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'Shaping It' printed from http://nrich.maths.org/
Why do this problem?
enables pupils with a wide range of attainment level to work on the same challenge to improve their concepts of shape and space. It also offers opportunities for further investigation and for pupils to create their own challenges.
This might need to vary according to your learners' experiences. For those who have good pencil, ruler and measuring skills, some of the examples here (Word document or pdf) could be presented. You could ask children to describe what they see, with a partner first and then open it out to the whole group. Discussion could follow that would allow pupils to decide what their own explorations would be. Some may want to create their own whereas those who struggle with motor control may wish to explore the
It could be that you ask children to feed back about their discoveries orally, or you may wish them to create a poster of some kind. Encourage them to explain their observations. This activity could lend itself to being investigated over an extended period of time (a 'simmering activity') and it would be useful to dedicate a space on the wall for learners to contribute their work
during that time.
What have you been exploring?
Tell me what you have found.
Some pupils may be encouraged to use a spreadsheet to explore sizes of different lengths/areas. Others may be encouraged to compare results when the new lines are placed a quarter (or other fraction) along the previous lines instead of half way.
Some pupils may need to have help with the fine motor skills required whilst being interested in the overall effect of performing this kind of action on a shape.