For all of you out there who just can’t get enough of me, I know you’ve all been counting down the days and now the wait is finally over – here’s my monthly review video for February 2017. So other than watching seemingly endless episodes of Peppa Pig and In the Night Garden with my daughter what else has been going on?

Well, many of my GCSE students have been sitting their mock exams over the last couple of months which has given them an idea of what to expect on the new GCSE maths exams which students will be sitting for the first time in around May or June. I think many students, and teachers for that matter, have been a bit dismayed at the new exam style – the questions are tougher, more in-depth knowledge is required and students are tested more on their problem-solving skills rather than their ability to parrot out model solutions. There was one question in particular that really caught my eye on one of the papers; it was a fairly difficult question by GCSE standards but it wasn’t impossible. In this video I have a bit of a chat about the question and, though I don’t present a fully worked solution to the problem (that would spoil the fun for you) I do give a bit of an idea as to why the conclusion (which many people made but couldn’t explain) can be justified.

I also talk about what I’ve been up to learning how to speed-solve a Rubik’s Cube (or should I say Twist Game as it isn’t an official Rubik’s Cube that I use any more?) and a couple of books that I’ve read (or partially read), in particular

  • The Art of Memory – Frances Yates
  • Mathematics, science and epistemology – Imre Lakatos

I’m still practising with my Twist Game (Rubik’s Cube is much easier to say, though) and it’s really fun learning to speed-cube. I still can’t come anywhere close to kinds of times that a proper speed-cuber can achieve but I’m making progress.

Anyway – look out for my video next month and I’m sure I’ll have loads more exciting things to talk about. I bet you can’t wait. Be excellent to each other; and Party on, Dudes.

The wait is over – here’s the Leeds Maths Tuition monthly review video for January 2017. That was a joke by the way.

In this video I spend a bit of time talking about the new GCSE and A Level maths specifications and exams – I’ve had a few discussions about this topic with some of my students and some of their parents over the last month. Many people have had their first taste of the new GCSE maths exams by now and I think it’s taken a lot of people by surprise just how different it may be compared to previous years exams. Are the changes good or bad? I think you would be hard pushed to find any GCSE maths students (and possibly teachers for that matter) who approve of the changes; well how about maths tutors? Well you can find out what this maths tutor thinks in the monthly review video.

I also talk about some books that I’ve read over the last month which were:

  • In the Key of Genius : The Extraordinary Life of Derek Paravicini – Adam Ockelford
  • Extraordinary People – Darrold A. Treffert
  • Moonwalking With Einstein : The Art and Science of Remembering Everything – Joshua Foer

These were some interesting books; the Darrold A. Treffert book was maybe a bit too in depth for me at this stage – I enjoyed reading it but I think I jumped in the deep end a bit with that one. The other two books were much more easy going. Anyway, watch the video and you’ll find out a bit more about them; though, of course the best thing to do is read them for yourself.

So I’ll be back next month, all being well, with the next monthly update; hopefully see you then. In the meantime, if you really can’t wait until next month (yeah right, whatever John) I’ll be writing my regular posts for my website so you can keep an eye out for those. TTFN.