In this month's News you will find:
Sharing AMC Planning
Sharing With Parents
Sharing Our Task List
Tasks of the Month
Task 144, Pascal's Triangle in Asia
Task 145, Land of ET
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- Sharing AMC Planning
Last year Sue Scott, Ros Marlton, St. Francis Xavier College, Florey, ACT participated in our six day Working Like a Mathematician course for the local Catholic Education Office. Back at school, they shared their experiences with other staff, obtained support from an external consultant and worked with staff to prepare and trial the Year 7 Pattern & Algebra unit based on Australian Mathematics Curriculum (AMC) requirements in the Link List below. It is a neat, efficient and effective document that is worth a look.
Sue's presentation to course participants provided the following background to the school's situation at the time.
Review the Pattern & Algebra unit in the Link List below.
- 7-12 coeducational school
- Approximately 1200 students
- Year 7 Maths Curriculum delivered as part of 'integrated' Sciences Curriculum by Maths or Sciences trained teachers. Classes are mixed ability.
- Years 8-10 Maths Curriculum delivered by Maths trained staff. Classes are streamed.
- Timetable allocation 3 one hour lessons per week.
A New Way Ahead
- Difficulty 'covering' the curriculum in the allocated teaching time. Teachers feel that they have to move on before students have grasped the concepts.
- Many students struggling in Maths and not meeting achievement standards.
- Lack of engagement.
- Following first PD session Task Centre Resources discovered.
- Some staff already experienced in use.
- Tasks used to deliver Year 9 Level 3 Algebra Unit. Staff experienced high levels of student engagement.
- Tasks used as Problem Solving assessment tasks Years 8-12. Students experienced greater levels of success.
- To effect greater change in students' experience of Maths, however, we needed to embed in the curriculum.
- Started with one problem based unit - Year 7 Algebra.
- Worked with Elizabeth Horscroft to develop a draft Unit Plan.
- Developed accompanying in house Professional Development to upskill teachers. Two 2 hour after school sessions.
- Organised the resources. Class sets of tasks in plastic tubs. Equipment maintained by Science Prep Room Staff.
- Developing assessment instruments.
- Next target unit - Year 8 Algebra.
- Plan to embed more units as we redevelop units for AMC.
- Sharing Our Task List
Glenn Dudley and the team at Pymble Ladies' College, NSW, have just ordered the last few tasks they need to have a complete set of 241. They have been working hard building their curriculum around Tasks and Maths300 and have developed a spreadsheet making links between these resources. They find it more useful than the PDF file provided in our Resources link and are happy to share their work. See Link List below.
The advantage of the spreadsheet is that it can be resorted as needed. The default sort for Pymble is by Maths With Attitude strand to which the task is assigned. The Pymble staff will be very pleased if you can make use of this document. It may be the starting point for one that suits you better.
We have also added it as a link beside each instance of our Tasks & Maths300 PDF.
- Sharing Squound
Claire Nagle, Marian College, Ararat, experienced Squound in one of our presentations at the December Conference of the Mathematical Association of Victoria. She loved the task and made it the first lesson of the new year for her Year 10 CAS class. 'It served as a very
successful introduction to Venn Diagrams and Probability...' and her notes for the lesson have been added to the Squound cameo. See Link List below.
- Tasks of the Month
Two new cameos this month.
- Pascal's Triangle in Asia highlights the history of mathematics in China by introducing a unique numeration system and leading to its use in a triangular pattern of numbers discovered centuries before the same pattern was attributed to the French mathematician Blaise Pascal. The cameo includes a lesson description from Christine Lenghaus which can be used from around Year 4 to Year 11.
- Land of ET offers a story shell about a land with an unusual alphabet. The king and queen make rules to change the number of words created with the alphabet and everyone is surprised by what happens. The task highlights that apparently different mathematical content can be connected by underlying structures and that mathematicians love finding these structures.
Click a photo to access its cameo, or access all current cameos through the Link List below.
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Continue exploring our history back to July 1992 through the Sense of History link.