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October 2010

In this month's News you will find:

Red Square  Sicherman Dice: a new task

Red Square  Maths300 ETuTE: a new book

Red Square  Updates to Maths300

Red Square  Reflection on Home School Lending

Red Square  Reflection on Rote Learning

Red Square  Tasks of the Month
Task 116, Who Owns The Monkey?
Task 118, Ice Cream Flavours

370 tasks placed in schools during September.
326,191 placed since the project began in July 1992.

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Sicherman Dice

I used these with Year 6 and 7 classes (aged about 10 and 11 this time of the year). In future lessons I would probably include this in the regular probability things, but this was one of those end-of-term lessons. We talked about the possible outcomes of flipping one coin, of rolling one number cube, then flipping two coins, and finally rolling two normal dice. We made an outcome grid for addition.

Then, I asked the class to find another set of dice that would give the same possible outcomes. When allowed to use zero or negative numbers, there are a huge (possibly infinite) number of possibilities. There was a lot of good discussion about this!

The next step was to limit the faces to positive integers only. Though this required a bit more guidance from me (and I eventually had to tell them the final combination), there was good discussion about what they knew some of the numbers had to be (for example, each cube had to have a 1 otherwise they could not make a 2).

All of this was leading up to some further activities on the TI Nspire handhelds we were borrowing. Discussion was about probability distribution and why, for a small number of rolls, the frequency graphs they made were so different but then got more and more identical as they increased the number of rolls. Anyway, I wasn't sure if you already had a task similar to this or not, but I thought it was worth passing along just in case. My classes certainly had some fun trying to figure it out and there was a lot of excellent maths discussion along the way.

So, now we have Sicherman Dice in the collection as an invitation to students to discover their special property. And with Matthew's email you have the outline of a whole class investigation using this task as a model of how to work like a mathematician. It has been listed in the Task Catalogue as Task 241. See Link List below


Maths300 ETuTE

Pick A Box is back just in time for Christmas preparations - yes really! The story shell of the lesson is about the North wind messing up the arrangements of groups of presents and Santa's elves only remembering some of the criteria for resorting them. It is also explored in Maths300 ETuTE, as is Domino Trails, which makes an appearance in that book and the Working Mathematically with Infants kit.
  • Tasks of the Month
    Two new cameos this month.
    • Who Owns The Monkey? is probably our most difficult - and most satisfying - language and logic task. In essence it is a set of clues to help you find the right place for each of 25 cards on a 5x5 grid. The title relates to the clever design of the puzzle which doesn't allow you to find out who does own the monkey until the final few cards are placed.
    • Ice Cream Flavours is an adventure in combination theory that begins with simple logic. If there are two items and two places to put them they can only be arranged in this order or that order. Following the opening challenge there are many What happens if...? to explore.
    Who Owns The Monkey      Ice Cream Flavours
    Click a photo to access its cameo, or access all current cameos through the Link List below.

Keep smiling,
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Link List

  • Did you miss September?
    If so you missed information about:
    1. Maths, maths, Maths With Attitude world
    2. Professional development developments.
    3. Upgrade to the Resources & Ordering page
    4. History of the Maths Mat
    5. MacMaths revealed
    6. Maths Not At The Movies ... a new web paper
    7. Iceberg Information about two Tasks of the Month (Tasks 109, 110)
    8. ...and more...

Did You Know?

  • You can find tasks coded by Year Level and Curriculum Strand in the Task Centre Catalogue (PDF file).

  • The Activities link of Calculating Changes offers Content Finder & Year Level Finder tools.

  • Our Site Map acts as a Table of Contents to help you find what you need in Mathematics Centre.

  • You can search for lessons by Year Level, Curriculum Strand, Lesson Features & Keyword at Maths300.

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Previous News

August 2010 ... July 2010
June 2010 ... May 2010 ... April 2010 ... March 2010 ... February 2010 ... Dec.2009/Jan.2010
November 2009 ... October 2009 ... September 2009 ... August 2009 ... July 2009
June 2009 ... 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

Continue exploring our history back to July 1992 through the Sense of History link.

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