Originally signing up to the home of the #hashtag for updates on gig listings, current affairs, and the odd painfully constructed pun, Twitter has become something much more useful for my teaching and all things mathematical. After a few months, I started following a few educational profiles like @Tes_Maths, and for once recommendations from social media algorithms were useful and Twitter became a source of help and inspiration for my teaching and a (welcome) tsunami of resources for the classroom.
When I started teaching Core Maths, Twitter became even more useful. The current affairs accounts that I followed suddenly became even more useful as starting points for lessons, with statistics to use and analyse. Misleading graphs on topical subjects are great for engaging starters (or to build your lesson around!) As the number of schools and colleges offering Core Maths grew, more accounts focused around Core Maths started appearing and, with it, the interaction, conversation and discussion of Core Maths. If I needed a resource or wanted feedback on an idea I had for my Core Maths lessons, Twitter became the first thing to which I turned.
So, what is #CoreMathsChat?
Twitter as a whole is a great place to pick up Core Maths teaching ideas and resources, but some of my students’ favourite lessons and tasks are often discovered through #CoreMathsChat. These are fortnightly twitter chats on Core Maths from 7-8pm on Mondays, overseen by a group of Core Maths teachers led by Catherine Van Saarloos and Tom Rainbow (and I should say I’m a regular host!) To follow the chat, search for #CoreMathsChat and this returns some of the top tweets about it. Choose the ‘latest’ tab and the newest tweets will appear; in those, you’ll no doubt see the first tweet and question from that night’s host to get started.
And, like the rest of Twitter, you can make it work for you. During the chat, you can respond to as many or as few tweets and questions as you want. If you prefer, you can ‘lurk’ the whole time. You don’t need to be available at 7pm on a Monday, as you can catch up with everything later in the week using the #CoreMathsChat hashtag. You may wish to do this even if you were online to see if there’s a fantastic idea or useful resource that you may have missed at the time, as the chat can be quite fast and furious with discussion and responses!
The chats have covered lots of topics. This term, we’ve discussed Fermi Estimation and assessment in Core Maths lessons. Last year, amongst other topics, we looked at cost-benefit analysis, normal distribution, financial maths, and using Desmos in Core Maths. There’s always at least one resource or idea that you’ll want to try out or use in an upcoming Core Maths lesson.
The Core Maths community on Twitter continues to grow and is really supportive. Often teachers can be the only one delivering Core Maths in their school or college, so knowing that there are plenty of people out there with ideas, the right resource for you, or even just a receptive ear to listen to a problem or point you in the right direction for something, can be a great help.
Some accounts that I recommend following are:
- Cat Van Saarloos (@CoreMathsCat) – the fountain of Core Maths knowledge (Cat has a great padlet too, with tons of resources and materials!)
- Tom Rainbow (@CoreMathsTom)
- Dave Gale (@reflectivemaths)
- Jon (@lastcenturion)
- Mark Dawes (@mdawesmdawes)
- Jude Mortimer (@littlemissmaths5)
- Sam Barker (@samhallsbarker)
- The AMSP and the West Midlands region have accounts. And don’t forget the AMSP website has plenty of resources and ideas for Core Maths too!
See you on Twitter! @JamesWMaloney