My (current) top ten resources for teaching Core Maths

Thursday 9th December 2021

Beautiful News Daily

Did you know that about 90% of all media coverage is negative? I only came across this website recently – it's described as "a collection of good news, positive trends, uplifting statistics and facts". There are so many different but beautiful representations of data to share with your students and ask, "What do you notice?" or, "Anything you wonder?"

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Maths on the Back of an Envelope by Rob Eastaway

This book is fantastic for introducing Fermi Estimation! It gives some great ideas, such as becoming familiar with some ‘landmark’ numbers and building up to less structured estimation questions. It has great anecdotes and introduces the mighty ‘zequals!'

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Getting Started with Core Maths padlet

This contains everything and anything you need to know. There's help for getting started, resources, ideas and links. Go and visit it now!

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More or Less on BBC Radio 4

This is my favourite podcast. Tim Harford explains, and sometimes debunks, the numbers and statistics used in political debate, the news and everyday life. The radio show is on Wednesday mornings, but podcast episodes are available. I highly recommend.

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This is a lovely, quirky website with lots of fun resources to play with. I particularly like the Life Stats (in case you’ve ever wondered how many times you’ve blinked in your lifetime) and Sell Sell Sell! (if you want to compare numbers of boxes of Cheerios sold to Amazon deliveries!)

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BBC News

In fact, I'd recommend any news website, just to keep it real and topical. I like to find a news story and ask students to find the maths in it, or use it to create my own questions. There's so much data that you can use, such as charts, graphs and percentages.

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Our World in Data

Talking of data, this website does what it says on the tin and has charts of all kinds of things, including human rights, education, and the environment. It's great for looking at climate change, and you can often download the data as a spreadsheet too.

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Where maths meets… the world of work!

I love these resources on the AMSP website. They give students a chance to look at some different careers, including a data analyst and a filmmaker, and watch videos and carry out activities. There are different resources for students from KS3 up to KS5, so it's definitely worth a look for all of your year groups.

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Stand-up Maths

Last but not least, Matt Parker has made some brilliant, accessible and interesting videos. I haven’t managed to watch them all, but I especially love the ones on Landmark Numbers and Bad Number AnalogiesOpens a new window (when introducing Fermi) and Why do Biden's votes not follow Benford's Law?Opens a new window to look at the election data in the USA.

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I'd also recommend following Twitter accounts such as @GraphCrimesOpens a new window, @CoreMathsCatOpens a new window, @CoreMathsTomOpens a new window, and @AMSPLon_SEOpens a new window, or joining in with #CoreMathsChat on a Monday evening. I find so many topical resources on Twitter, and I'd also recommend simply searching #CoreMaths.

Finally, and this isn’t a resource as such, but Mathematics in School (published by the Mathematical Association) has just released its Golden Anniversary IssueOpens a new window. This issue takes a slightly different perspective of ‘Mathematics OUTSIDE School’ and looks at some of the benefits of Core Maths. It's definitely worth a read!

By Jude Mortimer

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