Task 223, Cat and Mouse, is a board game (2 different full colour boards supplied) which pits a mouse after cheese against a cat after the mouse. The investigation is about the event that is more likely. The cat catching the mouse, or the mouse eating the cheese.These two tasks have been added to the Task Catalogue in the Document link on the left.
Task 224, Matching Faces, offers a story shell of a teacher who randomly matches a group of student names and faces. What is the expected number of correct matches? Cartoon faces are provided.
(We) had some wonderful results from the recent Australian Mathematics Competitions - one with a High Distinction (she is in the top 1% of the state!!.) Not bad for a little old high school with only 40 secondary students!!Scotland
I experienced (task centres) for myself whilst on Teacher Exchange within Victoria, Australia in the year 2000. As I remember with delight my various adventures from Perth to Sydney and from Darwin to Alice Springs to Adelaide, I also recall observing a class of S2 (Year 8) students becoming totally engrossed in their problem solving tasks one Friday afternoon in the Springtime temperatures of 29°C. Period 6 on a Friday has that same gut feeling for everyone around the world and yet these students were enthusiastically involved in their hands on learning and weren't going to stop until they had found the solution to their particular tasks.England
From early January the pupils were taking one task home per fortnight (simply because the school was then operating a two-week timetable). Progress within the task was recorded in a journal and checked on a regular basis. At this time the project had already extended to the G&T Network and the 5 other schools had set up e-mail addresses for 'buddies'. At Thorne the tasks were sent home with the pupils. The network schools all operated differently, including the use of lunchtime or after school clubs and small projects with identified pupils.You can read the complete abstract in the Do Task Work? link on the left, then select the Thorne Grammar link.
From late February 2002 contact was made with schools in Sweden and Australia. Pupils began to send and receive e-mail, including photograph attachments showing them working on the tasks in their home country.
The significant key issue to emerge was that the project did start to change the perceptions of parents towards working with their child. The practical nature of the tasks, and the use of e-mail buddies when the family was stuck, were very motivating. Many parents, although initially reluctant, began to contribute some mathematics in the pupils' journals.
My experience is that the project is very beneficial in providing challenge for G&T pupils in mathematics. The tasks have been carefully chosen. Each one is the 'tip of an iceberg' and allows the able child to link different aspects of mathematics through a problem solving approach. Parents find the hints from teachers useful and like to respond to many of the challenges.