Sunday, 15 September 2013

Anyone for EduCafe Maths?

I have tried EduCafe style maths with a year 2 and year 5 class successfully.  So what is EduCafe style maths??

Divide children into mixed ability groups around tables.  I usually build a bit of fun into it by talking about how we are going to a cafe to do maths today etc.  

Each group must decide on a 'summariser'.  This is a person who will summarise the group's findings to a new group.  

On each table is an A3 sheet of paper with a problem to solve in the middle. Problems around each table vary in difficulty and type.  

Everyone must write down their own ideas and put their name on it.  To start, everyone has 5-10 minutes to solve the problem in any way they can think of.  They can draw it pictorially, describe a strategy etc.  Each group must discuss the strategy they used to solve the problem and check for understanding. The summariser in particular must be able to talk about the different strategies the group have come up with. You may need to remind children that it's ok to make mistakes.  (Classes that have already developed a culture around risk taking and learning from mistakes don't have any problems with this challenge.  If you have a class that aren't comfortable with making mistakes or don't know each other well enough to feel comfortable to do this, then let the summariser pick one strategy on the paper to summarise back to the new group).

When 5-10 minutes have passed, signal to change tables.  For year 2s I found it better that children all rotated one way, for year 5s I let them choose which table they went to next to shuffle everyone a bit (max 4 children at a table).

The summariser must not move tables, and their job is to summarise the previous group's strategies, to the new group, then that group tries to add any new strategies they can think of. 
And the process continues.

I found it beneficial to pull everyone together at the end and focus in on some of the strategies that were used to solve various problems.

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