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News

March 2022

In this edition of the News you will find:

Red Square  Encouraged by Colleagues

Red Square  Crate Cubes

Red Square  Get to Know a Cameo
     ... Four Cube Houses
     ... Tables For 25

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  • Encouraged by Colleagues

    We collect and retell stories of success from classrooms. Our stories focus on learning to work like a mathematician in fascinating, captivating and absorbing classrooms.

    In the first half of this month two more schools/teachers have invested in the eTask Pack which provides all you need to create a Task Library of up to 241 tasks using your own equipment. Welcome to Mona Vale Public School and Michelle Cole. Both are from New South Wales.

    I'm seeing maths in a way I never have before! And I can see the TOTAL value of building students' problem solving, reasoning and fluency through these tasks.
    Elise Milotic
    Mona Vale Public School
    Michelle invested in the package for use with her own class and added Maths With Attitude eManuals Years 3/4 and Professor Morris Puzzles.
    • The four MWA eManuals include investigation-based planning pages with 25 weeks of Core Curriculum across all strands for each of the two year levels. They are further enriched by membership of Maths300 from the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers.
    • The Professor Morris Puzzles are an excellent source of problems for a Poster Problem Clinic. A Poster Problem Clinic is a teaching technique designed to develop students' ability to apply the Polya problem solving steps:
      1. Read and understand the problem.
      2. Plan a strategy to solve the problem.
      3. Carry out the plan.
      4. Check the result.
    If you want to learn more about the simple and effective Poster Problem Clinic technique, we provide a free 45-60 minute professional development workshop through our Cube Tube channel which can be easily prepared and led in-house. Doug. Williams provides the challenges through the video and the in-house leader guides and extends the local mathematics learning, pedagogical discussion and application.

    Assessment of the workshop is a feature.

    This is one of 6 review slides.

    See Link List below for more information about any items mentioned in this news item.

    All activities, ideas, investigations, stories, photos and more on our site have come from classrooms - mostly from teachers; sometimes from kids. This extensive collection has been created simply so they might encourage and support colleagues. Perhaps you will be the next teacher who adds to the collection.

  • Crate Cubes

    This definitely falls into the category of Why didn't I think of that?!

    Marissa Cashmore, teacher and consultant from Victoria writes:

    Four Cube Houses is the perfect inquiry maths task. I have used this task over many years, with students in Years 3 to 6 and it is always a winner with them as well. ... The addition of the milk crates was a bit of an exploration. ...
    See Link List below for the Four Cube Houses cameo which now includes more background from Marissa and great photos of her students' work. Also Marissa is now looking at the Picture Puzzles menu Shape & Space A and the Maths At Home version of Task 31 Cube Nets with a view to building a more extensive unit linking 2D and 3D space.

  • Get to Know a Cameo

    Task 103, Four Cube Houses
    Four Cube Houses is a favourite in many classrooms for illustrating the Working Mathematically process in the shape and space content strand. It brings opportunity to explore various ways of representing 3D objects in 2D and the opportunity for students with a preference for spatial / kinaesthetic reasoning to shine. This architect's puzzle is to build as many different houses as possible from four cubes given that the cubes must be placed face to face, and the design cannot depend on links between the cubes or supports for any of the cubes. This latter condition is the reason for using smooth surface unit cubes rather than commercial linking cubes.
    You might encourage students to first predict how many houses there will be. They are often surprised by the actual answer and it may have more meaning if they have committed to a prediction in advance.

    The cameo includes all the solutions and is enriched by photos from a classroom where it was used as a whole class investigation. The photos and text from this experience also provide the basis of an in-house professional development session that passes a teaching craft lens over the gifted lesson and the children's output.

    In the eTask Package this task is in the 'easy' set because it only needs four cubes and the recording sheet, which is provided in both the cameo and the package.

    Task 235, Tables For 25
    This wonderful investigation has a place in the curriculum anywhere from Years 4 - 8 (at least). Its storyshell is a classroom and a teacher asking the students to sit at tables with ... students at each table (equal groups). Knowing the number of boys in the class the teacher also requests that there be at least ... boys at each table. All quite natural in the context and, in fact, the problem was invented in Mr. Edwards' classroom, as recorded on the card. If I tell you the size of the class and the number of boys in it, how many ways can the table groups be made, and how do you know when you have found them all? The card leads the students into this question through one example and on the way encourages breaking the problem into parts and considering every possible case.
    The problem opens into any number of investigations by asking What happens if...? questions involving:

    • changing the size of the class
    • changing the 'at least' rule
    • exploring the possible equal size groups which can be made for a given class size.

    The task is a wonderful opportunity to explore multiple, factors and primes in a context that grows from the students' own experience. A whole class investigation based on the task is very easy to plan and execute based on the information in the Task Cameo, which also includes assessment suggestions.

    In the eTask Package this task is in the 'easy' set because it only needs card or light wood cut to be 'tables' and objects in two colours, perhaps chess pawns, to be the students.

Keep smiling,
Doug.
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Link List

  • Did you miss the Previous News?
    If so you missed information about:
    1. Encouraged By Colleagues
    2. Black Douglas Video
    3. Corresponding with Danielle (#2)
    4. Get to Know a Cameo
      ... Matching Cards, Time Swing

Did You Know?

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