5 Top Tips for Success at A level Maths and Wider Reading
My school has a Specialist Tutor Program in the sixth form which is a weekly timetabled slot to broaden students’ experiences. It’s a fantastic idea and, as a sixth form tutor, I run one of the sessions each week. The one I ran last week was titled 5 Top Tips for Success at A level Maths and was, partly, based on a survey I carried out via twitter recently. (Just to give you a flavour of the broadness, my one this week was about passing your driving theory test.)
I’ve collated and refined the results from the survey along with the experiences of my faculty into a structured powerpoint presentation. It was used in an hour session with mostly year 12 students. I consciously included some interactive bits and tasks to do and a couple of different presentation style so it’s not all just listening to me talk. Here’s a link to the ppt and you’re welcome to use/adapt it as you wish. Thanks to all the people that answered the survey and I know a lot of you will be interested in seeing the results.
If you take a look, you’ll notice that the last part is a wider reading list, aimed at anyone that wants to broaden their maths understanding or general interest, perhaps with a view to mentioning it in UCAS personal statements. It is obviously non-exhaustive but here’s the list for ease of reference:
- Why do buses come in threes? Rob Eastaway & Jeremy Wyndham
- Professor Stewart’s cabinet of mathematical curiosities Ian Stewart
- Cracking Mathematics: You, this book and 4,000 years of theories Colin Beveridge
- 1089 and all that David Acheson
- Flatland – A romance of many dimensions (free ebook) Edwin Abbott
- Fermat’s Last theorem Simon Singh
- How to cut a cake Ian Stewart
- The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets Simon Singh
- The man who loved only numbers Paul Hoffman
On the internet
As I was buying a book for my son (Number Quest – more on this another time) I stumbled across an eBay shop that had lots of maths books for sale pretty cheaply. Now, they also had an offer on of “buy 40 books, get 50% off”, and, like a TV with a broken volume control, you can’t turn that down can you?
I picked out some for myself:
Some that I’m going to take in for students to borrow:
And there was only a minor mishap as I tried to buy a couple of copies of Alex Bellos’s book, ‘Alex through the looking glass’:
I don’t suppose anyone wants a snooker book do they?