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News

Current News

In this edition of the News you will find:

Red Square  New Cube Tube Videos

Red Square  Maths At Home Update

Red Square  Get to Know a Cameo
     ... Row Points
     ... Koala Karts

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  • New Cube Tube Videos

    These two new videos were created to support the activity In Between Time outlined below. They make most sense in this context.

    However even standing alone away from the context they can stimulate discussion.

You can access these videos through Cube Tube or Maths At Home. See Link List below.

  • Maths At Home Update

    If you are registered at our Maths At Home site you have already received the following information. If not, then please take a look. Both activities and the Gallery contribution offer something new and refreshing.

    • In Between Time (4-10)
      At first glance this activity might look like a list of exercises about calculating time. But look more closely. It is essential that the learner has an analogue clock which they can manipulate and preferable that they have a partner. The initial challenge is stimulated by a video demonstration in which students are asked to investigate the interconnectedness of the hour and minute hands. The activity moves on to a thirty minute difference to help learners realise that:
      • Time difference can be clockwise or anti-clockwise.
      • If the minute hand moves half an hour, then the hour hand has moved half of its journey towards the next (or previous) hour.
      An extra challenge later in the activity is stimulated by a second video with focus on the second hand and its relationship to minutes. In Between Time partners the activity Time Together.
    • Decimals With A Tape (4-8)
      In an environment made non-threatening by:
      • provision of a measuring tape as a number line model,
      • encouraging estimation,
      • using a calculator for checking and
      • working with a partner,
      students explore how the four basic operations work with decimals. There is a strong emphasis on conversation and explanation. The objectives are:
      • to confirm or correct current knowledge,
      • to develop new knowledge about operating with decimals,
      • and to be able to explain to others how to 'do decimals'.
      Somewhere in history mathematicians had to do these things, so the activity is totally embedded in the context of learning to work like a mathematician. Decimals With A Tape partners the activity Calculator Slido which is also listed in Maths At Home.
    • Gallery Contribution: Mushroom Hunt (4-10) Johanna, one of our home school mums, has integrated Mushroom Hunt into a Nature Study unit plan which also includes additional mathematics in the form of measurement, literature and more. It's very exciting - especially for primary school teachers, or secondary teachers in schools with modules / electives based around a school vegetable garden. As Johanna says in her blog Who would have thought that mushrooms could be a visual help in understanding how to write numbers in binary code?.

      Visit Mushroom Hunt through Maths At Home. You will find the Gallery at the bottom of the page. However, if you aren't familiar with the activity it would be best to read it through so you see Johanna's contribution in context.

    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.

  • Get to Know a Cameo

    Task 9, Row Points
    I just completed Row Points with the Grade 6 children and they were fully engrossed with the investigation.

    Lance had used Poly Plug to convert the task into its whole class investigation life. A little of the class's work is recorded in the From The Classroom section of this Cameo.

    Row points is easy to state and easy to start. It provides practical opportunity to practise basic arithmetic while simultaneously applying the process of Working Like A Mathematician to the many investigations suggested on the card and in its Cameo.

    The activity is simply placing 13 counters on a 5 x 5 grid to make a score. Scores are given for plugs in lines of 3 or 4 or 5 horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Counting the score is sometimes a challenge to student (and teacher) spatial perception. The investigation deepens with questions such as:

    • What is the lowest possible score?
    • What is the highest possible score?
    • Is it possible to make every score between the lowest and highest?

    In the eTask Package this task is in the 'easy to make' set because it only requires a collection of 13 counters for each student. (eTasks are designed to be used by pairs of students.)

    Task 228, Koala Karts
    Yes this task involves 'playing with toy koalas' and yes it involves pushing them in a 'cart' along a road you have constructed. But No! it's not just a task for little kids. Far from it. This is a content free investigation of mathematical logic, which has an equivalent university level study. Which koalas can travel along which forks in the road is determined by how the attribute cards are placed. The challenges are easiest if only one attribute (colour and size only in this case) and one road segment are involved. With a longer network, challenges soon become more serious.

    The objective is to be able to describe the set of colours delivered to the end of the top road each time. Students gradually encouraged to do so using the logical connectives AND, OR and NOT as much as possible. The Cameo includes extensions which show the wide application of attribute sorting across various mathematical content areas. Some curricula suggest students learn Coding / Programming and this task could easily contribute to that study.

    In the eTask Package this task is in the 'special' set because it requires particular commercial material. However, if your school has sorting koalas then making the task, even though it requires more than one sheet to be laminated and cut, is quite straightforward.

Keep smiling,
Doug.
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Link List

  • Did you miss the Previous News?
    If so you missed information about:
    1. Maths At Home Update
    2. Maths At Home & Homework
    3. Back To School Special Ends
    4. Get to Know a Cameo
      ... 13 Away, Tricubes

Did You Know?

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