Secondary Secondary Maths

KS3 Maths – Encourage students to work systematically

Simply take …A set of

This is an activity that could be used to encourage students to work systematically and show you a variety of ways in which they organise a set of things.

You need
• a set of cards dominoes for each pair of students
• cards cut up to A6 in a variety of colours

Students can work in pairs or individually
• From each set of cards remove two dominoes (or more for the more able students) before you give them to the students.  If the sets are printed on different coloured card they can identify the correct  ones from their set

• Ask them to identify which dominoes are missing from their set.
Observe the ways in which the students organise the dominoes that they have been given
They may do it in a very different way from what you expect and follow up their systems

• They can check by looking at the cards that you took out
I lay these out at the front of the room

Once they have completed this they could
• Take another set of cards
• Make their own set of cards: These could be like playing cards, other dominoes, …
They will need to
– plan these first and decide what makes a complete set
– transfer them to a set of cards

They can then swap with another pair of students, hanging on to one or two of their cards
to set them the challenge of identifying what is missing.  This also enables the pairs to work together to check each other’s sets of cards

This activity allows differentiation as students can make the sets of cards as complicated as they wish, and if their sets of cards are correct they have created some sets of cards for you to use in a future lesson.

Sue Briggs

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