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'Making Rectangles' printed from http://nrich.maths.org/
is one of a series of problems designed to develop learners' team
working skills. Other tasks in the series can be found by going
to this article.
What are you aiming to
For the task:
Every member of the team
has to end up with the same rectangle in front of them. The task is
only successfully completed when everyone on the team has completed
As a team:
- Responding to the needs of others
- Helping others to do things for themselves.
You will need to work in
a team of four. If you have a fifth person available - use them as
an observer (see guidance below).
Distribute the 16 pieces
randomly amongst the team (four pieces each).
Tackling the Problem
How to play
Players pass pieces to
other team members in order to help one another complete their
- No one can talk or give non-verbal signals to other members of
- Each member of the team starts with four pieces in front of
- The pieces in front of each person should be visible to
- Team members can only give pieces; they cannot take pieces from
- Each team member must have at least two pieces in front of them
at all times.
Use an observer to check
that the team obeys the rules and offer one of the hint cards if,
after a period of five minutes, the team is not making any