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A Personal Insight on MathsConf15

July 2, 2018



My first blog on a Maths Conference was on MathsConf14. MathsConf15 is my second and is by far my personal favourite so far. MathsConf14 being my first will always be special to me. It made me feel like a little girl in a candy shop with all things wonderful around me. I did not know anybody then so was a little bit apprehensive. I went there not knowing what to expect and came out buzzing and eager to attend more!


So there I was on my second Maths Conference half knowing what to expect and it never failed to deliver. This time I was a bit more confident and I didn't feel like a total stranger. I came to meet up with fellow Maths tutors whom I met through Maths Tutors Group in Facebook and on video calls. That was the first time I met them in person.


This conference was held in Manchester on 23 June 2018.  As I arrived, I had a browse through the resources on display on the stalls. I managed to get myself two A Level books which had just been released into UK by Haese Mathematics of Australia. I even managed to get the books signed by the author and main principal editor himself, Michael Haese. As usual, there were a lot of activities going on. The usual Maths cakes competition was on, the Treasure Hunt etc. 

Below were some of the contenders for the Maths Cakes competition.



We were ushered into our room for a welcome talk by Mark McCourt, CEO of La Salle Education followed by the Main Sponsor, Andrew Taylor of AQA. We had a full room of Mathematicians that day. A lot brainpower in one place! It just shows what an amazing job La Salle Education has done to be able to sustain growing interest on these events.





After the introductory talk, I went to the first of four workshops I signed up for. I am not going to be discussing these in great detail, just a birds-eye view as I want to make this blog short and sweet.


My first workshop was called 'Exploring Greater Depth of Understanding in Maths at KS3'. It was an interactive session designed to encourage us to focus on developing conceptual understanding of Maths rather than procedural.  We were given some manipulatives and were encouraged to use them before we turn to writing equations to solve some problems displayed on the board. The speaker was Sian Thomas. It was indeed a highly stimulating session and made me feel how it is like to be in a KS3 pupil's shoes.



We then had a coffee break and I went to meet up and networked with other Maths tutors.


Up next was Workshop 2. I signed up for 'Embedding Technology: Enhancing Maths Education', by Mick Blaylock. In this session, we explored the use of some mathematical and statistical graphing tools and spreadsheets. We were shown how to use the graphics calculator and other technologies to enhance Mathematics Education.


We then had a plenary session with guest speaker, renowned author, Simon Singh who talked about 'Fermat's Last Theorem', the first maths book to become a No.1 bestseller in the UK.


We had our lunch after the plenary session where I got to taste a little bit of the various Maths cakes.


Workshop 3 was 'Developing Excellence in Mathematics' by the best-selling author, Simon Singh. He spoke about the two projects that he has pioneered to encourage students to achieve excellence in Maths from year 7 onwards. The Parallel Project aims to continually stretch  the most able students. It offers free online Maths worksheets each weekend and marked automatically.


Workshop 4 was 'Getting Started with Geogebra - Graphs'. Speaker was Leona So. This workshop was to explore the use of Geogebra. It showcased graph modelling. We were shown linear, non-linear graphs and some 3D graphs. We even got to use 3D glasses which was cool. A very interesting session which I aim to explore more (Geogebra) in my own time. Unfortunately in this session, the internet didn't work so interactive activities were limited.


There were so many workshops to choose from, picking up our top 4 favourite was a difficult task.


We then went back to the main room where Mark McCourt gave his closing remarks. The winners of the raffles for the Macmillan charity and winner of the cakes competition were announced.


It was an amazing conference and I was still buzzing from the experience even after the 2 hour drive back home. Now to register for the next Maths Conference! 



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