Wednesday, 13 May 2015

'Counting on Frank'-Inspired Investigations

Lead In:

We began by reading this fabulous picture book together: 'Counting on Frank' by Rod Clement. I've used this book for classes from Year 2 up to my current Year 6 class and have found all those age ranges absolutely love the silliness and creative thinking involved.  In the story, the lead character has a lot of mathematical curiosity and enquires into questions he wonders about such as how many metres would it take for a pen to run out of ink or how many humpback whales could fit in his house.

We discussed what PYP Learner Profile and Attitudes he was demonstrating and together came up with strategies he might have used to solve his mathematical wonderings.  A lot of discussion kept leading back to the importance of estimating as a key maths strategy and made a note on our board that this will be key to our own investigations.


Being inspired by the story, we then created our own mathematical investigations.  The children were able to use their laptops to find out the measurements of things they wanted to investigate suchs as the height of the Eiffel Tower.

How many blue whales could fit inside the Earth and                               What is the mass of Mercury in grams?
the Sun?

How many rashes of bacon would equal the mass of the         How many monarch butterflies equals the same mass
Statue of Liberty?                                                                            as 25 marbles?

How many bricks have the same mass as the Eiffel Tower?    How many African male elephants could fit inside the Palace                                                                                                             of the  Parliament in Bucharest?


Before publishing their investigation, the children grouped themselves into groups of 4 and shared their question and the strategy they used.  In their sharing, they sought feedback of the strategies they used and discussed whether there are other possible strategies they could have used instead to solve the question.


They took a publishing paper home to visually portray their investigation and were given a peer assessment rubric based upon two PYP Learner Profile attributes:

° Communicator:  Ability to clearly communicate the mathematical thinking and strategy used

° Risk-Taker:  Choosing an investigation that will challenge thinking based upon reflecting on one's
                        maths abilities

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