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News

March 2021

In this edition of the News you will find:

Red Square  Maths At Home Update

Red Square  Maths At Home & Homework

Red Square  Back to School Special Ends

Red Square  Get to Know a Cameo
     ... 13 Away
     ... Tricubes

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  • Maths At Home Update

    In the past month those registered for Maths At Home updates have had access to two new activities. Although written to support learners working at home, the activities can be adapted for school use.

    • Time Together (2-10)
      Learners have at least one clock with hands, and a partner, so two people can have time together. It begins by talking about, and recording in a journal, everything the learners already know about analogue clock time. Then a recording sheet supports a sequence of short activities which help learners explore the passing of time. The main challenge is to investigate those moments in a 12 hour cycle when the hands are 'on top of each other'. The activity encourages estimation first then checking by turning the clock hands. An extra challenge for the more mathematically mature is to precisely calculate the 'together moments'. The activity also offers experience with the meaning of clockwise and opportunity for informal learning related to counting, angles and fractions. Teaching notes link the Time Together to particular Maths300 activities.
    • Domino Trails (2-6)
      Dominoes are a common household 'toy' which can generate mathematical learning at several levels. This activity begins with counting dots, then moves to counting all the dots, then applying the mathematician's question: Can I check it another way?. Later parts of the activity focus on making domino trails made of domino dots that add to a given number. Seeing the dot representation of a trail in various ways, by imagining breaking up and reconnecting the dots, results in several possible equations to record the same domino trail. A feature of the teaching and learning is the opportunity to print A4 size dominoes for use on the floor - whole body involvement in learning mathematics.

    See Link List below for Maths At Home, then take the Learners link for the activity library. Remember, if you register you will know about new activities the moment they are published.

  • Maths At Home & Homework

    Homework has always been part of the curriculum, but how much of it has been investigative? For many of our current students, how much is a computer-based text book equivalent? Perhaps a diet of skill practice homework is justifiable if it releases more class time for a richer problem solving component at school? But is that what happens?

    The Maths At Home activity library is a freely available source of motivating, investigative, pedagogically sound explorations built around learning independently at home. You are only asked to register so we know the site is being used, and so we can let you know immediately when a new activity is published.

    • Currently there are 61 activities - several for every year level from K to 10.
    • Each one has journal writing and self-assessment built in.
    • A challenge is central to each activity.
    • Objects usually found around the house are suggested as concrete materials to model the challenge.
    • Layout is consistent from activity to activity.
    • Learning to work like a mathematician is the up front focus throughout.
    • Parent / carer / older sibling / cyber buddy involvement is encouraged.

    Rather than being a source of homework, the MAH library is a source of homework projects, perhaps one or two per term to complement, prepare for, or extend your in-class curriculum. Projects that are self-directed, planned, executed and reported on over time and which can contribute to the student's overall assessment.

    • You might learn something about a child's abilities and knowledge that you would not have learnt in the classroom.
    • If a particular activity doesn't quite suit you as it is, just indicate to the students what you want left out, or added in from an another source.
    • Consider giving students a choice from perhaps three activities that support your in-school objectives ... a Maths At Home menu for the term.

    Consider Time Together as an example. Read it through and you will soon realise its mathematical richness. But it can only work if every student (or student pair) has access to an analogue clock. Not many schools could find enough for a class lesson with that concrete material. But every home is likely to have at least one such clock. If Time Together was the homework project for the week or fortnight, and other time measurement activities and exercises more suitable for a classroom situation were happening in parallel, might that enrich the curriculum?

    Why not give this approach a go next term?
    It's not about totally replacing any homework regime you currently have.
    It's about enriching it once in a while.

  • Back To School Special Ends

    The Poly Plug back to school special ends Wednesday March 31st. It won't be back.

    Packs of 50 @ $9.90 per Poly Plug set
    Total = $495

    • $11725 saving against normal price.
    • $55 saving against the already discounted price for Calculating Changes members.
    See Poly Plug Support in Link List below to discover the many uses of Poly Plug in both primary and secondary schools.


    counting frame ... pattern board
    array model of multiplication ... loose objects

    Representing the story shell of an investigation.
    50% of this population has been vaccinated. Is it enough?

    To order use the order form in Link List below.

  • Get to Know a Cameo

    Task 59, 13 Away
    This is a game situation with an underlying strategy waiting to be discovered. It is easy to state and easy to start, which is one feature that makes it suitable for younger as well as older students.

    The starting point is a pile of 13 counters. The person who takes the last one loses. Players take turns to take either 1, 2 or 3 counters on any move. The unwritten challenge is to find a way to always win. Teachers have contributed two Investigation Guides to the cameo.

    In the eTask Package this task is in the 'easy to make' set because it only requires a collection of 21 counters.

    Task 69, Tricubes
    How can such an apparently simple arrangement of 4 identical objects develop into such a challenge? The task even shows the construction step by step as each piece is placed, but still no one can get it first time. This brilliantly designed puzzle (attributed to Geoff Giles) leads us into understanding that representing three dimensional objects in two dimensions using isometric drawing must result in loss of some information.

    Once the puzzle is understood, students are encouraged to make their own Tricube object from 4 tricubes, record it as an isometric drawing, then challenge another team to recreate the object from the drawing. Some teachers collect these challenges into a class scrapbook.

    In the eTask Package this task is in the 'easy to make' set because it really is easy to cut 12 cubes from square section timber and glue them to make four tricubes. A little time consuming perhaps, but easy.

Keep smiling,
Doug.
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Link List

  • Did you miss the Previous News?
    If so you missed information about:
    1. International Year of Vaccination
    2. Back to School Special
    3. Get to Know a Cameo
      ... Bob's Buttons, Training for Maths

Did You Know?

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