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Task Centre News

October 2009

609 tasks placed in schools during September.
317,147 placed since the project began in July 1992.

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In this month's News you will find:

Addition to Poly Plug & Tasks

Tasks of the Month
Task 97, Pythagoras Rods
Task 98, Martian Maths

Note Paper
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  • Addition to Poly Plug & Tasks
    All tasks have three lives:
    • as an invitation to two students to try working like a mathematician for themselves
    • as a whole class investigation by converting the equipment
    • as a deeper investigation led by an Investigation Guide.
    Monkeys & Bananas, Task 212, is a wonderful problem involving logic, pattern, fractions, algebra and even spreadsheets but to use it as a whole class lesson you need lots of yellow Cuisenaire Rods (expensive?) or lots of lolly bananas (unhealthy?). Or, if you have Poly Plug you can change the story shell to Kids & Cup Cakes and get involved in all the same great mathematics and teaching craft. See Link List below for more on Monkeys & Bananas = Kids & Cup Cakes and for many more tasks with a whole class life that can be explored with Poly Plug.

  • Tasks of the Month
    Two new cameos this month.
    • Pythagoras Rods gets back to the original conception of Pythagoras's (in)famous theorem. It is a spatial theorem not an algebra theorem and yet most students know it as a2 + b2 = c2 with no visual image to give these symbols meaning. The task presents a problem about squares as squares and, for specific cases, allows the students to discover that certain areas are the same.
    • Martian Maths offers a pictorial code to represent a non-decimal number system. Just a few images as data from which the students are asked to derive the 'martian' number system. Exactly the same scenario faced by mathematicians deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs or coded messages from other ancient civilizations.
    Pythagoras Rods      Martian Maths
    Click a photo to access its cameo, or access all current cameos through the Link List below.

  • Did you miss the September News?
    If so you missed information about:
    1. Reports from Maths on the Move professional development sessions
    2. Additions to Task Cameos for Tasks 18 & 86
    3. A reminder that Task 1, Sporting Finals is just what all Australian teachers need in September because it is the month of football finals
    4. A report from Mackillop College on using the National Literacy & Numeracy Week Reach for the Stars activity
    5. Iceberg Information about two Tasks of the Month (Tasks 95, 96)
    6. ...and more...

Keep smiling,
Doug.

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