In this strand of MathTASK, we focus on tasks for Mathematics in the Primary Years. These tasks are designed for primary school teachers to reflect and discuss classroom situations in which teacher and students are engaged in activity involving primary mathematical content from the English National Curriculum. The design of these tasks draws on current and seminal mathematics education research findings. These tasks were designed by MathTASK team members led by Professor Elena Nardi and are used for seminar activity and assessment purposes in the undergraduate BA education Year 3 module Children, teachers and mathematics: Changing public discourses about mathematics.

Neil's Birthday on a Friday

This task is entitled Neil's Birthday on a Friday. It is centred around exploring when Neil's birthday will next fall on a Friday. There are several responses from the pupils as they grapple with division, remainders and leap years in mathematics. Have a go yourself at working out when Neil's birthday will next be on a Friday and answer the questions at the bottom of the task sheet.

This task is entitled Percentages, Exponential Growth and Masks. The classroom discussion is sparked by the mask wearing policy during the Covid-19 pandemic and evolves into a conversation about hospitalisation percentages and the exponential growth of infections. Read the discussion and attempt the follow up questions at the bottom of the task sheet.

Polygons

This task is entitled Polygons. It is centred around the concept of polygons and the sum of their interior angles. The task presents how some students started to think about the sum of the interior angles and the emerging formula for the general sum. Read the students' responses to the polygon task and have a go at answering the questions on the sheet.

34+35

This task is entitled 34+35. It is centred around exploring the sum of two consecutive numbers. The response to this simple sum generates a wider discussion on sums, sequences and general formulas. Read the discussion yourself and answer the questions on the task sheet.

What Makes a Number divisible by 4?

This task is entitled What Makes a Number Divisible by 4? The task focusses on students' reasoning about divisibility rules, in this case, for the number 4. The students present different statements for why they think the rule is true. Have a read of the exchange and answer the questions at the bottom of the task sheet.

Is 371 a Prime Number?

This task is entitled Is 371 a Prime Number? The focus is on students' routines for deciding if a large number is a prime or not. The students propose a variety of methods to answer the question posed by their teacher. Read the exchange and answer the questions at the bottom of the task sheet.

Is 529 a Square Number?

This task is entitled Is 529 a Square Number?  The focus is on students' routines for deciding if a relatively large number is square or not. The students present several solutions to the question posed by their teacher. Read the exchange and answer the questions at the bottom of the task sheet.

Splitting a Rectangle

This task is entitled Splitting a Rectangle. The focus is on the different ways in which students respond to their teachers' request to split a rectangle in two, and then in four, pieces. So, have a read and then answer the questions as the bottom of the task sheet.

A Present for Athena

This task is entitled A Present for Athena. The focus is on processing information from word problems and constructing algebraic equations. The responses to the problem are varied. So, have a read and then answer the questions at the bottom of the task sheet.

Which Fraction is Smaller?

This task is entitled Which Fraction is Smaller? The focus is on how students present fraction as well as what routines they use to compare fractions. The students' responses allow insight into how students cope with fraction tasks. Read the exchange and answer the questions at the bottom of the task sheet.