A professional learning blog by William Emeny Leading Practitioner (specialist in memory and curriculum design), Head of maths, author, speaker, TES Maths Panel, researcher, director of Emeny Learning Limited

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The impact of using Numeracy Ninjas on the numeracy fluency of Key Stage 3 students in a large comprehensive secondary school

At Wyvern College we have run a year-long research study to assess the impact of using Numeracy Ninjas on the fluency of our 470+ Key Stage 3 students’ mental calculation strategies, timestables and key skills required to successfully access the GCSE Maths curriculum. We are delighted to publish the impact report summarising the statistically significant improvements that Numeracy Ninjas has made to...

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Experiments in mastery… rigour is a vital component…

Define a mastery approach to teaching maths. That’s a tough task. Whilst there are many elements that could be debated, I hope we’d all agree that rigour is a fundamental component. In our maths dept at Wyvern College, we’ve started focussing recently on understanding strategies and approaches to incorporate high levels of rigour into our resources. We’re still in the...

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My interview on the Mr Barton Maths Podcast

This weekend I had the privilege of being interviewed by Craig Barton for an episode of his wonderful maths podcast. We discussed many issues relating to maths education, including: How does Will plan lessons? – we dive very deep into this! How do Will and his department try to create renewable lessons? Can Will describe a lesson that went badly,...

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Prior-learning dependencies flow between Maths GCSE subject domains

Just over two years ago I published the post, You’ve never seen the GCSE Maths curriculum like this before, summarising my analysis of the prior-learning dependencies within GCSE Maths learning objectives. The curriculum map I produced showed the importance of students having high fluency with specific number related topics, such that the topics do not consume working memory resources when students were...

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#MathsConf6- maximising the impact of multiple-choice questioning

At #MathsConf6 I attended a wonderful workshop delivered by @NaveenRizvi who works at Michaela Community School. She shared a number of valuable insights gained from visiting high-performing American Charter Schools and observing the practice of their best maths teachers. In this post, I’d like to share and then elaborate on an aspect of multiple-choice questioning, mentioned by Naveen, that was a...

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Timestables diagnostic tool and adaptive question generator

It’s no secret that we have plans to develop an online version of Numeracy Ninjas in the future where students can battle against each other online in a games-based environment and receive diagnostic feedback on their numeracy strengths and weaknesses. In the meantime, I have put together a timestables diagnostic tool and question generator in Excel. I made it to...

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Learning from linguistics and video games- get the students ‘playing the game’, not ‘reading the manual’

Watch this video featuring Prof James Paul Gee: The points James make in this video are particularly important at present with the increased emphasis being given to problem-solving on the maths GCSE. His insight that giving two students the same resource and it being concrete for one and abstract for another resulting from the differing prior life experiences (or lack...

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In search of mastery- lesson study in multiplying fractions

The focus on planning for students to have ‘mastery’ in their learning is much discussed at present. The term ‘mastery’ is somewhat vague and I have read many contrasting attempts by others at defining it. I will not attempt a definition; personally, I am still on the ascent in my understanding of this idea and cannot survey the landscape fully...

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Knowledge organisers- more clarity than learning objectives and great for building retention

The inspiration for this post came from an article on Joe Kirby’s blog, Pragmatic Reform called Knowledge Organisers. I have huge admiration for what Joe and his colleagues are achieving at Michaela Community School by challenging just about every status quo in teaching and learning. They are at the forefront of developing high-impact, sustainable-workload teaching strategies informed by cognitive science research...

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Numeracy Ninjas update- 1000 up!

There are now over 1000 schools using Numeracy Ninjas worldwide! See more info and other updates, including the publication of the weeks 21-30 Ninja Skill Books, at this project blog post: 1000 up & Numeracy Ninjas Skill Books weeks 21-30 now live

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Timetables Rockstars iOS and Android apps now available

The visionary Bruno Reddy, @MrReddyMaths, has just expanded his fantastic Timestables Rockstars product to include iOS and Android apps.  Free to use until February, and then just a £3 per month bolt-on for the whole school thereafter, the apps bring all the features of TT Rockstars that students know and love: customisation, online battles etc. Highly recommended.

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Numeracy Ninjas end-of-term activities

Looking for a fun mathematical end of term activity to do with your class? Look no further! Numeracy Ninjas Christmas Dodecahedron Bauble Download the bauble template here. Be patient; it’s a few MB! Print the template double-sided so each Ninja graphic has a number on the back. Cut out each section of the bauble and  then glue matching numbers together to...

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Interactive circle theorems

I’ve created a page on Great Maths Teaching Ideas which features interactive versions of all the circle theorems. Go to the ‘shape’ menu and then click ‘circle theorems’. Enjoy! Alternatively, here’s a link to the page: http://www.greatmathsteachingideas.com/circle-theorems/ Here’s an example of what you can find on the page:

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Macau’s Magic Square Stamps

Alex Bellos of Alex’s Adventures in Numberland fame has written an article in The Guardian about a stamp-series in Macau. (Stay with me!) The series highlights the history of Magic Squares. The stamps, worth 1-9 Patacs are even bought on sheets arranged into Magic Squares based not their monetary value! Could your students design a stamp series around a different...