# Plotting and Interpreting Conversion Graphs

Plotting and interpreting conversion graphs requires linking together several mathematical techniques.  Recent U.K. examiner reports indicate there are several common misconceptions when plotting and interpreting conversion graphs.  These include: drawing non-linear scales on the x or y axis, using the incorrect units when converting between imperial and metric measurements, taking inaccurate readings from either axis not […]

# Calculating the Volume of a Pyramid

When calculating the volume of a pyramid we can substitute the values of the length, width and perpendicular height into the formula V = 1/3 lwh.  In my experience this is often provided for the students with little explanation as to why a volume of a pyramid is exactly one third the volume of a […]

# Solving 3D Problems using Trigonometry

When teaching solving 3D problems using trigonometry we begin the lesson with a recap of Pythagoras’ Theorem and the three trigonometric ratios.  We do this by matching the ratio and equations to the respective right-angled triangle.   Students are encouraged to work in pairs and to show the diagrams as part of the working out on […]

# Solving Problems with Angles in Parallel Lines

Solving problems with angles in parallel lines is like solving a murder mystery.  One clue leads on to the next and the next until the murderer is found.  However, it doesn’t end there.  The detectives need to explain their reasoning in court using the relevant laws and procedures should the murderer plead not guilty.  If […]

# Surface Area of Cylinders

When I teach how to find the surface area of cylinders I like to add a constant level of challenge and enjoyment to the lesson.  Rather than repetitively calculating the surface area of a cylinder I introduce more complex cylindrical shapes. How to find the Surface Area of Cylinders To find the surface area of […]

# Proving Geometrical Relationships using Algebra

Back in May 2017 maths teachers around the country eagerly awaited the first exam for the new GCSE Mathematics syllabus.  Proving geometrical relationships using algebra featured at grade 9.  In Paper 1 of Edexcel’s test paper the last question of the higher tier looked like this. Edexcel wrote about student’s performance on this question in […]

# Solving Problems with Non-Right-Angled Triangles

Solving Problems with Non-Right-Angled Triangles Solving problems with non-right-angled triangles involves multiple areas of mathematics ranging from  complex formulae to angles in a triangle and on a straight line. As the GCSE mathematics curriculum increasingly challenges students to solve multiple step problems it is important for students to understand how to prove, apply and link […]

# Extending transformations beyond shapes on a grid

While I was teaching a higher GCSE class about  Reflections, Rotations and Translations  I wanted to explore extending transformations beyond shapes on a grid to include transforming straight line graphs. About forty minutes into the lesson on reflections the majority of the students were quietly working their way through the activities.  The class were well […]

# Pythagoras Theorem in 3D Shapes

Many problems involve three-dimensional objects or spaces.  Pythagoras Theorem in 3D Shapes can be used as much with these problems as those in plane shapes. Knowing when to use Pythagoras Theorem The starter recaps applying Pythagoras Theorem as part of a larger problem involving the perimeter of a trapezium and square.  The aim of this […]

# Area of rectangles for a mixed ability maths class

Finding the area of a rectangle is such a key skill in mathematics as it leads on to many other aspects of shape, number, algebra and even handling data.  In this blog I’ll take you through how I teach the area of rectangles for a mixed ability maths class in Year 7.   Difference between […]