Area Apps

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Picture a gaggle of maths geeks enjoying a nice drink of pop in a pub on the banks of the Avon in Stratford.

How long do you think it took for the talk to turn to maths?

Well, when @just_maths whipped out her iPhone and showed us Area Maze, we were all immediately engrossed.

This type of puzzle on involves whole numbers and needs logical and proportional reasoning to solve.

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Of course, I immediately downloaded it when I got home, and had a play. Not only did I enjoy playing it, I could see how this type of puzzle could be used in my lessons.

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Whilst searching for the app, I saw other similar ones on iTunes. 

Area Quiz? from Wasabi Applications has a more refined and less "raw" style, and even offers problems with triangles as well as the original rectangles.

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I like both of these apps, but I must say that I prefer the second type. The interface allows you to annotate over the top of the diagrams, which I have found extremely useful.

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Have a look for yourself: and have fun, knowing that you mind is being stretched and challenged.

JustMaths

I think I have mentioned the Just Maths website at every conference I have spoken at, and at every meeting I've had with teachers in the area.

Now, before you can accuse me of being biased, I was a fan of the resources on this website WAY before I became acquainted with 1/3 of the team responsible for it!

As a teacher in FE, I need resources that I can trust, and that I know won't patronise our GCSE students. They have been through that GCSE course so many times before, they don't need "fluffy" resources - they need something to the point, clear, and most of all useful. Every time I've used a JustMaths resource, the students have been engaged and have seen their confidence grow.

It's hard to pick a favourite resource. I'll highlight one, available free from the site.

The BREAD AND BUTTER sheets. I have these printed out in class sets and laminated. For resit students, these are invaluable. They enable our students to brush up on topics that they need to keep on a rolling boil. I can certainly see how useful they'd be in a KS4 context too. I love them.

I am very much looking forward to seeing the "Big Fat 50", and the learning scheme that accompanies it. With the new GCSE, the focus has shifted. JustMaths has their finger on the pulse, and they know what is needed for the future.

And the blog. Mel Muldowney speaks. MY FAVOURITE BLOG ON T'INTERNET =) Read it and you will see why...