Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Sculpture Garden

Dale Seymour, a publisher and author of many mathematical books, is now a creator of mathematical structures for his home in California.

I found his resources great for getting away from the usual maths into problem solving and investigations, most challenged the student and teacher but gave a reality to most of the math we teach.

If you can get hold of any of his books: Fibonacci to Escher, Pascal's Triangle to Kaleidoscopes, Plexers to Building Toothpick Bridges: they will help you change the way you teach maths.

When my son, now 36, was at Intermediate, I was invited to take the class for a cross curricula style unit of work.  The one we chose was:  Building Toothpick Bridges. In groups they students had an accountant, a designer, a gopher and a builder and they were required to build a bridge, and then test to destruction, given certain design restraints and costs.  My son occasionally talks about this and is now a civil engineer-coincidence?

Dale Seymour now has a website showing his many Sculptures as well as a wonderful geometrical garden and house:  http://www.seymoursculpture.com/

I hope this might inspire you to think outside the square with your approach to teaching maths

A Dale Seymour Sculpture

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Proportional Reasoning

Often we leave proportional reasoning until late in a a child's mathematical development.  Is this wise? Is it holding students back?
Some proportional problems may need ready recall of multiplications and and division but many can be explored with just addition and subtraction.  Why leave it?  Students love the reasoning challenges.
This is from The Wilkie Way Newsletter October 2015.  Author Charlotte Wilkinson www.thewilkieway.co.nz

 Try them with your students, and see how they get on.  Dont tell them how to do them, let them explore and share their methods.