Saturday, 12 September 2015

Going off piste

We'd been dividing, looking at remainders with Cuisenaire rods. (See previous post.) There are 17 students in the class, so we looked first at that.
The next day we went onto numbers that the children chose:

I felt that maybe one or two were being "pulled" along with this, not really quite getting it; lots of people were asking me what numbers the different colours were. Did I need to go back and give them a little bit of the play and familiarisation stage?

So I decided that the next day, after doing some quick image work,
I'd give them 20 minutes free play with the rods. I knew that lots of what they did wouldn't be mathematical, but thought maybe just handling and getting used to the rods would help everyone to own them more.

There was lots happening. (click to see gallery of images)

To start with there were lots of patterns and pictures.
Then something interesting happened. One of the students decided to make a game. Soon, games were sweeping across the classroom.
I took some videos:

A lot of these games are a little hard for me to follow. They're not really very mathematical. But they have given me lots of ideas for ones that could be!

I don't know whether I did the right thing or not, but I was so interested by everything that was going on that I let the play carry on for 40 minutes to the end of the lesson.

At the end of the week everyone in the school has "golden time" when they can choose what to do for half an hour. So, I was really pleased when one student said, "Can we play with the Cuisenaire rods during golden time?"

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