Each set contains 17 large, colourful, hands-on displays. They are designed and manufactured, (with Copyright), by World of Maths Pty Ltd.
They involve two types of activities:
- Solving problems from a given situation, and
- A guided discovery whereby the students will discover or identify mathematical concepts and ideas.
The set of displays contain corresponding worksheets for the students and an 8 page teacher booklet, which contains a description of the activities, the skills and strategies the students use, the answers to the problems and teacher follow-on for the classroom. The answer and information booklet is given to the teacher/s at the beginning of the presentation.
Each session is not designed for the students to be able to complete all the activities. There are deliberately more activities than what can be done in the session time to give enough variety; (The set contains problems and tasks in the strands of the number, space, measurement, graphs, statistics and logical thinking and sequencing), and keep all students occupied with no waiting time. (The students are allowed to spend as much time as they need at each activity).
We have a set designed for Years 1 through to Year 3 / 4 depending on student capabilities Year 4 may go up into the upper set with years 5 to 7 if the booking falls in Term 4 and this is up to the teachers. The younger year levels will attempt the activities with a helper/ buddy or group leader/ parent in their session. The activities at this level will appeal mathematically by way of visuals used to explain the question. Students will work in small groups while the guide (from my list) reads the instructions and they will usually get through 1 question. The older year levels will get through more of the activities in the set and there will be more emphasis on discussing their answers/ outcomes at the end of the session.
Years 5-6 (and Years 7 in South Australia) have a completely separate set of activities that cover more strands of Maths with more questions and several outcomes that can be achieved. These activities and the session itself if more challenging.
Where the development of thinking skills is a dominant objective for teaching and learning mathematics, it is important that teachers have access to a variety of problems and problem situations. When experiencing ‘World of Maths’ the students have an opportunity to acquire a variety of different skills and strategies needed for problem-solving.
Students have the time and freedom to pursue their own paths in trying to solve the problems. The students can experience mathematics related to practical and real-life situations. Motivation is very important. World of Maths is an enjoyable and attractive situation that makes the students want to think. It helps develop the skills necessary to work in small groups as an effective way of learning mathematics. It allows the students to interact, which can boost their confidence. Promotes positive attitudes towards mathematics.