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These investigations require a supply of calendars that, at this time of the year, should be easy to acquire. They are appropriate investigations for the beginning of the new term as they provide an opportunity to review foundation knowledge and basic skills in the areas of numeration, operations and pattern.
Have the children bring in old calendars from home. It does not matter which months are used. If the children work in groups but have their own calendar page to investigate they will have plenty to compare, predict, discuss and explain.
Before results are shared in the bigger group, the children should be encouraged to look beyond the immediate answers they get and see how the answer relates to the numbers on the calendar.
In investigating the square of nine numbers, do they identify
that the sum is three times the number in the centre?
Can any similarity be found between the three by three square and the totals they get in the rows and columns for the four by four square?
Based on the results, what predictions can be made about the sum of the right and left columns or the top and bottom rows?
Will it matter what month is chosen?
What if a different square of numbers is chosen?
What is the largest square that can be found in a month?
What would happen if they changed from investigating a square to investigating a rectangle?
What if, for example, a 3x4 rather than a 4x3 rectangle is used?
How about changing the size of the rectangle?