Home Maths on the Move Maths Tasks
Task Cameos Calculating Changes Maths300 Sphinx Album Research & Stories
Big Picture PD Partnerships Ordering Resources Maths With Attitude Poly Plug Working Mathematically Indigenous Students News & Search
Site Map ... Contacts

Task Centre News

July 2009

695 tasks placed in schools during June.
315,305 placed since the project began in July 1992.

We offer an email news service from each of the three key projects linked to this site. If you would like to receive updates from the Task Centre Project, Maths300 or Calculating Changes send an email to doug@blackdouglas.com.au:

  • In the subject line write Subscribe Maths.
  • In the body of message state which projects you want to subscribe to, or simply write Subscribe All.
  • Add your name and preferred email address.
Please feel free to distribute this information.

Green Line
In this month's News you will find:

AFL/NRL Final Series

New Task: Money Charts

Maths at the Movies

Tasks of the Month
Task 91, Pick A Box
Task 92, Magic Squares

Note Paper
Green Line

  • AFL/NRL Final Series
    In Australia both these football codes run a Final 8 final series, but they each use a different structure. Until now Task 1, Final Eight, has only provided a game board for the Australian Football League structure. But things have just changed. Two game boards are now available from the Task Cameo for this task. See Link List below.

  • New Task: Money Charts
    A new task has been added to our collection, which makes 239 altogether. Money Charts involves adding and subtracting money using Australian coins, a little equation solving and problem solving skills including if-then reasoning and working backwards. It is suitable for Years 2 - 8. The task has been added to the Task Catalogue and to the Enhancing Maths With Attitude notes. See Link List below.

  • Maths at the Movies
    We all know about the film A Beautiful Mind and its connection with mathematics. But have you seen the latest Maths at the Movies? Fermat's Room is a suspense thriller based around jealousy connected with the (supposed) first proof of Goldbach's Conjecture and drama is built through the need for characters to solve various mathematical puzzles against the clock - or be squashed to death! Goldbach's Conjecture is the subject of Maths300 Lesson 105 and one of the puzzles is a variation on Task 40, Diamonds & Rectangles (See Link List below).

    The film is a 2007 Spanish production (La Habitación de Fermat) by Notro Films, released with English subtitles in 2009. I thoroughly recommend it, but it may be hard to find. I saw it in June on one of the movie channels, but my local video chain shop cannot find the title. You will find several references and reviews on the web and in several it gets a 4 star plus rating. If you can find a copy and you teach secondary students I also recommend using it in class, perhaps in a joint drama/mathematics unit of work. There is no swearing (at least in the subtitles and I can't understand the Spanish dialogue) and only one kiss in the whole show, so quite mild in comparison to what many students watch. None-the-less, I believe the drama would captivate your students and provide considerable stimulus and support for the concept of learning to work like a mathematician.

    At one stage in the story, Fermat, a character name, not the historical mathematician, is driving a policeman to towards the place where the murders are about to occur. Fermat is not wearing his seat belt - apparently it's not compulsory to do so in Spain. They chat briefly:

    Don't you know that 28% of people who die on the roads travel like you, without their safety belt?
    So all the rest, the other 72%, die with their belt on.
    Perhaps there is a statistics lesson in that quote alone.

  • Tasks of the Month
    Two new cameos this month.
    • Pick A Box involves sorting 15 decorated and numbered boxes into groups. Part of the basis of sorting relates to consecutive numbers and their sums. There is more than one solution.
    • Magic Squares is a classic problem but in this case the magic total isn't given. Part of the challenge is to find out why the sum of each row, column and leading diagonal is 15. What happens if we change each number in the solution in the same way (eg: divide by 3)? Is the new square still magic? If so, what is its magic total?
    Pick A Box      Magic Squares
    Click a photo to access its cameo, or access all current cameos through the Link List below.

  • Did you miss the June News?
    If so you missed information about:
    1. Professional development stories in several forms
      - 6 day algebra course, discussion lessons, learning from Eritrea
    2. An historic photo of the first students to solve Sphinx Size 3
    3. Iceberg Information about two Tasks of the Month (Tasks 89, 90)
    4. ...and more...

Keep smiling,

Green Line

Previous News

May 2009 ... April 2009 ... March 2009 ... February 2009 ... Dec.2008/Jan.2009
November 2008 ... October 2008 ... September 2008 ... August 2008 ... July 2008
May/June 2008 ... April 2008 ... March 2008 ... February 2008 ... Dec.2007/ Jan.2008
November 2007 ... October 2007 ... August/September 2007 ... July 2007
June 2007 ... May 2007 ... April 2007 ... March 2007 ... February 2007 ... Dec. 2006/ Jan. 2007
November 2006 ... October 2006 ... September 2006 ... August 2006 ... July 2006
June 2006 ... May 2006 ... April 2006 ... March 2006 ... February 2006 ... Dec. 2005/ Jan. 2006
November 2005 ... October 2005 ... September 2005 ... August 2005 ... July 2005
June 2005 ... May 2005 ... April 2005 ... March 2005 ... February 2005 ... Dec. 2004/ Jan. 2005
November 2004 ... October 2004 ... September 2004 ... August 2004 ... July 2004
June 2004 ... April/May 2004 ... March 2004 ... February 2004
December 2003 ... October 2003 ... August/September 2003 ... July 2003
June 2003 ... April/May 2003 ... March 2003 ... February 2003 ... January 2003
December 2002 ... November 2002 ... October 2002 ... September 2002 ... March 2002
December 2001 ... October 2001

Green Line
Follow this link to Task Centre Home page.