Hints and tips - five minute read
Steven Walker, OCR Maths Subject Advisor
Following on from my recent ‘Learning maths outside the classroom’ blog, I will now look in more detail at resources that can be used by students of our GCSE (9–1) Mathematics.
The starting point is always the specification, which has a unique presentation, with content split into 12 sections covering number, ratio, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics, but also across three columns of progression.
We have published lots of free resources that you can download for our GCSE (9–1) Mathematics, available from the qualification page.
Selecting ‘Planning and teaching’ from the left-hand menu gives you a range of teaching resources:
Selecting ‘Assessment’ from the left-hand menu gives you question papers and related resources:
Students may have access to a copy of their normal class textbook, but if not, there are a range of good quality online maths support sites.
You may find the following sites useful. There are plenty more sites like these, please bear in mind different maths sites may support different qualifications, but most will contain relevant content.
Students may be without a calculator at home, however basic scientific calculators are available on most mobile phones. For those that would like more, free graphing and calculator apps are available from platforms like Desmos and Geogebra, once again there are other provides our there.
Crucially, these platforms also have a vast wealth of prepared tasks on different aspects of the curriculum, which students can readily explore from home to supplement their learning. For our GCSE, try the following for each area of the specification:
Maths should always be considered a practical subject. Exploring maths around the house can help bring the subject alive and is a good way of bringing together different topics.
Students could measure and count objects in activities such as planning a redecoration by measuring the room - determining what new furniture will fit, how much paint is needed, what will be the total cost, or planning for a holiday with friends.
With whole families at home sharing equipment and bandwidth, practical investigations can also ease the pressure on technology and provide a welcome break from phones, computers and tablets.
On the @OCR_Maths Twitter account we’ve published many puzzles that GCSE students can attempt, which can be browsed through searching the #OCRMathsPuzzle hashtag. Other sites with great short puzzles and activities include NRICH, AMSP, +plus, Transum, Just Maths, TES and there are many more.
As a starting point you could give these a try:
We’ll also be regularly posting links to a variety of online resources in the coming weeks, so do follow us on Twitter @OCR_Maths.
There are so many great online resources available, join the conversation by sharing your ideas and links to all your favourites, in the comment box below.
If you have any queries or questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_Maths. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive information about resources and support.
Steven joined OCR in 2014 and has working on the redevelopment of OCR’s Entry Level, GCSE (9-1), FSMQ and A Level Mathematics qualifications. He now focuses mainly on supporting the Level 3 qualifications. Steven originally studied engineering before completing a PGCE in secondary mathematics. He is currently balancing his ‘work from home’ commitments with supporting his young daughter with reception year activities.