Monday, August 7, 2017

Maths PD - Rich Activities

Today we were very lucky to have Jo Knox come and present to us.  She talked about how open ended questions can be so much more effective than just a closed question.  She used an awesome example, she showed us her hand that was photocopied and blown up on A3 paper and said to us that we needed to tell her how tall the 'giant' was.  We then needed to use multiple different strategies and the conversations that we were having were very rich.  In the end we were able to measure our own hand and our height.  We then found the ratio and were able to apply this to the giants hand, which gave us his height.

This is something in my teaching that I don't do enough of, giving students open ended questions that they need to spend some time on.  This has definitely made me realise after doing this activity that sometimes a very basic activity like this can be so effective.  The conversation will be rich, and giving the children the opportunity to struggle at something and have to make lots of errors before they get the answer right can be very effective.

Incorporating different strands of maths can be very powerful, during this one activity we used measurement, multiplication, division, and addition.   Being able to use real life questions so they're able to comprehend the question and a reason for solving the problem is also very important.

This was such a great session, and I took so much out of this PD, thanks heaps Jo!


  1. I came in late for this so appreciate your write up filling in the gpas. Jo has a great way of unpacking Maths for teachers doesn't she? I was reminded of Rebecca's PLD with us and the insistence on dialogue in literacy funny that the Maths PLD should be providing opportunities for dialogue too!

  2. Some great takeaways Zac. Have you had a chance to give your kids open ended questions yet? How did it go? Great blog Zac, I look forward to reading your next post.