What’s new? April 2022

Previous updates

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2021-22: Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec | Jan | Feb | Mar

TopTopics updates

TopTopics allows you to create a grid of randomly generated, “standard” procedural questions. This resource has now been updated so that each time you choose a broad topic using the drop-down menus, the URL dynamically updates. This means that you can pick your topics and then copy the URL and re-use that in future to instantly come back to the same selection of topics. This may be useful if you want to create a bespoke set of retrieval practice activities that you can directly link in your schemes of work.

As things stand, the dynamic URLs only bring you back to the same broad topics. Over the summer, we will release a tool that generates URLs that can bring you to precise sub-topics within the broad topics. Watch this space!

Shortcut and mashup questions

We have continued to add to our shortcut and mashup resources, which now feature over 50 problems, including this dynamic mashup activity that interweaves finding areas of triangles and quadrilaterals with arithmetic involving integers, decimals, fractions, surds, and algebraic expressions. While Mashup problems generally require a reasonable amount of written working, Shortcut problems con the other hand an be solved with very little working if students have a good understanding of the relevant concepts. It is often possible to solve these without such an understanding, but students will find it far more laborious.

Desmos classroom activities

We have continued to add Desmos classroom activities to our Resources. These Desmos activities contain randomised questions which means that for any given tasks, students in general will get similar, but not identical, questions to each other. As a teacher, you can quickly see the type of questions that students are seeing, but you can also dig deeper to see the specific question that each student sees. The video below shows the mobile phone screen of a student working through a task (on the right) and the teacher’s dashboard view (on the left). Whilst teachers can monitor students’ progress on a question-by-question basis during a live lesson, you don’t have to do this in real time. You can simply check how students fared at a later time, if you wish. This makes these activities suitable for use as homework tasks.

Where available, you will find links to these Desmos classroom activities in the expandable Teacher resources boxes under a topic’s set of slides.