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News

Best wishes to you all
for a peaceful family Christmas, a happy
New Year celebration and a great holiday!

December 2023

In this edition of the News you will find:

Red Square  New eTask Schools

Red Square  MAVCON23 Workshops

Red Square  Five Cards

Red Square  Get to Know a Cameo
     ... Lining Up
     ... Smooth Edge Tiles

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  • New eTask Schools

    Welcome to Louise and the team from Hampton Senior High School, Western Australia, and Jai and the team from Dorrigo High School, New South Wales. Both schools are planning to begin making their Task Library next year and Hampton is expecting to continue into 2025, also over time aligning Tasks with their curriculum documents. We look forward to hearing stories of success from these schools.

  • MAVCON23 Workshops

    Maths at Home at School


    This workshop provided time for teachers to explore Maths At Home, a division of our site developed through lockdowns, and discover its 'voice'. The 74 activities were prepared with a view to supporting self-directed investigative learning at all levels. Of course, the very young were supported by a parent.

    Teachers left the workshop realising that each activity can now be repurposed as:

    • a self-directed project carried out at home, perhaps with a guide sheet from the teacher.
    • a self-directed project in school, individually or in small groups, to help differentiate learning.
    • the framework of a whole class investigation - in essence, a lesson plan created for the teacher.

    Five Cards, see below, is an activity from Maths At Home.

    Maths on a Mat with Matt

    There is no reason why maths should be taught the way it always has been.

    Matt Skoss is the world's most experience presenter, to both students and teachers, of mathematics learnt through whole body involvement.

    The photo shows his recently created Sorting Network mat. He also uses a mat marked in a grid of squares big enough for a student to sit in. The range of mathematical content that can be accessed with this teaching craft is remarkable.

    See Link List below for a brief video of excerpts from his session and for an article on Maths Mat history and activities.

  • Five Cards

    Five Cards is a card game about making equations that encourages mental arithmetic. It was developed by Calculating Changes members and in the pandemic was shared through Maths At Home.

    It's guaranteed there will be some rainy (read kids trapped inside) days over the coming holidays and the card game at the centre of this activity is easy to learn and play. It works with a wide range of ages. It might be just the thing you and your kids can play together for an hour or two. It can be co-operative (advised in the beginning) or competitive. Imagine, simultaneously having a bit of fun with family or friends while pondering the possibilities for your classroom.

    See Link List below for more details of the game.

  • Get to Know a Cameo

    Task 11, Lining Up
    You are lining up and I tell you which place you are from each end of the line. How many people are in the line? How do you know? Can you check it another way?

    Easy to state, easy to start and a question with many What happens if...? possibilities. One of these leads to an example of the difference between two squares rule, which is a bit surprising for a problem that has such a linear look and feel. This problem offers a wide range of content - arithmetic practice, problem solving strategies, number patterns, concept of a function, generalising, equivalence of algebraic expressions for example - and in its whole class lesson form is perfect for whole body involvement in learning using the problem solving strategy of acting out.

    In the eTask Package this task is in the 'easy' set because it only needs 37 counters (or similar) as representative people, one of which is different from the others.

    Task 220, Smooth Edge Tiles
    Kareema is known for the beautiful tiled patios she builds. One reason is because all the outer edges of her patios are smoothed off so there are no trip hazards. She can't buy smoothed off tiles, so she has to grind them herself from straight tiles. To do that requires smoothing off one edge on some tiles and two edges on other tiles. The problem explores how Kareema calculates the number of each type of tile she will need for any size rectangle patio.

    Students explore different rectangle sizes to see if there is a way of visualising the construction that will work for any size rectangle. If that is discovered, can the generalisation be expressed in words, then symbols? Lots of mathematical content including algebra concepts, multiplication in an array format and mental arithmetic.

    In the eTask Package this task is in the 'easy' set because most schools have the necessary square tiles and marking up the special ones is easy.

Keep smiling,
Doug.
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Link List

  • Did you miss the Previous News?
    If so you missed information about:
    1. Got A Minute?
    2. Curious About Assessment?
    3. Reading and Maths for Young Learners
    4. Get to Know a Cameo
      ... Who Owns The Monkey?, 64 = 65

Did You Know?

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