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Mathematics Matters Lesson Accounts 37 - Special Numbers

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.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 37 - Special Numbers

Written by Pam Wignall
Organisation West Cheshire College
Age/Ability Range Adult numeracy group in the community 8-10 students age 17-50+

How was the session/task introduced?
“We all use numbers in our everyday life and many of them are special to us” “Can you think of any numbers special to you?”

Students gradually came up with numbers and reasons to go with them.
These were put on the whiteboard (discussion about the numbers extended to types of number odd, even, prime etc – whatever links there were to previous lessons).

How was the session/task sustained?
The students were all sitting around a large table and I had ready made cards with numbers and words (in large type). I put a number 7 on the table and asked if that meant anything to them.

Then a 4, 12 etc.

Allowed discussion e.g. (superstition about 7 came up). Eventually one student realised all the numbers were connected with time (Critical moment).

Gradually the other numbers were put down and matched up to words and a ‘timetable’ was formed.

Some students remembered the old rhyme about the number of days in each month.

A worksheet which allowed students to fill in the missing number or words was completed to check if they could all remember this. Some learners had no problems but others needed to consult the constructed timetable.

(Coffee break)

The lesson continued with individual work at a suitable level. E.g. Calculation of time differences from timetables. Writing dates.

How was the session/task concluded?
The task was completed with the completion of the worksheet.

What were the critical moments?
The link between the numbers and time and the recognition by the students as to how often we use numbers in everyday life.

What mathematics was learnt? (on plan and off plan) and what is the evidence of learning?
Numbers and vocabulary for use with time. Evidence was successful completion of the ‘Timetable’ and correct answers on worksheet.

Liverpool community college used as extra work for L1.

Reminder of types of number, writing dates etc. from the two booklets (Time basics and Time) in the Skillsheets series. Some learning was planned but some ‘evolved’ on day i.e. work on types of number etc..

How was that mathematics learnt?
Discussion, Tactile material, Worksheets, teacher explanation etc.

Other memorable outcomes
It served as a useful ‘settling in’ session for the new students, with all being able to contribute to the session.

Prepared Cards and Worksheets, Skillswise sheets, Liverpool Community College Fleximaths pack on ‘Time’.

The ‘Time’ booklet is part of a set of Fleximaths material produced by Liverpool Community College.

The Skillswise sheets are from the bbc website ( www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise ) a site many Literacy and Numeracy teachers use.

Click here to download the sheets to accompany this resource (PDF format).


Downloadable PDF

Click here to download this lesson account in PDF format.

Values & Principles

Fluency in recalling facts and performing skills
Appreciation of the power of mathematics in society
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
Creates connections between topics both within and beyond mathematics and with the real world

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