- Parents Like It Too!
In the August and September issues of Mathematics Centre News (see below) you can read about Lilydale High School's classroom successes with building their curriculum around Working Like A Mathematician. This email from Marcus Whitby, Head of Mathematics, tells us parents are pleased with the success too.
We had parent teacher interviews tonight and have been receiving some good feedback from parents regarding the program – here are few of the comments forwarded to me by Laura Kaspar:
I love hearing this feedback and I'm sure you never get sick of hearing it as well, though I'm sure you've heard it a hundred times before.
My son was struggling with maths last semester and received a low on his report for achievement. He would come home with his maths questions and was stressed out and struggling to understand concepts. This term in Algebra I noticed a change. He was talking about maths in a positive way and was showing me the maths tasks he had been working on. He had completed a problem about people crossing a river and was showing me algebra questions and explaining them to me. He was enjoying maths and said that he understood things better because he got to do them and work them out. He showed me at home how to work like a mathematician, reading the question, highlighting important words, re reading the question again. When it came to do the questions he was much more confident because he was familiar with them.
(Task 173, Crossing The River 1. See Link List below.)
Parent / Teacher conversation
A parent was concerned about what had been happening in maths this term. She knew something had changed because her son was finding it hard and he usually understands with ease. The teacher explained that they had been working on maths tasks with problem solving and the reason he was finding it hard was because it required higher levels of thinking and processing skills and he was actually being challenged for once.
When the teacher had explained what they were doing in class and the parent realised its purpose she was very happy. The teacher explained that her son was working on a geometry and algebra problem. He worked on this for 4 periods, wanting to give up several times but he pushed through (with a little coaxing from the teacher) and called out so the whole class could hear "I GOT IT!" in joy when he finally found the answer to the task.
(Task 71, Algebra Through Geometry. See Link List below.)
And from Philip Carr:
When I began the tasks the kids tended to rush them - often not answering the question asked or getting the wrong answer. This changed pretty quickly. They began to go deeper into the problem once they could see that they could do it. One lad (who has attendance and learning problems) has only been present for one lesson, but was really engaged.
I have had two lessons on writing a report. The kids are more engaged than usual for a written task. I have them taking photos and typing it up on 'explain everything'.
There is one quite difficult task (spit 63 mushrooms into six cups) which two of the girls (with me) spent two lessons working on without solving it. Despite this they worked on it on the weekend (still didn't solve it). When they were given the chance to pick out a task to write a report on - they picked that one so they could keep working on it - amazing resilience!
(Task 38, The Mushroom Hunt. See Link List below.)
Marcus we are happy to hear this feedback 100 times a week. Like you and your team, we know that capturing student interest is the key to successful mathematics learning. Thanks for taking the time to record these successes.
- WLAM Great Ryrie Primary School
Recently Great Ryrie Primary School took another professional development step and were introduced to more aspects of Working Like A Mathematician through discussion lessons. Prep teachers learnt about Threaded Activities with Counting Frames from Calculating Changes. Years 1 & 2 explored a whole class investigation using Eric The Sheep. Years 3 & 4 were introduced to their new kit of 100 tasks. These photos are from Years 3 & 4 where the teachers began by grouping the children and asking what they thought a mathematician did for a job. Very soon the students' work began with an interesting problem too, just like a mathematician.
- Cube Tube on You Tube
|Cube Tube offers inspiring video snippets from children and teachers which help you can catch the vision of Working Like A Mathematician. This month we have moved all our videos to our own Cube Tube channel on YouTube to add to those already stored in the ATM (Association of Teachers of Mathematics, UK) channel. Find all our videos through the Mathematics Centre Cube Tube or go straight to our Cube Tube channel.
What's the difference? At Mathematics Centre Cube Tube the additional support documentation for each video is easier to find and there are direct links to the videos we made with ATM.
See Link List below.
- Something Wheely Good
||My recent holiday was in Broome (lucky me!) which is possibly the four wheel drive capital of Australia. I spied this very mathematical wheel on one of them. The main design has rotational symmetry (also called point symmetry), but no reflective symmetry. Even the stud holes work with the design.
- Did you realise the Mathematics Centre logo is also based on point symmetry? The wheel is Order 5. The logo is Order 6.
- Did you know that Task 157, Paving Views, includes an Investigation Guide on point symmetry that is based around designing wheels like this? Lots of other interesting challenges too.
See Link List below.
- Maths300 Subscription Changes
Maths300 is on-line professional development. All the lessons (about 190 of them) assume that school mathematics is about Learning to Work Like a Mathematician and they are written to support teachers at all levels to model what this means.
With a colleague, if possible, you:
- Choose a lesson.
- Research it by reading your way into the trial classrooms represented in the story - don't forget the Classroom Contributions section.
- Identify, with the help to the trial teachers in the story, the features which brought them learning success.
- Prepare and execute the lesson with your class.
- Debrief, add the lesson to your curriculum documentation for future use and return to Step 1.
Research ... Reflect ... Activate
Maths300 ETuTE will help you choose your lessons. In the back of this in-house professional development booklet its tutorials are listed by both Year Level and Mathematics Content.
To offer more schools the opportunity to become involved, ESA has recently revised its subscription rates to provide more categories with fee levels linked to school population. Professor Dick Evans, New Hampshire, once described Maths300 as the best value mathematics resource in the world. It's value just got better.
See Link List below for both Maths300 ETuTE and our Maths300 link.
- Tasks of the Month
Two new cameos this month.
The Task Cameo Content Finder has been updated to include these tasks.
- Wallpaper Patterns is an excellent opportunity to explore mathematical transformations as they experience how wallpaper patterns can be created. The task assumes only that students have experienced slides, rotations and reflections. The additional Investigation Guide challenges students to match patterns to descriptions of the transformations that created them and introduces glide reflections.
- Equilateral Triangles seems fairly straightforward at first sight because teachers can usually sort it out quickly. Students aren't far behind, so the task wouldn't be in the collection if there wasn't something more to discover. The iceberg of this task includes nets, language related to 3D objects, number patterns, algebra at various levels and value relations. Quite a lot of surprises.
Click a photo to access its cameo, or access all current cameos through the Link List below.
- Did you miss the Previous News?
If so you missed information about:
- Lilydale's Success Continues
- Poly Plug Reveiw Republished
- Resources for Little Kids
- Rotagram Investigation Guides
- Iceberg Information about two Tasks of the Month
(Tasks 167, 168)
- ...and more...
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