- PD July to December
Time to look ahead to the second half of the year. We still have room in the diary to support your school, cluster, district or system with any aspect of building classrooms in which best practice teaching develops learners who are fascinated, captivated and absorbed by learning to work like a mathematician.
We offer after school Mini-PD, one day courses and six day courses. We also offer Discussion Lessons which operate in your classroom with your children. Learn more about our Professional Development Partnerships in the Link List below.
- Year 11 Working Like A Mathematician
We always like it when we get a contribution from Damian Howison, St. Mary MacKillop College, Swan Hill, but this one is especially exciting because it shows that senior classes do have the time to work like a mathematician.
We have been doing some more work with Same or Different - this time with a Year 11 Maths Methods class.
Again, we made use of combinations (nCr) to calculate probabilities, and we used spreadsheets to hurry up our calculations and facilitate our search. But this time we were asking the question - if you had three colours, could
you still have a perfectly fair game? And then what about four colours? five? etc...
With our spreadsheets we began a search as a whole class and fairly quickly came up with some really satisfying answers to our questions, revealing many patterns.
My class was pretty excited because I told them that this part of the iceberg was all new to me, that we were exploring new territory, at least at this school. So I told them that I knew of someone who just might be interested in knowing what we were up to (that's you). That made them pretty pleased.
Find out more about Damian's work with this class in the Link List below. Damian has supplied the spreadsheet and a slide show from his Interactive White Board to help you explore the detail of the lesson.
What's more, they are sitting their semester exam tomorrow and I was able to use this task and our exploration as a context for some of the questions about probability and combinatorics.
This is could be a must read for teachers in Years 10-12.
- Year 3 Working Like A Mathematician
Robyn Brooks, Principal, Irymple South Primary School, tells us they have been working closely with Ian Rowland, from Red Cliffs Secondary College. Robyn was full of praise for Ian's work:
He has motivated our staff and supported us in the quest to engage our students in enriching maths tasks and to support and challenge them to work mathematically through the use of the Maths300 resource.
This message, sent to Ian by Renay Drendel-Arthur, (otherwise known as Mrs D), Grade 3, speaks for itself:
Thanks for passing this on Robyn. It's a short story with many messages such as:
Thanks for Tuesday night's Maths300 presentation. I am so eager to learn more and experiment with the activities.
Today Marie and I taught a session based around Spiders and Flies. We changed it up from spiders and ants (Maths300 Lesson 37) because we have plastic spiders and flies. Anyway I gathered them all close and hooked them in with a story about a dream that I had had the night before. Suddenly I pulled out a handful of plastic spiders and flies and threw them in the air above my captive audience and they loved it. I think I could successfully tick off engaged.
Anyway we did get on to the bit where I woke from my dream with 32 hairy spider legs as my last scary image and I posed the question How many spiders were in my dream? The students then independently tackled the task on their whiteboards. These photos share their thinking.
- It grows from a professional development activity.
- Retelling classroom stories encourages others in their professional development.
- It reinforces key points of the lesson, two of those being the storyshell and allowing and celebrating a range of responses.
Spiders & Ants is linked with Task 14, Heads & Legs. It was first published in The Classroom Connection, Volume 8, No. 1, January-March 2000, Research Publications, 27A Boronia Road, Vermont Vic, 3133, Australia. This journal is no longer published, but check your school library and you might find a copy. Alternatively, see Link List below for Heads & Legs and Maths300.
- Picture Puzzles
One screen, two learners, concrete materials and a challenge. Coming soon.
- Commonwealth Games
|July 23rd to August 3rd the place to be is Glasgow, Scotland, for the Commonwealth Games.
But if you can't make it, bring the thrill and excitement to your class with the links in the Link List below.
There's plenty of time to organise this cross-curriculum unit and now is a good time to begin the team planning. You will find teacher-created videos, articles, a slide show and a link to a brand new resource recently published by the Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM) UK, which is available as a download.
- New Book: Engaging Maths
Presented in full colour, Doug Clarke and Anne Roche, Australian Catholic University, have selected their 25 favourite lessons for primary classrooms. There are lessons for every level and each lesson can be used at several lessons.
Lessons are structured around setting the scene, the main activity, common solution methods used by children and pulling the lesson together. Other features included are suggestions for further investigations, reflections from the authors, references and activity sheets. Clear, purposeful photographs are used extensively to add clarity and depth to every lesson. In many cases lessons will involve more than one time slot. The book is spiral bound and printed on high quality paper. See Link List below for an flyer/order form.
- Tasks of the Month
Two new cameos this month.
The Task Cameo Content Finder has been updated to include these tasks.
- Reverse is easy to state and easy to start. It is about five numbered counters arranged in a line from 1 to 5 with a blank space to the left of number 1. Counters can slide one space in either direction, if there is an empty space, or jump over one counter in either direction, if there is an empty space to land in. The challenge is to reverse the order and still have the blank at the left end.
- Coloured Cubes The challenge is to line up, or make a tower of, four differently coloured cubes so that the four different colours appear on each side of the tower. In recent mathematics history, professional mathematicians have worked on this problem, which confirms that a mathematician's work begins with an interesting problem. In this case it is a problem that is easy for students to understand and start. However, it is not easy to solve and it is perfectly all right to leave the problem without completing it. It can always be revisited.
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.