25 Developing maths skills through active learning

Active learning
strategies for embedded
maths support
• highlighting
- ask learners to use a highlighter pen to identify the key information in a written
problem or on a workplace document
• Tarsia activities
e.g. match metric units in different formats 1400 g = 1.4 kg, etc
• estimation
- ask learners to discuss the criteria used to estimate in different contexts e.g.
recording a person's weight, noting someone's age, amount of liquid in a cup, etc
• reconstruct a table, chart or list
- give an incomplete version and ask learners to work out the missing data
by inferring from other information given
• spot the deliberate mistake
- re-create a workplace document but include some calculation errors
• can do cards
e.g. give a set of 'can do' cards featuring short vocationally-related maths
and ask learners to identify those that they find difficult/OK/easy
• different representations
- e.g. give an amount and ask learners to match different formats e.g. a reading on
a scale = a decimal fraction = a vulgar fraction
• ranking criteria in decision making
- ask learners to discuss the criteria they would use when taking a practical
decision involving money, maths, etc e.g. buying a fridge freezer, making a journey
• jigsaw and snowball activities
- two types of co-operative learning tasks that require students to focus on key
aspects of a problem and share their expertise