Further Mathematics Online Conference

Thursday 25th March 2021

Over thirty teachers from around the East of England region signed up for our Further Maths Online Conference that recently took place. Some teachers attended a few sessions and others joined for the whole conference which took place on a Wednesday afternoon or on a Saturday. If you attended the conference, it would be fascinating to hear from you about which parts you attended and whether you were inspired by them (you can email me at [email protected]).

For many, Further Mathematics teaching is done in isolation without the supporting sympathy of those around to respond to comments like, “and my students argue when I say that the conclusion to proof by induction must be worded precisely”. I hope that others found the sessions therapeutic, listening to presenters who have an insight into the issues that teachers face, and giving suggestions to help with these issues based on a wealth of experience and their own deep thinking about concepts.

There were so many great ideas to come out of this conference. I've listed some of those that impressed me most:

  • Technology: GeoGebra classroom demonstrations showing similarities to Desmos classroom but with more mathematical tools. Keep an eye out for an online training session that we're planning for the summer term with Tom Button on the use of GeoGebra classroom.
  • Problem solving: Reflections on possible support and structure for nurturing students’ skills for A level and admissions tests.
  • Pure – Proof by induction: Detailed analysis of the barriers to full understanding and fluency.
  • Pure – Complex numbers and matrices: Representation of real and complex numbers as matrices, linking the Argand diagram, and transformations.
  • Pure – Differential equations: Insightful questions to help students to learn how to produce or explain differential equations from a worded description.
  • Mechanics: Development of visual forms for energy and building understanding for increasingly complex problems.
  • Statistics: Incremental build-up of the concept of probability-generating functions and their application to expectation, variance, and sums of random variables.
  • Decision: Development of a full understanding of the travelling salesman problem with answers to possible questions from the most able students.

Please get in touch with your local Area Coordinator if any of these areas interest you, as we may be able to set up a twilight or half-day session for the East of England region.

By Val Pritchard

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