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'Guess the Dominoes' printed from http://nrich.maths.org/
Why do this problem?
encourages learners to ensure all members of the team participate, share their reasoning, listen to each other's opinions and reflect on the outcome. This 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
The task is designed to work with teams of four, taking it in turns to be "The Ruler".
Using a fifth person as an observer means that feedback can be very specific and works well either using another learner or an adult.
The aim is for the team to discuss and agree before selecting any domino to be tested by The Ruler. Does the domino obey the rule on the chosen rule card?
) are the domino cards in colour (to double nine) and here (word
) they are in black and white.
Use the rule cards in this document: (word
Guideline cards for the team and Ruler (word
, pdf) and Observer (word
) can be used to focus the learners' attention on the main aims of the task.
One of the roles of the Observer is to check discussion takes place before a decision is made and that the Ruler only responds if they feel everyone has contributed to the decision.
When teams have finished working on the task it is important that they spend time discussing in groups, and then as a whole class, how well they worked as a team. They can consider what they have learned from the experience and what they would do differently next time, particularly in terms of how to listen to each other and ensure that all members of the team participate. Your own observations,
as well as those of observers, might inform the discussions.
- Was there a choice of domino to test that was particularly useful? Why?
- Were there any ideas that proved really helpful?
- How well did you listen to others in your group?
- How did you ensure that everyone had a chance to contribute?
Choose two rule cards and only put dominoes in the Box that obey both rules. Learners may like to try one of the other 'Guess the rule' tasks, which can be found by going to this article.
You may wish to give a copy of all, or a selection, of the rule cards to the team as well as the Ruler so they have a list of possible rules. You may also wish to reduce the number of dominoes rather than using the full set of double blank to double nine.
Other team-building tasks can be found by going to this article