Enabling all students to explore the connections that underpin mathematics
Mathematics is a coherent and connected enterprise. To reflect this we have organised our resources along a system of thematic tube lines.
These resources support teachers in the classroom. They help students build firm foundations for mathematical understanding by connecting ideas and developing techniques.
This new approach to post-16 mathematics is being developed by the University of Cambridge, funded by a grant from the UK Department for Education. The resources are free for all users.
Underground Mathematics started in 2012 as the Cambridge Mathematics Education Project (CMEP).
Designed to stimulate students' curiosity and elicit discovery of ideas, the resources can be used flexibly, offering a meaningful challenge to all students.
Resources encourage students to pose questions, reflect and collaborate, deepening their individual understanding.
Partner schools across England work closely with the project team, trialling resources and giving feedback. Teachers’ experiences have fed into teacher notes that accompany resources.
Resources have been designed for classroom use and can include card sets and worksheets. GeoGebra applets may be used on our site or downloaded.
The tubemap shows multiple connections between topics. In addition, processes and pervasive ideas allow users to connect resources by thinking about approaches to the problems and the concepts involved.
Solutions are provided which also offer questions, suggestions of multiple approaches, and opportunities for reflection. Brief teacher notes within many resources provide support for using the resources in the classroom.
Our resources are organised into topics or stations on a map or tubemap showing the connections between them.
Watch this video or use the preceding menu to find out more.
The mathematics has been organised along a system of tube lines, which reflect big themes that run through mathematics. The tubemap offers a way to navigate to resources for teaching a particular area of mathematics; resources can be accessed by clicking on a station name. Some stations are still in development and this is indicated by a construction symbol.
Each station features an overarching question that could be used to stimulate curiosity. There are a number of key questions that summarise the ideas that arise in the resources. You can filter resources by selecting a key question. You can also filter resources by tube line, if you wish to choose a resource with a particular emphasis.
The resources that are available at each station may come under three headings. Resources that introduce new ideas relating to the station are in the “Introducing” section. “Developing” resources may build on these ideas or earlier work. “Review questions” are mostly drawn from past examination questions and have been chosen as ones that are interesting in nature and require non-routine thinking.
To help you find the resources you are looking for, we have classified them according to twelve resource types.
Resources are divided into sections. In some cases this may be a warm-up followed by a larger task, and others may have a problem followed by a suggestion of how to tackle it. Almost all resources contain a solution or a “Things you might have noticed” section. This may help you to think about questions you might ask students, to see areas where students could get stuck, or offer further insight into how you might use the resource in your classroom. Further support is offered in the teacher notes.
By clicking on a pervasive idea you will find a description of how the idea arises within the resources. If pervasive ideas are highlighted in a resource they appear in the sidebar (or bottom-bar on a small screen) and in the list of resources at the station (on a wide screen).
Use the Search button in the top menu bar to open the search dialog.
You can search for resources by title, keywords or text within the resource. Review questions can be searched by question Ref. You can also search for pervasive ideas and mathematical processes such as visualising.
We would like to hear about how you’ve used the resources. You can contribute to the conversation using the Discuss button in the top menu bar. By setting up a login you will become part of the Underground Mathematics community, enabling you to leave comments on the site and receive the half-termly newsletter, if you wish.
You can save a resource for later by adding it to your resource collection. To do this click the star next to the resource title. Note you must log in or register to use this facility. To access your resource collection, click the User button in the top menu bar then Your resource collection.
Within your resource collection, you can organise your resources by creating ordered subcollections. To add a resource to a subcollection, click the add to subcollection icon in your resource collection table. To select a subcollection, use the drop-down list above the table. You can also generate a PDF of resources from a subcollection, which could be used to generate your own exam from our review questions, for example.
The Bundles page contains small, carefully selected, collections of resources that have a particular focus or goal. These resources can be used in the suggested sequence to take students on a particular mathematical journey.
The Underground hub contains news and events, PD opportunities, updates, quotes, the newsletter archive, useful links and more.
Our About page contains a video explaining our philosophy, and an overview of our team.
The resources have been designed to be used flexibly in the classroom.
For using resources via a projector you can select the fullscreen mode.
The printable/supporting materials link allows you to print or download the resource or any extras, such as card sorts or worksheets.
Using individual devices will allow students to control the GeoGebra applets which appear in some resources.
The hub provides access to the new developments at Underground Mathematics: news, CPD opportunities, and additions to the range of resources and support available to teachers.
Underground Mathematics exists for the benefit of you and your students. By setting up a login you will become part of the Underground Mathematics community, enabling you to leave comments on the site and receive the half-termly newsletter.
We are actively seeking feedback from teachers about our resources, especially based on experiences of using them with students. Share this with other teachers and the Underground Mathematics team by using the Discuss link at the top of the page.
Our half-termly newsletter will keep you up-to-date with the latest news and developments at Underground Mathematics, such as new resources, teachers’ descriptions of how they have used resources with their students, and details of any forthcoming events. Register
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We welcome all enquiries including feedback on how we can improve Underground Mathematics.