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Mathematics Matters Lesson Accounts 15 - Solving Code

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 28 May 2008 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 16 June 2008 by ncetm_administrator

Mathematics Matters Lesson Accounts
A collection of memorable mathematics lessons that conference and colloquia delegates had observed or taught which they felt were successful.  Each account refers to one or more of the values and principles in the report.

Lesson Account 15 - Solving Code

Written by Frances Watson
Organisation Gamlingay Village College
Age/Ability Range Y8 group ranging in ability from low level 5 to low level 7

How was the session/task introduced?
From a book – “Mathematical Team Games” – Vivien Lucas.

As a team activity (they have worked on similar tasks before with a set of cards per team with different topics) they work together to solve a problem / task (a code in this case) whilst demonstrating what they know about angle geometry and applying it.

How was the session/task sustained?
Almost no input needed for this, groups worked fantastically well together with occasional encouragement and prompting with questions to move them forward. All groups were engaged and keen to solve the given puzzle, working in very different ways (which we shared in feedback at the end of the plenary). I think the level of challenge and thinking skills required meant they could access the work on a variety of levels depending on their initial confidence.

How was the session/task concluded?
By sharing the diagrammatic outcomes of the clues and feedback from what worked well in terms of approach and team tactics to the problem solving.

What were the critical moments?
Their “remembering” the level of independence/ expect to start the task and maintaining encouragement without stepping in too soon. Other than that, they really have moved on in terms of learning behaviours and thinking skills since last year (I taught them as Y7s) and are becoming far more reflective, co-operative and willing to experiment with the variety of activities I try with them.

What mathematics was learnt? (on plan and off plan) and what is the evidence of learning?
Application of geometry rules about triangles, sum of angles, interior and exterior angles, types of triangle and their properties, triangle notation and the drawing of these to a set of instructions (and the realisation that they weren’t being asked for scale drawing!)

How was that mathematics learnt?
Key words set as homework to produce a poster of explanation prior to the lesson.

Other memorable outcomes
Their enjoyment, enthusiasm, discussion, involvement and mine too!  Learning and practise rather than answer-focused.


Downloadable PDF

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Values & Principles

Fluency in recalling facts and performing skills
Conceptual understanding and interpretations for representations
Strategies for investigation and problem solving
Exposes and discusses common misconceptions and other surprising phenomena
Makes appropriate use of whole class interactive teaching, individual work and cooperative small group work
Uses rich, collaborative tasks

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Lesson Accounts Introduction

Mathematics Matters - What constitutes the effective learning of mathematics? find out more


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