# NUMERACY ~ THROUGH ~ PROBLEM ~ SOLVING. Design a Board Game. Shell Centre for Mathematical Education AA. Joint Matriculation Board ~

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1 NUMERACY ~ THROUGH ~ PROBLEM ~ SOLVNG Design a Board Game Shell Centre for Mathematical Education AA. Joint Matriculation Board ~ TEACHER'S GUDE

2 About this scheme... This scheme for the teaching and learning of numeracy through problem solving consists of a series of modules which provide effective support for teachers of mathematics who wish to introduce into the curriculum a component which enables their students to link their mathematics to the real world in which they live. t has been developed with students of all abilities in the age range 13-16, and their teachers. Each module package provides comprehensive materials for both teaching and assessment, related to a practical context which has proved interesting and enjoyable to the students who have taken part in its development. t is accessible to those who normally find mathematics difficult, while at the same time it provides a challenge for the most able. 2

3 Contents Authors Numeracy through problem solving ntroduction to 'Design a Board Game' 1 Classroom materials Page This chapter contains detailed suggestions and hints on the use of the module in the classroom. t begins with information about preparation, including lists of equipment needed and classroom organisation. t then gives a detailed commentary, with teaching suggestions, on the Student's Booklet. Some suggested assessment tasks are also included at the end of each stage. 2 Developing the mathematics 49 This chapter looks in more detail at various ways of making use of the mathematical opportunities offered by the module. A collection of sample teaching materials is offered. 3 The role of assessment 63 This chapter contains a discussion of assessment issues, and offers examples of assessment tasks at different levels of difficulty. Checklist for the teacher 96 Please note: Throughout this book, all references prefixed with the letter T refer to pages in the Teacher's Guide, references prefixed M refer to the Masters for Photocopying and unprefixed references refer to the Student's Booklet. 3

4 Authors This series of module packages has been dev.eloped, as part of a joint project on the assessment of numeracy by the Shell Centre and the Joint Matriculation Board. Many teachers and their students have worked with the central team: Alan Bell, Hugh Burkhardt, Rosemary Fraser, Kevin Mansell, Jim Ridgway and Malcolm Swan together with Barbara Binns and John Gillespie who, assisted by Clare Trott, coordinated the project. Building on previous discussions involving the Shell Centre and the JMB, it was conceived and directed as part of the Testing Strategic Skills programme, by Hugh Burkhardt This module, Design a Board Game, has been written by Malcolm Swan, Barbara Binns and John Gillespie t is a result of successive revision through six versions on evidence collected from the comments and suggestions of the teachers and students involved, and through classroom observation by the team. The assessment tasks owe much to the advice of John Pitts. Many contributions to the work of the project have been made by staff and committee members of the Joint Matriculation Board - notably John Mathews, the Chairman of the JMB's Steering Committee and Austin Fearnley, who has played a major role in the organisation of the operational trials. Among the teachers to whom we are particularly indebted for the contributions to the early development of the module are David Cain, Joanne Cooper, Ray Crayton, Paul Davison, John Edwards, Mick Fitzgerald, Tansy Hardy, Aidan Harrington, Anne Haworth, Sue Marshall, Cath Mottram, Mary Robinson, Norbert Gajda, Bob Smith, Aileen Steven, Glenda Taylor, Margaret Tuck and Dave Wilson. The later trials involved teachers and students in over 50 schools in many local authorities including Barnsley, Bradford, Bury, Calderdale, Cheshire, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Doncaster, Gateshead, Humberside, Kirklees, Knowsley, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicestershire, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, North Tyneside, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Rochdale, Rotherham, Salford, Sheffield, Stockport, Sunderland, Tameside, Trafford, Wakefield and Wigan. Consultations with their Mathematics Advisers have made significant contributions to the development of the scheme. The manuscript was prepared through many revisions by Susan Hatfield, Diane Jackson and Jenny Payne, and the staff of Burgess and Longman. We are grateful to them all. 4

5 Numeracy through problem solving, Design a Board Game is one of a series of modules that have been designed to encourage a new approach to the teaching and learning of numeracy, understood in the original broad sense(1,2)as the ability to deploy mathematical and other skills in tackling problems of concern or situations of interest in everyday life. There is now a general acceptance that people need to learn to use the knowledge and skills they acquire at school, and this requires a shift in the balance of the curriculum to include more real problem solving. This is particularly important for the mathematics curriculum, because the power of mathematics in helping people tackle real problems more effectively, is not often realised. The Cockcroft and Report says 'Most important of all is the need to have sufficient confidence to make effective use of whatever mathematical skill and understanding is possessed, whether this be little or much.' (paragraph 34) 'Our concern is that those who set out to make their pupils 'numerate' should pay attention to the wider aspects of numeracy and not be content merely to develop the skills of computation.' (paragraph 39) lye and other recent curricular initiatives have similar aims, emphasising that curricula should contain a strong element concerned with the tackling of practical problems relevant to everyday life and work. The assessment criteria for the GCSE emphasise these aspects too. Employers say that they are primarily interested in people who can use their knowledge sensibly and effectively. A curriculum component of this kind places new demands on teachers; it needs a broader range of teaching strategies than does the traditional mathematics curriculum, with some new roles for both teachers and students. The scheme has been developed to provide an introduction to such work in the classroom that is both effective and enjoyable for those involved A report of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England).HMSO, Mathematics counts. Report of the Committee of EnqUiryinto the Teaching of Mathematics in Schools under the chairmanship of Dr W H Cockcroft. HMSO, What are the skills? The modules are based on practical contexts which have been chosen to allow students of all abilities to develop general problem solving (or strategic) skills in areas of activity such as designing and making, planning and organising, and choosing. These strategic skills include: understanding general ideas and details following instructions precisely distinguishing between essential constraints and desirable features identifying faults correcting faults generating and listing viable possibilities (brainstorming) developing a rough plan, including: reviewing the prepared suggestions; reaching and recording agreed decisions; maintaining a broad level of description, avoiding excessive detail; identifying needed information and materials; making estimates of quantity and cost; describing, testing and evaluating the plan making the final plan, product and/or detailed instructions with comprehensiveness, accuracy, clarity and quality implementing the activity with full preparation testing and ev.aluating the plan or product comprehensively. Various tactical skills, more specific to each context, are involved in implementing these strategies; for example, different ways of collecting and recording information are appropriate if you are considering alternative products to buy, or alternative routes t6 follow. Technical skills are, of course, required to carry through the solution of problems using the higher level skills described above. Technique is only useful for these purposes insofar as it is reliable. This implies much higher standards in this respect than are expected in the traditional curriculum, with a greater emphasis on thorough understanding and checking of whatever 5

6 NUMERACY THROUGH PROBLEM SOLVNG techniq~es are used. Among the mathematical techniques and concepts, of importance in this scheme, are: the ability to: carry through simple calculations with suitable accuracy, using a calculator where appropriate, make estimates, make measurements (including number, length and time), draw accurately, interpret and display data in a variety of representations (including graphs, maps, timetables and other tables). understanding and using some techniques of probability and statistics, ratio and proportion, geometry in two and three dimensions. logical reasoning, including the ability to enumerate alternative possibilities and classify them in various ways. research skills, including the collection and evaluation of relevant data. The relevant mathematical skills are discussed in more detail in each module package. There is also opportunity for the use of other parts of the mathematics curriculum which a student has mastered. n addition skills from other curriculum areas, such as language and arts, are inevitably called upon, as these are necessary for the presentation of the reasoned arguments which are essential for real problem solving. Since group work is involved, social skills also play their part. Thus, though numeracy is focussed on the deployment of mathematical skills and reasoning in real problem solving, it has a broad cross-curricular aspect. What is provided? The scheme is implemented in a modular form, each module being designed to occupy between 10 and 20 hours of teaching time spread over 3 to 6 weeks. Five modules will be available in the first instance. A feature of each module is the importance attached to students working in groups, explaining their ideas and listening to each other, making their own decisions and living with the consequences, reflecting on their experience and learning from it, just as they do in life outside the classroom. While working through the modules, students themselves become responsible for setting and tackling their own problems, rather than simply responding to tasks set by the teacher. Modules are not necessarily staged nor are they dependent upon each other but the sequence which follows is recommended as providing an appropriate progression and a balance of different kinds of context. The modules in the series are: Design a Board Game: in which students design and produce a board game which can be played and evaluated by other members of the class. Produce a Quiz Show: in which students devise, schedule, run and evaluate their own classroom quiz. Plan a Trip: in which students plan and undertake one or more class trips, and possibly some small group trips. Be a Paper Engineer: in which students design, make and evaluate 3-dimensional paper products, such as pop-up cards, envelopes and gift boxes. Be a Shrewd Chooser: in which students research and provide expert consumer advice for clients in their class. Many contexts were considered and tried in the early stages of development, to see which led to the best balance of classroom activities and learned skills. Those that were chosen all have a practical outcome, interesting and relevant to the students' present circumstances. This corresponds with our observation that people best develop the strategic skills of numeracy in the course of solving problems which they see as realistic, stimulating and within their capabilities. The themes selected were found to have general appeal and to require the use of a wide range of skills, whilst not making unreasonable demands on classroom or school organisation. Discussion with students and observation in the classroom support the expectation that students' problemsolving abilities improve as they work through the series of modules and that skills acquired in one area are subsequently applied in others. Students themselves maintain that they will be able to apply these strategic skills with advantage in tackling further problems as they arise in their lives outside the classroom. Groups of students also suggested many other interesting and worthwhile themes, each of which could form the basis for a further module. These include: planning and running a jumble sale; raising money for charity by sponsored events; planning and running a magazine; setting up a small business; planning a party; designing a bedroom; planning a youth group weekend; making a garden; orienteering; designing and marketing T-shirts. The scheme provides classroom materials and assessment tasks, together with further support materials to help teachers explore in greater depth the issues and teaching strategies involved. Suggestions. for further mathematical development are also included. Classroom materials, including detailed teaching suggestions, have been developed to offer a proven approach that has worked well for a representative 6

8 ntroduction to Design a Board Game Design is an important area of real problem solving that many people face regularly in their lives at honi"e and at work. The context of 'the design of board games' fits well in a mathematics classroom. Board game designers face a wide variety of problems which have to be solved before a game is complete. These problems involve them in the deployment of a range of strategic skills and a variety of different mathematical techniques if the end product is to be a success. n this module students face and solve such problems in designing their own board games. The classroom activities are arranged in four stages that are typical of the desigr;, process. These are outlined below, together with the main strategic skills that are being developed. 1. Looking at examples. Students playa number of games which have been devised by someone else, discover faults and short-comings and suggest improvements. (This involves the strategic skills of 'understanding a situation' and 'identifying relevant factors in it'.) 2. Developing your own ideas. Students share their ideas within groups, then decide on a rough plan for their own game. (This involves 'listing alternatives', 'estimating resources required', 'making decisions' and 'detailed planning'.) Chapter 1 provides classroom materials and teaching suggestions for the sequence of activities. The range of mathematical' techniques required will depend on the students' abilities and the demands made by their chosen design. However, the range ;s likely to include: carrying out simple whole number and length calculations, estimating, drawing simple figures, using drawing instruments appropriately, understanding and using ideas of angle and parallelism, using simple tessellations to create original board designs, writing clear, concise and complete instructions, appreciating and using ideas of fairness and bias, randomness and variability. This aspect is discussed further in Chapter 2, while Chapter 3 is concerned with assessment. 3. Making your game. Each group of students produces a detailed design, then makes it up and checks the finished version. (This involves 'implementing a plan', 'selecting and using appropriate mathematical techniques' and 'checking and testing'.) 4. Testing and Evaluating. The groups exchange games and test them. When they are returned, each group re-assesses its own game in the light of another group's comments. (This involves 'evaluating the outcome of a plan in action'.) 8

9 Classroom materials Page ntroduction 11 Summary of activities 12 Preparation 14 Stage 1 Looking at examples 17 Student's Booklet with comments 18 Assessment tasks 25 Stage 2 Developing your own ideas 28 Student's Booklet with comments 29 Assessment tasks 33 Stage 3 Making your game 37 Student's Booklet with comments 38 Assessment tasks 41 Stage 4 Testing and evaluating 45 Student's Booklet with comments 46 Assessment task 47 Using the board games 48 9

10

13 SUMMARY OF ACTVTES Time needed Stage 3 About 3 to 4 hours, though students may wish to spend longer. You may wish to set a finishing deadline. Students' activities Making the board accurately and neatly using suitable geometrical techniques and other 'artistic devices'. Writing the final version of the rules so that someone else could play their game. These activities are shared amongst the members of the groups. The teacher's role Making sure necessary equipment is available and organising its use. n this stage, your group will be involved in Making the board, Collecting and making any extra bits, Writing the final version of the rules. Making sure that all members of each group are involved in some aspect of the production of the game. Encouraging and helping students to use mathematical techniques where appropriate. 24 Time needed Stage 4 Testing and evaluating About 1 hour, but you may wish to spend longer. Students' activities Testing the game produced by another group, and making constructive criticisms. A group activity. Responding to another group's comments about their own game, perhaps by improving it still further. A group activity followed by an individual reflective activity. The teacher's role Organising the exchanging of games. Encouraging students to criticise in a constructive, positive manner. When several games are finished, swap your game with one from another group. You will then test their game to see how well it works, see what the other group thinks of your game

14 CLASSROOM MATERALS Preparation This module requires students to work in groups on practical activities. n order for this work to run smoothly, it is advisable to make sure that all the necessary equipment is accessible and to consider the best way of organising the classroom. Equipment required When needed tem Quantity Source Throughout the Student's Booklets 1 for each student supplied module Envelopes or folders in which to 1 for each student keep work Rough paper a plentiful supply Stage 1 Sets of the five board 3 sets for a class of 30 supplied games with equipment 'Comments' sheets at least 3 for each master student supplied 'Looking at other games' 1 for each student master sheet supplied Assessment tasks 1 for each student masters (if required) supplied Stage 2 'Brainstorming'sheets 1 for each student masters supplied 'Rough Plan' sheets 1 for each student master supplied Assessment tasks 1 for each student masters (if required) supplied A variety of different a plentiful supply some grid paper e.g. squared, masters isometric, dotty, etc. supplied Stage 3 'Rough Plan' sheets several for each group master supplied Assessment tasks 1 for each student masters (if required) supplied Equipment listed on students' own lists (see facing page). Stage 4 'Comments' sheets several for each master group supplied 'Evaluating your 1 for each student masters own game' sheets supplied (this is also used for assessment) 14

15 PREPARATON By the end of Stage 2, students are required to write out their own equipment lists, which apply to their own designs. The following list includes items that students have often asked for. Not all of these items are essential, but most will be found useful: pencils felt tipped pens in assorted colours, including a few broad liners rulers set squares protractors compasses rubbers scissors glue, especially sellotape glue sticks coloured paper in various sizes, including some large sheets gummed paper tracing paper grid paper card in various sizes, including counters dice a guillotine in various colours some large sheets headless matches or cocktail sticks (for making spinners) some- 'Transpaseal', 'Fablon', or an alternative method of laminating the board with transparent plastic a tape recorder (to help some students write their rules) a stapler a box for each group to store things in. 15

16 CLASSROOM MATERALS Classroom organisation While using this module, it is helpful if the classroom furniture is arranged so that students can comfortably work and discuss in small groups, collect equipment, see the blackboard, which may be used for class discussions. Stage 1 may be easier to manage if the games are allocated to tables before the lesson, then when a group has finished playing o~e game, they move to a different table to play the next. This avoids having to pass the game boards and pieces around the room. For example, change this... Blackboard ( into this... Blackboard c=j ~iy Ow 00 c=j CJ ~~ c=j' CJ ipip c=j CJ [~ ([j{[illd ([j~ 00 :[0: Cupboards Equipment 16

17 Stage 1 Looking at examples ntroduction n this stage, students are expected.to play at least three games, evaluate and identify any faults in them, and then offer constructive comments on how they may be improved. The games are carefully chosen to offer variety in board design, equipment used, and skill required. They also embody a number of serious design faults. We hope that students will find that they both stimulate ideas and illustrate the kind of mistakes that should be avoided. Total time needed About 2 to ~ hours, though you may choose to spend longer. Organisation and.equipment required The students will need to work in small groups, according to the number required for each game. All the games may be played with two players, although 'Treasure sland' is designed for four players. Each student will need: one Booklet, some 'Comments' sheets (one for each game played), one 'Other Games' sheet, an envelope or folder in which to keep his or her work. Related assessment criteria This stage offers students the opportunity to show that they can: (i) follow a set of rules, (ii) evaluate a design and identify faults in it, (iii) devise and evaluate improvements to a design. Note: assessment tasks are included at the end of each stage and the role of assessment is discussed more fully in Chapter 3. 17

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