In this month's News you will find:
Praising Tasks from Scotland
PD from MC
Solomon's Puzzle: Task 43
Tasks of the Month
Task 128, Highest Number 2
Task 142, Tower of Hanoi
928 tasks placed in schools during March.
331,009 placed since the project began in July 1992.
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- Praising Tasks from Scotland
Don Shaw, Queen Victoria High School, Dunblane, Scotland, recently ordered a new kit of tasks. Don had used our tasks in another school. We asked what it was about the tasks that would make him choose them for his new school. He wrote:
I absolutely love the tasks that you provide.
In Scotland, at present, we are embarking on a brand new "Curriculum for Excellence" which involves trying to get the students to understand more of each subject instead of just being taught to memorise fact after fact. The hands-on experience that your tasks provide is an ideal way to give students a good understanding of the logical thinking skills and deep problem solving skills that they will need to succeed in the employment market when they leave school.
I searched for other resources around the world but there is nothing to compare with what you provide.
I also purchased them with a view to bringing a little more enjoyment into the Maths classroom. Forgetting educational reasons for a second, these tasks are fun!! Students love to do them and they look forward to their problem solving period.
Thanks again for providing them and I'll be recommending them to my colleagues in other schools.
- PD from MC
The enthusiasm running through Don's letter suggests his practice has grown through the responses of his students to the challenges of our tasks. Research tells us that the closer professional development is to the classroom, the more powerful it is likely to be. Therefore, every task, in fact, every resource we offer, exists because it carries messages about improving learning and teaching. Working with the children on tasks helps them to learn to work like a mathematician; and helps us to reconsider our practice.
Tasks are supported by Task Cameos and Maths300 which explore both mathematical content and teaching craft features likely to fascinate, captivate and absorb learners. This is expressed very clearly in the latest story from Calculating Changes. WMI = Great Learning & Teaching has been prepared by K - 2 teachers from Boroondara Park Primary School. Even if you are not a teacher of 5 - 7 year olds you might take a moment to read the story just to feel the buzz when teachers change their practice and discover that children can learn more, faster and with deeper understanding, than they have before.
We all struggle to facilitate the best learning possible for our students. So, when you feel the need to shift your practice, consider Professional Development from Mathematics Centre, PD from MC. See Link List below.
- Solomon's Problem
Solomon is a Ugandan student who has been visiting Australia. He has just completed Year 12. When we met conversation drifted to using Tasks and he tried a couple. As a result, a From The Classroom section has been added to the cameo of Task 43, Number Tiles. See Link List below.
- Other News
- The December Conference of the Mathematical Association of Victoria has opened a call for option leaders. If your school has a story of success to tell then consider running a session. Over decades, the greatest value of this conference has been 'ordinary' teachers running workshops. See Link List below.
- Dice Cricket has been added as Lesson 175 on Maths300. One more exciting investigation to help students learn to work like a mathematician in a whole class setting. Software is included.
- Maths300 software has been updated to include this lesson, but other corrections have also been made. Do you have a system for keeping up with the latest Maths300 software on your network?
- Tasks of the Month
Two new cameos this month.
- Highest Number 2 extends Highest Number 1 by using a ten-sided dice and digits 1 to 9. As well as offering the challenge of re-interpreting the strategies of HN1, it can be included as one investigation in a unit on place value.
- Tower of Hanoi is a classic puzzle from mathematical history. Students are challenged to move a stack of discs from one tower to another, but a larger disc can never be on top of a smaller one. The problem can be tackled using the strategy of breaking into smaller parts, but in doing so, a pattern is revealed.
Click a photo to access its cameo, or access all current cameos through the Link List below.
- Did you miss March?
If so you missed information about:
- A new link added connecting tasks to their companion Maths300 lesson
- Link to an article titled The Mathematics I Do on the NCETM web site in UK
- Iceberg Information about two Tasks of the Month
(Tasks 125, 126)
- ...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.
- You can connect Tasks to their Maths300 companion lesson using Tasks & Maths300 (a PDF file).
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