- WLAM at Pymble Ladies' College: Part 2
In the May 2014 issue of Mathematics Centre eNews, Glenn Dudley, Head of Mathematics, presented Part 1 of a sequence of vignettes to illustrate the commitment to Learning to Work Like A Mathematician at Pymble Ladies' College. Here Glenn offers the next instalment.
Year 7 Mathematizing Days 2014
During the last 3 years, Pymble Ladies' College Mathematics Department has shifted the emphasis from teaching students mathematics to teaching students to become mathematicians. Integral to the success of this change was the integration of the Maths Task Centre resources and Maths 300 into all of our programs with the professional assistance of Doug Williams and Charles Lovitt.
An important issue which quickly emerged over the years was that many of the new Year 7 students had not developed reasoning, understanding, problem solving, fluency and communication skills beyond the textbook. In order to begin to overcome this problem, two Mathematizing Days were built into the Year 7
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induction program. These days allowed the girls to become familiar with various problem solving strategies and how to apply them to mathematical and real life situations.
Year 8 student leaders were trained by the Mathematics staff and they organised and ran each of the problem solving workshops with the Year 7 students. The Year 8 students were selected by the following criteria:
Year 7 students were rotated through a variety of sessions which included Working backwards, Building a model, Working strategically, Using a table, Looking for patterns, Acting it out and Drawing a diagram. The majority of activities were from the Mathematics Task Centre and the feedback from staff and students was extremely positive.
- possess the ability to engage in problem solving and mathematical modelling
- have the ability to work in teams
- self-motivated and resourceful
- have an enthusiastic approach to the learning of mathematics.
The problem solving strategies learnt on the 2 days have encouraged students to work in groups, think creatively and apply different strategies to solve a problem which has now been reinforced in teaching students to become mathematicians in the classroom.
- Picture Puzzles: Opportunity Knocks
One screen, two learners, concrete materials and a challenge.
- I love this resource and very keen to try them in the classroom.
Carolyn Abraham, Numeracy Specialist Teacher
- Picture Puzzles look great and I will definitely get staff to use them.
Glenn Dudley, Head of Mathematics, Pymble Ladies' College
To begin using Picture Puzzles you need to make a once-only purchase of an access code.
- Ten puzzles currently available and the number will grow before the Introductory Release phase beginning on October 1st.
- Current purchase price is $110. From October 1st it will be $220. From March 1st it will be $330.
Free Tour includes these two free Picture Puzzles and Teaching Notes for the first 10 puzzles.
See Link List below to learn about, purchase and download Picture Puzzles.
- Journals at Ashburton Revisited
In April we reported on the first task lesson with Year 4 at Ashburton Primary School and showed some of the children's journal recording. We recently had the opportunity to continue our professional development support by spending a day introducing Year 5 classes to the tasks and running a parent evening.
The Year 5 journal work in their first task lesson was impressive, perhaps related to the quality of the school's literacy program, or the fact that the school won a 2013 Team of the Year award in the Australasian Mathematics Olympiad. We were were also able to review the on-going progress in the Year 4 journals. Great stuff! See Link List below for more detail and impressive photos.
- Thank you for all your help in teaching maths to my Gifted and Talented Year 2. This is my 10th year using the Task Centre and we all love it.
Carolyn Delaney, Haberfield Primary School
- I travel to Ethiopia and volunteer as a teacher in a very poor underprivileged school. I usually teach english as a second language through music and now am including Mathematics. I was very interested in reading the email from Barbara Kerr in Africa (July eNews). Thanks for your informative web site.
Julie Randell, A. C. T.
- Jo Spring, Lindisfarne Grammar, connected us to this item. Paul Lockhart claims to have learnt his mathematics outside school, has been a research mathematician and is currently teaching an alternative to text-based learning K - 12 in a New York School. In 2002 he wrote A Mathematician's Lament making a reasoned and passionate case for a Working Mathematically view of mathematics learning. The article is only 25 pages, freely available on the web as PDF and makes good bedtime reading. See Link List below.
In 2009 Paul extended the paper to a book with the same title which is subtitled 'How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form'. It is available from Amazon and other sources.
- Australian teachers probably received this message from AAMT on their own email, but just in case, we are happy to support the encouragement of students into mathematically-based careers.
AAMT is working with the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) to distribute the Maths Ad(d)s career publication to secondary schools. Attached to this email is todayıs media release from AMSI and a message for you to forward to families in your school containing a link to Maths Ad(d)s on AMSIıs new careers website.
See Link List below for the attachment.
Up until now, Maths Ad(d)s has been available in hard copy for school students mainly through university open days and it has been remarkably popular. We believe that Maths Ad(d)s goes a long way to helping students and their parents (and careers advisors!) understand the wide range of job opportunities available to capable students who enjoy maths.
- Tasks of the Month
Two new cameos this month.
The Task Cameo Content Finder has been updated to include these tasks.
- Area of a Triangle beautifully captures the transformation from triangle to rectangle that makes it possible to calculate the area of the triangle. The task helps students find the key elements of the construction which links the two shapes and then encourages its expression, first in words and then in algebraic symbols. A classic example of mathematics making sense when it is not driven by learning and practising formulas.
- Pythagoras 2 is a demonstration of Pythagoras' Theorem. It is driven by a translation and the concept of conservation of area. The demonstration allows both geometric and algebraic recording of the theorem. It also provides the stimulus for a formal proof of the theorem. Lots of extensions are included.
Click a photo to access its cameo, or access all current cameos through the Link List below.
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Continue exploring our history back to July 1992 through the Sense of History link.