What’s new? September 2019

Welcome to the first in our series of monthly* updates about what we’ve been up to on the site.

As this is our first update, we’ll be looking back at the last year, rather than just the last month. While the site has existed since 2015, it was largely for my own use with my own classes. We formally launched more widely in September 2018. This then, is not simply a look back at the last year, but our first year as a website intended for the wider public.

Resourceaholic Gem Awards 2019

“I love this website because it ridiculously easy to use…”

We were honoured to be named as “Best GCSE Support” by Jo Morgan in her Gem Awards 2019, marking the fifth birthday of her blog, resourceaholic.com. We also got a special mention under the “Best Animations” category for our unnumbered protractor applet available here.

Additionally, Jo has shared a number of our creations alongside many other great resources in her regular Maths Gems posts: our first mention in Gems 89, our examples and non-examples in Gems 103, the unnumbered protractor (mentioned above) in Gems 107, and our applets for rotation and enlargement in Gems 110. If you teach maths and don’t regularly check out Jo’s Gems, then I recommend you do! Each post typically covers five different ideas/resources in a digestible way, giving busy teachers a high return on the time spent reading the post.


In April 2019, launched TopTopics. TopTopics lets you quickly create a set of questions on topics you choose. Simply use a slider to adjust the level of challenge, click any question to show its answer, and click an answer to generate a new version of the question if you’d like to give your students a bit more practice:

Skills drills, Always, sometimes, or never activities, Random Question Generators

We have also been adding extra resources to various topics. These include “Skills drills” worksheets, Always, sometimes, or never activities, and Random Question Generators. Where available, you will find links to these under the Teacher Resources for that topic.

Skills drills worksheets typically have 40 questions on one page. Answers are included on a second page. These questions are different from those in the slides, and are available so that you can give students extra practice – either in class or as homework. We are continuing to add more topics.

For front-of-class use, the Random Question Generators may be more suitable. Each Random Question Generator typically works like TopTopics (see above) except that all the questions generated focus on a given topic. You can show an answer with a click and regenerate a question with one further click. Here is what the Random Question Generator for topic A4e looks like (note that you can customise the difficulty of the questions in this exercise, but the option to do so is hidden in this screenshot):

In Always, sometimes, or never? activities, students need to fill in blanks using either Always, sometimes, or never. Here are a few example questions from the activity for topic N6a:

  1. A square number ____ has a 7 in its units column.
  2. Positive integers with a 6 in their units column ____ are square numbers.
  3. A cube number is ____ a square number.
  4. A whole number raised to the power of 6 is ____ a square number.
  5. A whole number raised to the power of 6 is ____ a cube number.

Extension activities

In response to a suggestion from a user, we have begun to add extension tasks just beneath each topic’s slides. These are currently available for 10 topics, and more are being added each week. These extension tasks might be suitable for students who have completed all the questions on a given slide. These extension activities are separate from the slides so that it is possible for some students to focus on an extension task whilst others look at another slide. See bossmaths.com/a4e for an example.