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'Arranging Counters' 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
What are you aiming to
For the task:
The team has to recreate an arrangement of counters that matches
all the information on their cards, without showing each team
member's information to anyone else.
As a team:
- Allowing everyone to contribute
- Asking questions and finding out what others think
- Sharing knowledge and reasoning
- Reflecting and making use of what has been said
- Coming to a consensus
You will be working in a
team of four. Ensure that you have plenty of red, green, yellow and
blue counters. You cannot use paper or pencil to help you because
you need to listen to what others have to say.
Discuss how you will work
together and share your ideas.
Put the pile of 12 cards
face down in the centre of the table.
Tackling the problem
Each member of the team takes a card from the pile in turn (enough
for three cards each).
If you have an
observer, they might find the following list of things to look for
helpful and feed back to the team at the end of the task.
- Team members cannot show their cards to anyone else on the
- A team member can describe what is on each of their cards.
- Team members can ask questions to help them make sense of what
is on their cards, or on someone else's cards.
- The task is complete when everyone agrees that the arrangement
they have made matches everything that is on their cards.
- Check that no one reveals their card or writes anything
- Identify points where team members share knowledge and
reasoning and listen to each other.
- Identify points where team members make decisions
- Note whether all members of the team are involved.