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Task Centre News

April 2008

345 tasks placed in schools during March.
304,501 placed since the project began in July 1992.

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In this month's News you will find:

Lining Up Mattegömmor in Sweden

Tasks of the Month
Task 62, Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Task 63, Fried Rice

Picture the Possibilities

Note Paper
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  • Lining Up
    Ameli, a trainee teacher at Högskolan Malmö, Sweden, has come up with a brand new explanation for solving Lining Up. It has been added to the Cameo for this task (see Link List below). Secondary teachers might also look at it for its potential to explore a model of the difference between two squares.

  • Mattegömmor in Sweden
    Conditions don't have to be perfect. Teachers only need to be interested. And that's the challenge for their teacher.
A workshop for 100 in a steeply banked Stockholm lecture theatre may not be the best conditions, but these K - 12 teachers were very positive about the experience.
  • Inspiring
  • Fun
  • Where do we get this?
were some of the comments after working from 17:00 - 20:30 on a Monday night after school.

In workshops, teachers everywhere seem to recognise the value of learning from tasks. Conditions for using them may not be perfect in school either, but when learning is the objective, and you make use of the collective wisdom offered through the project, things can be achieved.


  • It is common for Swedish teachers to attend 3 - 4 hour professional development sessions after school. Drinks and a significant snack are provided during a break in proceedings.
  • Mattegömmor is the Swedish word for our Maths Tasks. It means ... a place where mathematics is hidden.

  • Tasks of the Month
    Two new cameos this month.
    • Four and Twenty Blackbirds is an excellent investigation for many levels. It involves a little number skill and heaps of demanding logic to find the many unique solutions.
    • Fried Rice uses a measurement context to invite logical solutions that require addition and subtraction. There are multiple What happens if...? questions that result.
    Four & Twenty Blackbirds      Fried Rice

  • Picture the Possibilities
    Are you thinking about using tasks in your school? This new document recently added to Maths Tasks/Photographs (see Link List) might be just what you need to stimulate interest and discussion. With few words and many photos it is suitable as a discussion paper for staff, school council and the wider parent community.

We could not anticipate that Task 130, Protons & Anti-Protons, would appear in this anthology.

  • Did you miss the March News?
    If so you missed information about:
    1. Maths With Attitude in Scotland
    2. A new section of the site adding even more value to Maths With Attitude
    3. The experience of starting up a new Task Centre at MacKillop College, Swan Hill
    4. Working Mathematically in VELS for Victorian teachers, a service provided by the MAV
    5. Iceberg Information about two Tasks of the Month (Tasks 60 - 61)
    6. ...and more

Keep smiling,

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