John Dabell shares his pick of the very brightest digital resources out there to help learners with Maths at KS3…
1. Concept cartoons in Mathematics
Seemingly simple but deceptively clever and effective, this fascinating book and CD bundle provides non-threatening contexts to promote ferocious discussion when teaching maths. The 130 cartoon-style drawings put forward a range of viewpoints about different maths ideas and problems with the aim of tapping into learners’ thoughts, challenging their thinking and providing pointers for how to develop their ideas. The cartoons enable students to blame their errors and questions on the people in the picture and enable them to talk more freely without embarrassment.
The book contains black and white photocopiable pages and the interactivity of the CD enables the speech bubbles to be altered and revised. A blank speech bubble encourages learners to add their own views. This is active assessment for learning at its very best.
2. Mr Barton Maths blog
This cracking website is an Aladdin’s cave of free maths gems for pupils, teachers and parents from Craig Barton, a secondary maths advanced skills teacher. I visit regularly to unearth help and add value to a lesson, and I direct students and colleagues here, too, for support and insipration. You will find teaching resources and ideas galore for enhancing the teaching of maths including great software tutorials, five-minute videos, tarsia jigsaw files, Wolfram widgets, TES maths resources (he’s the TES secondary maths adviser), links to the best maths websites, notes for Key Stage 3 and 4, podcasts, revision page, a just for fun section, free resources, maths games and links here, there and everywhere – including Mr Barton’s very own diagnostic questions site. With plenty on offer, this is a fun and exciting site that deserves to be in your favourites and will certainly make teaching maths a whole lot easier.
3. KS3 Maths progress
Always with a finger on the pulse of change, publishing goliath Pearson has pulled another one out of the bag with its new KS3 maths course written purposefully for the 2014 KS3 curriculum. This terrifically fresh resource is crammed full of highly differentiated materials to cater for all needs. The scheme is structured around three tiers to help students of all abilities. Content is mapped back to previous National Curriculum levels, student books support progression to KS4, and there is tried and tested support with interactive lesson starters, problem solving videos, and concept animations all delivered via the book on screen. On top of this you get assessment tests and progression charts, online homework and practice that links to every lesson, and supporting videos based on leading research and best practice. This impressive suite of print and digital resources aims to create confident and numerate students able to progress to KS4 and beyond.
4. Mastering Mathematics
Online resources don’t come much better than the innovative Mastering Mathematics series from Hodder Education. This quality resource has been written to help you teach the new curriculum with a key focus on building, practising, applying and reviewing skills. The aim is to support you in delivering any scheme of work by providing a complete set of lesson-ready resources to enable quick and easy planning with homework that can be automatically marked. The resource is made up of some of the best-loved SMILE activities, including links to the best free online resources and My Maths. You also get regular updates on news, research and developments in maths education through additional resources and updates. This is a savant of a resource for helping improve progression. It has thousands of questions and activities, and will support you in helping students build their maths fluency, problem-solving and reasoning skills.
5. The Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching (CIMT)
How do you become a better maths teacher? Well you won’t go far wrong by looking at this website from the University of Plymouth, which is an amazing resource full of free curriculum materials jam-packed with examples, exercises, teachers’ notes and activities. The Centre is a focus for research and curriculum development in maths teaching and learning and one main aim of its work over the years has been the mathematics enhancement programme set out to implement in UK schools the findings of international research. On this site you will find a full set of curriculum resources including pupil texts, lesson plans, classroom resources, assessment materials and online interactive resources – access it to help enhance your classroom practice and learn what works best.
6. Number loving
Co-authored by two maths teachers who have since become resource mega-stars, the numberloving site is simply massive, split into two slices – blog and resources. Click on either and you’ll be there hours finding treasure after treasure. The blog contains new approaches and ace ideas for teaching maths as well as a pile of tips for giving your lessons some extra spice. The resources section includes all sorts from Top Trump card games, QR code activities, matchup cards, quiz-quiz-trade activities, collective memory sheets, online investigations, revise and draw activities and loads more besides. Just click on KS3, select your strand and topic and enjoy!
For a huge selection of free maths lesson plans for KS3 and KS4 click here.