Open ended Mathematics questions are an excellent way to encourage students to problem solve and draw upon their understanding and knowledge of geometry concepts that they have been taught. These tasks are able to cater for a broad range of abilities and Mathematical needs as students can work at their own level. They make ideal assessment tasks.
The first seven student pages have a grid for students to use if they choose to do so. This 1cm2 grid has been included for those students who may need extra assistance and a beginning point (we all know that is where the issues often start!). The following pages include the same tasks but with no grid.
Please note that these are not standalone lessons. Explicit teaching of some skills will need to be pre-taught before these tasks are completed. It is advisable that students have access to a range of Mathematical equipment including but not limited to rulers, Multi-attribute Blocks (MAB) and grid paper. For the ‘kitchen table’ task, I have had students make a 1m2 out of newspaper first as a separate lesson to illustrate how big the size is and then use this for the task in the next lesson.
All open ended questions include a learning intention and a space for students, class or teacher to write the success criteria. At the end of the lesson it is important that student have an opportunity to reflect on the learning involved in the task so I have included several ways to do this. Each task has a simple ‘how I feel about today’s lesson’ apple colouring indicator that is coloured in at the conclusion of the lesson. Secondly, I have provided written reflection sheet that students can fill in and lastly, a series of questions have been included to allow the teacher to either ask students verbally about the task or get them to write written responses in their learning/Maths journals. These 24 questions are based on the revised edition of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
These tasks cover Mathematics content from the Year 4 and Year 5 Australian Curriculum. Whilst they are aimed at these year levels, activities may be used in other classes/countries and is entirely up to your professional judgement.
Recommended lesson length is 40 to 50 minutes