Wednesday, 4 February 2015
FIRST CLASS MATHS: WHERE CURIOSITY MEETS CHALLENGE - Guest Blog by Gareth Metcalfe
I can’t think of two more appropriate words to describe First Class Maths than curious and challenging. It’s been designed to truly stretch the most able primary mathematicians, and also to captivate the imagination of these young learners. I believe it fulfils the vision of mastery within mathematics, giving children the opportunity to apply learning in deep and non-standard contexts.
The resource is comprised of 24 tasks, from extended mathematical problems to complicated logic puzzles. The tasks are quirky, designed to surprise and intrigue as much as to challenge and extend. For example, one task asks the question ‘What percentage of the water in the pool is inside of the bodies of the swimmers?’
Here are some snippets from a range of the tasks. Each card starts with a context-based prompt. ‘The Supernest’ task, for example, explores number systems with different bases by bringing to life an argument between insects who count on their legs:
The children are then presented with an extended challenge. In ‘The Solar Panel Decision’ they have to work out how long it will take for an investment in solar panels to save a company money. In ‘Tickets for Sumo’, the children will need to manipulate formulas and reason mathematically in order to calculate the cost of the tickets. Then, in the ‘Words of Wisdom’ task, they must decipher the phrase that is represented by each of the 12 graphs.
On the back of each task is some information or hints and tips that relate to the task itself. This may be an interesting fact, some advice on completing the task or an extension to the task.
First Class Maths is a resource that will fire the imaginations of many young mathematicians. I’m delighted that it is now on sale, courtesy of Alan Peat ltd. Also, a massive thank you has to go to Amy Doobar for her outstanding design work. Well done Amy!
First Class Maths can be purchased from the following page: http://www.thecepress.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=109
Having seen first hand how challenging and engaging Gareth's resources are, First Class Maths is a MUST for KS2 classroom!