Mars Maths is yet another maths resource site created by a maths teacher looking to support their students and students across the web. Yet, this maths resource site has a difference. You may know what I am getting at if you have visited the page, and know me. The second I saw the first page – You Can – I was intrigued.
The You Can page is incredible. I always love to see positive messages when it comes to maths because maths can be a really hard subject, and it’s usually the first one people doubt themselves on. I love the fact it is on the homepage as it will be the first thing the student sees, and seeing things like that while revising can be such a motivation booster. I think wording is also very important when it comes to positive messages. I absolutely love this section:
A lot of students struggle with believing in themselves. When you fail something – even once – it can really hinder your progress and motivation. It’s almost a persuasive technique like you’d learn in English, but the “I absolutely believe (in) you” sends waves of motivation and good feeling to someone who is resitting an exam. I can say from experience that it wasn’t until other people around me told me they believed in me, and that I could do it, before I believed in myself. It may seem odd having a stranger tell you they believe in you over the internet, but sometimes, it’s still enough to have that tiny bit of belief, of motivation, when you walk in the exam hall. Knowing someone out there believes in you can still change your mindset even just slightly, and you’ll start to want to do it for them, not just yourself.
I love the idea of having each criteria visible and having learning resources linking off of it. It’s likely that students know what they’re struggling with (even though they might just say ‘everything’), so to be able to pick and choose is excellent. I also like it because if a student genuinely is stuck when it comes to revision, they can read through and revisit topics they struggle with. Each learning material is in an easy to download and print format, they’re simple but to the point and have a clear design making it easy for students to understand. The videos that go alongside the learning materials are short and to the point and that’s what students need. There are too many long-winded videos that go on and on, our students lose interest quickly so we need to adapt to that. These tutorials clearly do that and are super clear and easy to follow.
I feel like I also have to mention the ‘Teacher’ side of the site, which I have already shared with the Functional Skills maths team, and who are already pulling apart the site for the resources. The resources are all perfect for reuse and as I’ve mentioned, we’ll be using them for our Functional Skills learners next academic year. I love the idea of having the site for students, but also having a section to support teachers teaching maths. Mars also shares her resources and ideas which is great as I know our teachers have taken my half-formed, jumbled ideas and have used them, so I know these ideas will be integrated straight into our learning materials – with credit given, of course.
The BCoT maths site will do better with this gorgeous site on its homepage where students and staff can access the pages. One of our maths teacher said. “This is a really nice site. The videos are well made and the question sheets are really good” which is a wonderful review of the site and I am excited that the team have taken to it instantly. I hope this post has encouraged you to check out the site, share it with your students and use some of the ideas and resources within your own teaching.