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Investigations with lower ability groups

on June 18, 2012

I tried the polyominoes investigation last week with my Y7 bottom set, and they LOVED it.  They normally tolerate investigations, but only just, as they don’t like to work independently.  I had a plan however…

They were given squares of paper (I pinched a memo block from home with small squares of paper in) and I asked them to make as many different shapes as possible with three squares.   We then had a discussion about the rules we needed to add to make it clear:

– all three squares must be used

– they must join edge-to-edge, not corners or part-edges

– they must be 2D, not 3D (as one enterprising lad created a U shape….)

– reflections and rotations don’t count as new shapes

After we’d established this, I explained that we’d be investigating what happens with more squares, and then brought out the LEVEL LADDER (big announcer voice when reading that please).

The ladder was pinched from somewhere online, sorry, I can’t find it now! (EDIT: http://www.tes.co.uk/ResourceDetail.aspx?storyCode=3005645)  It looked like this:

Image

I also added in a checkbox at the end of each statement so that they could tick it off when they felt they’d achieved it.

They really enjoyed knowing exactly what they needed to do to get to the higher levels, and we all know how satisfying it is when you get to tick something off your ‘to-do’ list! 🙂

I asked at the end for them to put up their hands if they were proud of the work they’d done today (in 2 lessons) and all their hands shot up in the air.  It was B-E-A_UUUUTIFUL!!!!!! 😀

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