InThinking Teach Maths

Site Overview

The InThinking Teach Maths is a subscription site designed for teachers of middle years students aged 11 to 16. The main aim of the site is to provide ‘Lessons to look forward to’ focusing on the art of creating rich teaching and learning experiences and fostering mathematical thinking skills. We offer a range of ideas and resources, some that take full advantage of technology, some that extend the walls of the classroom and others that are simply good activities!

The site currently comprises 98 free pages. 17 more are available when you subscribe. It contains more than 40,000 words and 80 ready-to-go teaching materials including:

  • Activities
  • Presentations
  • Simulations
  • Teacher Notes

Some of the material on the site, such as the blog, is free. You can get a quick overview by looking at the site map or clicking the headings on the top menu. To access the content in its entirety you will need to subscribe.

Imagination, purpose and play

As maths teachers we are used to the question ‘Why do we need to know this’ coming up in our classes. From my experience this question is usually a sign of an activity not quite going as well as I had hoped! The need for and infact the definition of ‘context’ makes for a fascinating debate. Often a really good activity trumps the question above, but not always. As such I, like most I imagine, have been through a whole range of different answers to that question. Some are deeply tenuous, some are uninspiring, some are too complex to get across and when I am lucky I manage to get across the power and beauty of mathematics both as a way of thinking and as a powerful tool for understanding the world we live in.

In his timeless book ‘A mathematician reads the newspaper’ John Allen Paulos demonstrates this second point with some startling reality by examining ‘the news’ from a mathematician’s point of view. In doing so he makes us aware of many things including, the frequency with which journalism abuses mathematics, the frequency with which journalism misunderstands mathematics, the frequency of profound mathematical error in the media and the real importance of understanding mathematics if one is to understand the news that is reported to us. This is done in a very readable, approachable and enjoyable style that is a lovely commentary on some aspects of society at the same time.

Book recommendations are fantastic, but I know in my case, they loiter around my desk for undefined amounts of time until I act upon them. I wish I had acted sooner on this one. It has pride of place in my classroom and I often read aloud from to my students to help them in one sense answer the question before they ask it and in another to highlight how some peoples carrers revolve around mathematics in a way that students may not have previously considered. Every classroom should have a copy.

The team

Sebastian Ives

Sebastian Ives is the Head of Mathematics at the London school of politics and religion, where he teaches students from 11 to 18 years old at all levels of Mathematics. Sebastian has an undergraduate degree from Lincoln University, and postgraduate qualification from London Metropolitan University, the latter based on the use of context in Mathematics teaching. Seb has been teaching for 8 years. In recent years, Seb has become a specialist in the teaching of Mathematics theory, enjoying the spirit of ‘Mathematics for All’ that this website embodies.

James Reede

James holds graduate and postgraduate degrees from Brighton University with over 20 years teaching experience at international schools in Russia, Japan and Colombia. He was drawn to Japan in 2005 to work with students around the Xi’Jan district in Tokyo.  James enjoys embracing the use of technology in his classroom and has delivered numerous workshop sessions. He is committed to developing rich ideas, activities and resources to promote mathematical thinking and engagement.

Edward Morris

Edward Morris is a Spanish national, attending St Andrews University as an undergraduate and postgraduate. He endeavours to devise activities that require students to think, and discover the mathematics, for themselves thereby developing their intelligence in the broadest sense: “the flexible adaptation of means in the pursuit of one’s goals”.