Looking at learning activities

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Looking at learning activities

Aims of the session This session is intended to help us to:
Explore different types of mathematical activity: Classifying mathematical objects. Interpreting multiple representations. Evaluating mathematical statements. Creating problems. Analysing reasoning and solutions.

1. Classifying mathematical objects
Learners examine and sort mathematical objects according to their different characteristics. They create and use categories to build definitions They learn to discriminate carefully and to recognise the properties of objects. They develop mathematical language.

Examples of classifying activities
Find the odd one out tables activity (Maths Out Loud 4 – 13) Sorting shapes (Maths Out Loud 4 – 27) Resources required: Maths Out Loud Book 4 (BEAM) Maths Out Loud 6 (BEAM) Big Book of Word Problems Years ½ String

2. Interpreting multiple representations
Learners match cards showing different representations of the same mathematical idea. They draw links between different representations. They develop new mental images for concepts.

Examples of interpreting multiple representations
Different representations of multiplication Suggestions Definitions and images of shapes Matching sets of sums Showing 100 Definitions and images of shapes: activity devised for an MA publication forthcoming by Jenni Back and Liz Woodham Show 100: ask children to ‘show me 100’ giving them lots of materials to make their own representation e.g. matchsticks, pasta, pulses, sticky paper, glue, scissors, sugar paper etc.

3. Evaluating mathematical statements
Learners decide whether given statements are true or false (or possibly sometimes true. They are encouraged to develop mathematical arguments and justifications. They are encouraged to develop examples and counterexamples to defend their reasoning.

Examples of evaluating mathematical statements
Sally’s Sweet Shop activity Properties of shapes: Stringy Quads Properties of 2D shapes (Maths out Loud 6 – 27) Properties of shape activity from NRiCH website:

4. Creating and solving problems
Learners devise their own mathematical problems for other learners to solve. Learners are creative and ‘own’ the problems. While others attempt to solve them, learners take on the role of teacher and explainer. The ‘doing’ and ‘undoing’ processes of mathematics are exemplified.

Examples of creating and solving problems
Sum and product example (Maths Out Loud Book 4 – 15) Big Book of Word Problems (Year 1/2 Sleeping Ugly) Think of a number problems Function machines: The Number Crunching Machine Hyperlink to NRICH problem:

5. Analysing reasoning and solutions
Learners compare different methods for doing a problem. They organise solutions and/ or diagnose the causes of errors in solutions. They begin to recognise that there are different ways through a problem. They develop their own chains of reasoning.

Examples of analysing reasoning
Using learner’s solutions both correct and incorrect especially from test papers. Collecting learner’s descriptions of their methods. Look at SATs paper results

Follow up task Pick one kind of activity from the suggestions and adapt it to meet the needs of your class Try it with your class and reflect on the quality of their responses to it Come to the session prepared to share your observations and some examples of children’s work