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Task Centre News
|1859 tasks placed in schools during October.
319,006 placed since the project began in July 1992.
We offer an email news service from each of the three key projects linked to this site. If you would like to receive updates from the Task Centre Project, Maths300 or Calculating Changes send an email to email@example.com:
|In this month's News you will find:
I have become very interested in the Task Centre, since I came to see you talk at the ATM conference in April. I have used your idea of Working Mathematically, adapting it slightly to a 'Problem-play-results-communicate' cycle. I am becoming increasingly confident that teaching students to learn to think mathematically is intrinsically motivating and helps students make excellent progress. I am teaching less 'mathematical methods'.Things have moved fast since this email. Steve has received National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM) funding and has won a four year PhD studentship in mathematics teacher professional development at Nottingham University. Congratulations Steve; it's a great opportunity.
Now, I want to take this further, in my own teaching and also I would like to make 'Working Mathematically' the basis of our approach in the maths department. For me I want to start developing a library of Tasks (I think having a story and a few bits to fiddle with, accompanying a task are enormously engaging) and in terms of my department I am gently trying to lead the other teachers to the value of Working Mathematically. They acknowledge that our department is quite good but the maths is really boring and the bottom sets never really get it.
I have also applied for a grant to work with other schools and I will be promoting the Task Centre and the benefits of a Working Mathematically approach.
Prior to this appointment Steve had begun making links between Working Mathematically and the new England and Wales examination requirements due to come into effect in 2010. He expects that continuing this support within the UK context will be an important part of his work at Nottingham.
View Steve's early work in the Working Mathematically section of our site. See Link List below.
|Both are teacher educators at Karlstad University, which has a teacher training tradition going back to 1843, making it one of the oldest teacher training institutions in Sweden. Jan and Kristina are proud of their extensive in-service education program as well as the preparation they offer to those wanting to become teachers.
For some years, they have used Maths300 investigations as a core resource in all their courses, and, recognising the valuable work of so many Australian teachers, they came wishing to visit teacher training institutions and schools; and to learn more about how the Task Centre and Calculating Changes could further enrich their programs.
They couldn't speak highly enough of both the Australian hospitality and the quality of the teachers they met and the educational initiatives they are offering. Their visits included:
St. Francis Xavier, Berwick
|This school is at an early stage in the introduction of a Working Mathematically curriculum. Joe Marsiglio and the team decided to begin their curriculum shift by introducing a Task Centre into their curriculum. They couldn't find a pupil-free day to prepare the ground with our Task Centre Package workshop, so we arranged for the initial professional development to be spread over three after school sessions in April/May 2008.
Wonderful work has gone into the room itself and two special features are the involvement of the school's hands-on learning teacher and students and the opening of the room to classes from feeder primary schools. See Link List below.
Bacchus Marsh Grammar
|Sandy Fletcher and the team also began in April 2008 and their way to curriculum shift was through the Working Mathematically Curriculum Pack, which includes Maths With Attitude kits and other resources as the core of the workshop day. They have been developing their curriculum by blending the use of tasks in the classroom with whole class investigations, including Poster Problem Clinics.
See Link List below for an example of work on Task 31, Cube Nets, and sample student output from a Poster Problem exploration.
Task 65, Shape Algebra
MacKillop College, Swan Hill
|Damian Howison and the team at MacKillop began their journey some years back and have gradually introduced the concept of learning to work like a mathematician into every level through to Year 12. The school operates a Task Centre, has built Maths300 investigations into their curriculum and have developed investigations of their own. Several readers have no doubt attended workshops exploring their work at state and national conferences.
As leader, Damian, has contributed a number of stories including two recent ones showing developments in Year 12 methods. See Link List below.