchemist Symbol

Visiting my home town of Leeds recently, my relatives took me to a restaurant in the city centre called The Alchemist. The sign above the door and on their business cards caught my interest. All kinds of maths sprung to my mind. Symmetry. Construction. Pythagoras. Trigonometry. Surds. Proof. The symbol could be presented to students […]

# Post-it notes, iPhones and other memory aids

During exam season, attention is focused on how to register facts, ideas or techniques in students’ memories, and how to get them to recall the ideas or techniques from this mysterious store. In preparation for last summer’s exams I tried an approach using Post-it notes. As we work through past papers, when facts or techniques are […]

# Fractional Powers

One aside on fractional indices, from a friend.  When teaching about expressions such as the one above he draws a picture of a flower.  The roots go down below the ground (the line) and the 2 in the power is below the line so 2 represents the root.  Then he spins a long tale about […]