At one school recently, I ran a workshop on Algebra at Year 8. The school has a traditional content based list of algebra topics to work through, but wanted to supplement this with six of the Maths 300 algebra lessons such as Line Up (Lesson 21/ Task 11), Garden Beds (16/147), Crossing the River (23/173), Painted Rods (39/152), Painted Cubes (38/160) and Game of 31 (27/86).
I found it very effective to print out these 6 lessons, put them into plastic sleeves and present them to the school in a binder folder. It provided just the practical level of support they needed, and provided one model for how to go to the site to get the printed hard copies of particular lessons.
So now I have prepared for myself three such folders, with cover pages to illustrate particular themes. Producing these at a workshop seems to have the instant effect of converting the sometime perception of an abstract internet resource into very practical imagery. It seems such a simple idea but has turned out to be very effective.
It adds another layer of pedagogical opportunity to lay out the folders side by side with the tasks associate with any of the lessons.
My first grade students have no problem with negative numbers; they just call them underground numbers.Four In A Row was replaced because it was too much like Row Points (Task 9). Same Or Different is a wonderful Chance & Data task that leads to a stunningly surprising connection with the Triangle Numbers. This task is supported and extended by a lesson of the same name recently added to Maths300. The software that comes with the lesson simulates the task and provides the data that leads to the Triangle Numbers.
Project 1: Home Lending
There are 35 pupils at Thorne Grammar, Doncaster, using the tasks from the Library Lending Kit (Lower Secondary) from mid-January. These pupils will work on a task at home with parental support. They will need other pupils who have worked on the same tasks, for them to send their solutions to, or to ask for help because they are stuck. I would like, if possible, an e-mail address at each of your schools where these pupils can send their letters. I will provide a similar address at Thorne for initial replies. Parents at Thorne are happy for their children to e-mail other pupils directly once they have established somebody who has worked on the same material. If you have, or know, a teacher who would like to link their class(es) with this cohort even better. This project is set to run for 3 months and we hope that each child will have tried 10 of the 20 tasks. I would like each of these pupils to have made at least one international e-mail link.
Project 2: Supporting Maths300
We have 6 schools each with a Starting Maths300 & Tasks kit. The schools will work through 5 of these tasks, in school time with one class each, during January-May 2002. We are going to issue contact e-mail addresses between the 6 schools for pupils to share their work. If we can add an international dimension to this project it would be even better. I am meeting the Heads of Mathematics to finalise a common list of tasks and to develop the addresses. Can anybody help? However, you might get up to 30 responses from each of the 6 schools!