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Mathematics Matters Lesson Accounts 23 - Construction and the Built Environment

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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 23 - Construction and the Built Environment

Written by Joan Ostheimer
Organisation Mid Kent College of HE and FE
Age/Ability Range Session taught to a National Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment. Year 1 group early in the academic year. Session length 1 hour. Age/ability – predominantly 16-17 year olds, one female remainder male. Ability: wide from Key Skills Level 1 Application of Number achieved at college (indicating very poor previous GCSE grades) to an AS grade U in mathematics plus two foreign nationals for whom English is not their first language.

How was the session/task introduced?
Statistics is a subject that forms part of both key skills AON and the Maths unit on the ND programme. I asked the learners if they remembered mean, median, mode range etc. Mixed response. No-one seemed certain. Explained group were going to collect data, calculate/find mean etc. and then next week move onto calculating the standard deviation.

How was the session/task sustained?
Five group headings on whiteboard for measuring height, shoulder height, shoulder breadth, hand span and hand-to-hand with arms outstretched. Learners wrote their names under chosen group, limit of three per group, collected measuring tool (tapes / rules provided) sugar paper and board markers. Then the groups measured each other and recorded results. Advice and help given by myself as requested- reminders of mean etc. Generally discussed by students just seeking confirmation from me. Results of calculations written by learners on whiteboard onto a table drawn by myself.

How was the session/task concluded?
Discussion about results- any surprises, differences in averages, problems relating to mode. Also ‘artistic’ body proportions height hand-to-hand does this apply to each learner, averages etc. Learners told to record data set for next week in own folders and reminded standard deviation to be calculated next week.

What were the critical moments?
Two late comers – had to use data collected by others. 3 learners taken out to complete enrolment – difficult to keep on course with session. Learners only measuring own group – not realising 3 items of data weren’t sufficient.

What mathematics was learnt? (on plan and off plan) and what is the evidence of learning?
Off plan – measuring and accuracy, scales, definitions height etc. On plan – mean, median, mode range learnt or revised.

How was that mathematics learnt?
Primarily by peer discussion and carrying out calculations.

Other memorable outcomes
Group of learners new to each other learnt/asked all names of the others and spoke to each other.

All practical – tapes, paper, pens, rulers etc.


Downloadable PDF

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Values & Principles

Fluency in recalling facts and performing skills
Conceptual understanding and interpretations for representations
Builds on the knowledge learners already have
Exposes and discusses common misconceptions and other surprising phenomena
Makes appropriate use of whole class interactive teaching, individual work and cooperative small group work
Encourages reasoning rather than ‘answer getting’

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Lesson Accounts Introduction

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


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