Editor's Note: Human Gears is not a Maths300 lesson at this stage. I suspect its source is the RIME publication.
- It's A Small World
Aaron and I had long talks on the roof of my house about the Maths300 lessons.
Sometimes one line in an email catches your attention and you have to read on:
My name is Barbara Kerr and I am currently working as a Teacher Mentor in Arusha, Tanzania. Back in Australia I used the Maths300 lessons all the time and my students and I loved them. I also attended in-services conducted by you and Charles Lovitt which shaped my teaching.
The email conversation continued the next day:
At the moment I am trying to show teachers that the way to go in Maths is not teaching formulas and copying never ending maths equation from the board. I am doing demo lessons and the kids really enjoy them. I have attached a picture I took of the board in a Grade 6 classroom just last week.
Thanks for the information about Aaron Peeters work. Aaron is a friend of mine. He lived with me for a short time in Eritrea. I had a 2 year stint there prior to coming to Tanzania. Aaron and I had long talks on the roof of my house about the Maths300 lessons. He worked in a school with an Eritrean friend of mine in Acria in Asmara. I am really excited to have a look at what he has done. I didn't know he had published the stories. (See Link List below.) I was chatting with Aaron a few weeks ago and hopefully he will come here on his way home (from Ghana).
I am so excited about the challenge in Tanzania. We are doing a lesson this morning pulling together all the lessons we did on Circumference of a Circle, Area of a Circle and Ratio (all Maths300 lessons). We are making a 'human gear'. Not sure how it will go but we will try. If it goes ok I will let you know. If not then I will chalk it up to a learning experience.
It was amazing to see the looks on the students faces when we did the Circumference of a Circle lesson. They looked stunned that Maths didn't need a mass of calculation to work things out. When we predicted what a circumference might be and they found they could get very close just by making predictions based on 'times 6 plus a bit'. It was almost like they couldn't believe what was happening. So great, I love it.
We have done the human gear lessons, to link ratio and circumference, with the grade six classes and they went well. The students loved doing it. The students made the connections between ratio and circumference and were able to make their own gears in groups. It was great to see them problem solving and doing practical work. The smiles while they worked were just great.
- PD Makes A Difference: Story 1
I've been using the Task Centre site for over a year now, (and loving it) and have just noticed for the first time that I can subscribe to updates! I'm in Hobart, Tasmania, teaching at The Cottage School, a small independent school with about 70 students.
I took part in a two-day professional development early last year with Charles Lovitt, which completely changed the way I felt about maths. Previously I had always been rather nervous and uncomfortable, certainly never excited!
I love the fact that I always find something on your site that I hadn't previously seen. Today I discovered 'News' and 'Research and Stories'... and spent ages reading and being inspired by other teachers' experiences. As a result I'm planning a parents and students night where we can explore the tasks together... hopefully it will become a regular gig! Will keep you posted!
Thanks so much for this amazing resource. Now I have some tools to really help the students find those AHA! moments... love it.
Editor's Note: The newspaper triangles is based on Task 178, Match Triangles. Tablecloth folding is Task 3, Doug's Tablecloth. Poly Plug lesson on number patterns is Uncover Counting from the Members' section of Calculating Changes. See Link List below.
- PD Makes A Difference: Story 2
The following is one of the responses received after the first two days of a six day PD from MC course titled Working Mathematically in Number & Algebra for the Catholic Education Office: Canberra/Goulburn.
My name is Mick Bradley and I am the Maths coordinator at St Thomas Aquinas in Canberra. I am providing professional learning to my staff re maths and have decided that the way forward is a problem based curriculum approach. We are SO CONTENT BASED like the game of soccer analogy have all the skills but never get to play soccer. The problem solving approach ticks all the boxes. Student engagement, intellectual quality, differentiation etc!
My Year 4 kids loved the problem about the triangles we made from newspaper in the PD session you did and the tablecloth folding exercise. They haven't sorted it just yet but we are coming back to it. Poly Plug lesson on number patterns worked a treat. Kids are really engaged and I was 'freed up' to observe/assist. Real constructivist learning!!
- PD from MC: New Courses
Once again we are pleased to be working with Critical Agendas to offer courses to Victorian Teachers. See Link List below for for PDF fliers with full details of these courses:
Numbers are limited, so book early.
- August 11: Working Mathematically in Pattern & Algebra (Years 3 - 10)
- August 12: Working Mathematically in Number & Computation (Years 3 - 10)
- August 16: Working Mathematically with Infants (Years K - 2)
- Additions to 4 Arm Shapes
Two different teachers from two different parts of the world have contributed remarkable insights to a new From The Classroom section of the cameo for Task 154, 4 Arm Shapes. See Link List below.
- Additions to Poly Plug & Tasks
There are many tasks which can be converted to whole class investigations using Poly Plug. Two new ones have been added to this library this month. They are Task 131, Walk The Plank and Task 145, Land of ET. See Link List below for the Poly Plug & Tasks library.
- Tasks of the Month
Two new cameos this month.
- Walk The Plank is a game situation where the number of turns to finish varies with the length of the plank. You walk the plank, according to the fall of two special dice, to either return safely to the boat or be eaten by sharks. The investigation concerns which plank length makes the best game. The task also offers a number line model for operating with integers.
- Red To Blue is a logic challenge with many variations which can be approached using any one of a number of mathematician's strategies. The task is easy to state and easy to start, but not necessarily easy to do. When variations are explored, one of the surprises is that a generalisation appears which can be expressed in words and symbols.
Click a photo to access its cameo, or access all current cameos through the Link List below.
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