Real-life maths is all around us. But often your students sit on mathematical information without fully thinking about it. These activities grew out of an analysis of NAPLAN data over 10 years ago. We discovered that across Australia students looked at information with a one track mind. For example, 2 cakes cost $1.50 – they read it at face value. Yes, two cakes cost $1.50. They didn’t follow through with any other implication. For example, 4 cakes cost $3, 20 cakes cost $15, 1 cake costs 75 cents. If they were half price the original cost for 2 cakes was $3, and so on.
These 5 Measurement Mental Warm-ups “What do I know?” cover Length, Area, Mass, Volume & Capacity and Time – with 10 suggestions for each sub-strand. They are included in the Grades 3/4 section but will apply across a wider range of students.
In just one minute can your students brainstorm with a partner everything they can think of that has a mathematical link to what is shown. Don’t just limit yourself to the sub-strand either, try to create as many mathematical connections as you can, by discussing and sharing ideas as a whole class.
We want students who can think for themselves without us breathing down their necks all the time. We need independent thinkers who can stand on their own two feet and see mathematics all around them. We need students who go out into the adult world thinking mathematically.