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Secondary Magazine - Issue 143: New, practical, interactive resources, from MEI and IET

Created on 03 July 2017 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 07 July 2017 by ncetm_administrator


Secondary Magazine Issue 143Part of MEI resource

New, practical, interactive resources, from MEI and IET – FREE

Our partners, Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI), have recently collaborated with The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to create a new collection of resources for maths teachers, and students. Stephen Lee, Research and Evaluation Manager at MEI, writes about the collection:

Three distinct strands of activity were developed:

  1. 'A Bundle of Graphs', an app available online, or for mobile phones/tablets,
  2. Short contextualised KS4 problems (ideal as starter activities),
  3. A series of YouTube videos looking at AS/A level mechanics practical experiments.

All are available on MEI's website.

Here we will look in a little more detail at some of the resources that have been developed.

1: ‘A Bundle of Graphs’

The project has seen MEI adding a new app, A Bundle of Graphs, to their suite of already successful apps.

The app can be downloaded from either Apple's app store or the Google Play store, for use on mobile devices and tablets; the online version is available on MEI's Integral website.

A Bundle of Graphs involves six mini-games, played for points, against the clock. Each of these involves interpretation of some form of graph. Real-life applications and contexts for the graphs are linked from within the app, and held on a webpage that will continue to be updated.

Try your skills on this mini-game from the online version:

screenshot form Straight Lines game

There is a mini-game for each of the following types of graph: straight line; quadratic; position-time; velocity-time; and bar graphs (used to find mean and median).

Guidance on how to play and to learn about the techniques is built within the app, as is a 'learn mode' option. This allows the user to play ten examples in each mini-game and to study the correct answer if they get one incorrect. The ‘gameplay’ scenario is more competitive where the user tries to get as many correct answers (and thus points) in a 60-second period.

Having both an app and web browser version allows teachers to use the resource flexibly, for example:

  • at the front of class on an interactive white-board, engaging students in answering the questions.
  • in class, with students using the app themselves on tablets or computers.
  • encouraging students to download and use the app out of class.

MEI's other apps and games can be found on their website.

2: Short contextualised KS4 problems

A set of 20 KS4 activities have been created which aim to:

  • address a range of GCSE Mathematics content,
  • promote the development of reasoning and problem-solving skills,
  • make connections with real life applications/context,
  • promote student discussion and communication.

As a minimum each resource includes a ‘problem PowerPoint’ (usually two or three slides) and a set of teacher's notes. Then, depending on the individual resource, student worksheets, spreadsheets or GeoGebra files may also be included.

One such short contextualised problem is ‘Flow Rates Through Revolving Doors’:

By considering flow rates of people through revolving doors, and the need to exclude drafts, students engage with the following curriculum areas:

  • circumference of a circle,
  • length of an arc,
  • proportional reasoning,
  • estimation,
  • rates of change/compound measures,
  • developing a mathematical model.

This GeoGebra file allows students to interact with the question posed:

Sets of resources for all the KS4 short contextualised problems can be downloaded here; GeoGebra software can be downloaded free from the GeoGebra website.

3: AS/A level mechanics practical experiments YouTube videos

With the 2017 A level Mathematics curriculum having a compulsory mechanics element, we wanted to emphasise the benefits to undertaking practical experiments and investigations. Therefore, a series of videos demonstrating relevant, practical activities that a teacher could use with students in maths AS/A level classes have been created. There are five that will shortly be available on YouTube, which consider:

  • connected particles in motion,
  • friction and resolving forces on an inclined plane,
  • pulleys,
  • exploring moments on a beam,
  • projectiles in two dimensions.

The videos will be available soon on the MEI website shortly: bookmark the page now!  The clip below gives a taster:

MEI are inviting feedback from teachers on these new resources. If you have any comments please contact stephen.lee@mei.org.uk.





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