In this edition of the News you will find:
2016 Watershed Year
Class Set Materials
Kangaroos Have Been Around A Long Time
Minions & Bananas
Tasks of the Month
Task 223, Cat & Mouse
Task 224, Matching Faces
Task 225, Add The Pack
Task 226, Playing With Objects
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- 2016 Watershed Year
During 2016, probably earlier rather than later:
- Tasks as you know them will become unavailable.
A significant consequence is that Maths With Attitude kits, the only Working Mathematically based core curriculum in the world, will become unavailable, because these kits depend on selected subsets of tasks.
Regular readers of Mathematics Centre news will know that we have tried for the past three years to transition the business of preparing, packing and distributing tasks to a new owner. We have offered the opportunity to various teachers, at least two commercial companies and one teacher association. None have been able to accept the opportunity and the challenge. Since we are also unable to continue to provide this service, the only option remaining is to sell our stock. That process has begun.
- Many tasks are already unavailable and there are only a few Maths With Attitude kits left on the shelves.
We will continue to fill orders for as long as possible, but please understand if we have to contact you to discuss modifying your original request. Ina would be very happy to discuss your intended order in advance by phone, fax or email (see Link List below for Contacts). However, it is now a case of:
Tasks as you know them - available for purchase with a task card and pre-packed equipment - began with the Mathematics Task Centre Project which Charles Lovitt established through Curriculum Corporation in July 1992. Ian Lowe ran that first workshop and Doug Williams was invited to join the project in Term 4 1992 to take over development of task cards. Tasks were first distributed through Edmath Curriculum Services, then Mount Math and Ina Koetsier from Black Douglas took on this role in July 2002. (See Link List below for a more complete history.)
- The only thing that has stood still in what is almost a quarter century of development is our resolve to support teachers and schools wanting to build their curriculum around learning to work like a mathematician in happy, healthy, cheerful, productive, inspiring classrooms.
That resolve continues as we move into a new era.
See Link List below for links to the tasks listed here.
- Kangaroos Have Been Around A Long Time
Matt Skoss has recently taken up an appointment with the Mathematics By Inquiry project and is now based at the A.A.M.T. in Adelaide. This snippet from a recent email explains the images.
While having a fossick through some historical stuff at the AAMT office ... came across an early version of Jumping Kangaroos ... Bedford Park Teachers' College 1972. I was just a pup back then, but it is heartening to know that rich mathematical tasks were recognised way back then! I've attached a scan of the relevant pages.
And then from follow up emails:
...going to use these old notes with contemporary M300 lesson notes to compare/contrast the journey in how a good mathematical idea was elaborated upon.
Please put them on the Mathematics Centre site. My interest was piqued when I saw the sheer contrast of what was offered to teachers and the current richness of the task compared to yesteryear.
Visit the Task Cameo of Task 182, Jumping Kangaroos, for a PDF version of the images to view/print at full size. See Link List below.
- Minions & Bananas
See Link List below for Poster Problem Clinic and Monkeys (Minions) & Bananas.
I attended your Professional Learning session entitled 'Numeracy Essentials' held at the Rheinberger Center (ACT) in September. I found the Poster Problem Clinic a very engaging task which clearly taught students to slow down their problem solving so as to maximise understanding of the question prior to solving. I took this strategy back to my school, St Mary MacKillop College, by slightly altering your 'Monkeys and Bananas' activity to one involving 'Minions and Bananas'. I also used my 'Problem Solving Apps' to assist in the process.
This activity was used in a peer observation lesson to great success. The students were incredibly engaged and realised the value of reading for understanding, rather than just rushing in. I have subsequently passed this activity onto my colleagues at school and thought you also might like a copy of my alteration and Problem Solving Apps.
The 'Apps' are just a poster (I wish I was able to develop actual apps...maybe that can be a project for me next year?)...it's just another way of presenting the 'mathematical toolbox'... even my year 9s enjoy playing with the big 'mobile phone', pretending to push the screen when they select an 'app' to use (and inevitably place the poster up to their ears pretending to talk on their 'phone').
Thank you for your inspiration!
- Tasks of the Month
FOUR new cameos this month.
The Task Cameo Content Finder has been updated to include these tasks.
- Cat & Mouse introduces us to a mouse which travels a network making random choices at each node as it sniffs out the cheese. A cat lies in wait within the network for the sequence of choices to go wrong and provide a snack. What's more likely to happen, the mouse gets the cheese or the cat gets the mouse? What does the answer depend on?
- Matching Faces tells the tale of a mischievous monitor who, while supposedly helping the new teacher, randomly gives out name cards to pupils without regard to whether there is a correct match in each case. How many correct matches might be expected? What happens if you change the number of students?
- Add The Pack has the underlying objective of encouraging learners to look for more than one way to 'skin a number cat'. It begins with a part pack of playing cards sequenced from 7 to King. The values 11, 12 & 13 are assigned to the Royals in their traditional order. Now the students explore adding this pack in more than one way before they imagine the traditional pack and try to find the total of that.
- Playing With Objects provides experiences which text book learning of solid geometry can't. Names for parts of objects (faces, edges, vertices), a variety prisms and pyramids of other objects are developed in a concrete, visual context. The task goes on to explore volume relationships between the objects.
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.