### February 2007

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 1,890 tasks placed in schools during December & January. Around 288,423 placed since the project began in June 1992. If you would like to be on an email list to receive updates about this site send an email to doug@blackdouglas.com.au In the subject line write Subscribe TC. In the body of message write your name and preferred email address. In this News you will find:

 More From Moonah Tasks of the Month Task 32, Tetrahedron Nets Task 33, Dominoes Task 34, Dice Differences Task 35, Crosses In The Background New Task MWA Growth Maths on the Move Consultant: Western Victoria Farmyard Race Day

• More From Moonah
Ruth Lansdell's Indigenous students from Moonah Primary School have submitted more of their investigations to show us how much they love working in mathematics. Look for Ruth's section in the Indigenous Students link on the left to explore what Luke, Braedyn and Naleea think are Interesting Maths Problems.

Four new cameos this month to celebrate returning to school after summer (in the Southern Hemisphere).
• Tetrahedron Nets investigates a second regular solid. Cubes were explored in the previous task, Cube Nets. The iceberg opens up the idea of transforming objects in three dimensions and, in another direction, number patterns suggested by the net.
• Dominoes involves heaps of place value application, simple addition and use of problem solving strategies.
• Dice Differences is a game situation with a chance basis which leads to an open-ended investigation.
• Crosses uses number tiles 1 - 9 to set up a problem at which even young students can succeed very quickly. But the iceberg involves finding all the solutions and that requires discovering some deeper constraints and applying problem solving strategies.

• In The Background
You have probably never thought about it, but I would like you to imagine for a minute just how much goes on in the background to prepare the tasks to the high standard you receive. Consider this example:
Here Ina Koetsier, our Distribution Manager, is preparing 100 sets of Task 187, Triangle Area. There are 12 wooden pieces in each task which Geoff Fischer (who is even further in the background) has carefully cut and painted with consummate care. That's 1200 pieces! But that's not the end of this task. It still needs:
• a printed and laminated task card
• two printed and laminated clear plastic grids
which are prepared as masters (that's my little bit), printed on demand by one company and laminated by another. When all these bits are in the same place, they still have to be packed into press-seal bags, which also have to be ordered in advance - actually a special order of higher density stronger-than-normal bags. Robin does a lot of the packing while Ina organises mass production lines like the one in the photo.

Well 20 copies of each task are always packed, stored and ready to be ordered. Plus a few each of:

• Aboriginal Kit (Mmm 50 totally different task cards in those.)
• 16 Maths With Attitude kits (Oh yeah, the manuals and CDs for those have to be printed.)
• Library Kits (Mmm they have an extra parents' card in each task.) and...
Phew, think of the storage. Pulling all this together is no mean feat, but Ina and the team manage to get almost every order out the door in under a week.

It takes a little longer when you get an order like this one for 16 Library Kits from one Innovations & Excellence Cluster which spent much of last year building home/school relationships through mathematics.

On top of all this Ina offers a service where she will come to the school and in one day clean up every task and restock any missing pieces. Two schools took advantage of this during January so that they were ready to roll when the students returned.

You see, there is an amazing amount that goes on 'Ina the background'.

Task 234, Growing Tricubes, has been added to the catalogue. Previously it has only been available with the Years 9 & 10 Maths With Attitude Chance & Measurement kit because it has been disproportionally expensive to produce - for a start the 16 Tricube pieces in each task have to be imported from England. However, Ina has found a way to manage the accounting so that it is available to all. That's great because it offers heaps of surface area and volume work in primary school with an overlay of quadratic and cubic functions in secondary school. In fact, whatever you can do with Sphinx in two dimensions (see Sphinx Album opposite), you can do with Tricubes in three dimensions.

• MWA Growth
It seems Maths With Attitude kits are answering a need. Hopefully the need for which they were created. They are designed to support teachers in presenting a detailed, integrated, continuing week by week curriculum grounded in happy, healthy, cheerful, productive, inspiring classrooms in which all students are learning to work like a mathematician.
• 200 have been placed in schools since July 2006
• 215 were sent out between July 2005 and June 2006
• 125 between July 2004 and June 2005
• 52 between July 2003 and June 2004, when we were just beginning to create them

• Maths on the Move
Evaluations from these Professional Development days are always positive. The first three programs for 2007 are in the diary. See Maths on the Move link on the left. Other groups have made contact and are making choices. We will take these workshops any where at any time - as long as we can fit the visit into the diary. Don't leave your run too late.

• Consultant: Western Victoria
One of our colleagues has contacted us to let us know she is available during part of her week to help schools in this region develop or refresh their hands-on, investigative mathematics curriculum. She is experienced in teaching with tasks and Maths300 and would love to share that expertise. If you are interested contact Doug. Williams doug@blackdouglas.com.au for details.

• Farmyard Race Day
You have no idea how hard it can be to get plastic farm animals. Sometimes they are just not imported; sometimes you want sheep and you can only get goats. As a result of the latest dip in supply there are now three versions of Task 125 Farmyard Race Day - 125, 125A, 125B. This task is in the Primary Library Kit, so the solution to this task (see Library Kit link on the left), has just been updated to include all variations.
• Did you miss the December/January News?
If so you missed information about:
1. A report from a Student Training Day.
3. A report and photos of a Task Centre Workshop at the MAV December Conference.
4. Information about changes to freight charges.
5. ... and more.

Keep smiling,
Doug.

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