Monday, 23 May 2016

Why are we enquiring into prime & composite numbers?

To refresh our memories about what we have discovered about prime and composite numbers after the weekend and to help consolidate why we are enquiring into them, we began with this warm-up.

I posed the question:

Why are we enquiring into prime and composite numbers?

What reasons are there?

Each child wrote one reason at the top of their page.

This paper was then passed to the next child in a snake fashion around the whole class.

The next child read that reason and needed to add a different reason beneath it.

We continued passing these around adding more and more reasons until we reached the 5th prime number.

To make it a bit fun, we made it a game of elimination.

If a child couldn't add a different reason to the list, they were out till we reached the end.

We then looked at the list of reasons and discussed some we hadn't thought of before.

This helped us all to deepen our understandings of why we are enquiring into primes and hopefully helped gave us some extra intrinsic motivation to our investigations we did afterwards.

When children know why they are learning something, all the research shows that more effective learning takes place.

Some of our understandings:

° Prime numbers have connections with other things in maths which help us to understand our whole universe.

° Composite numbers are molecules made of prime numbers (atoms) which helps us understand what each number is made of.

° We can make every whole number by factorising them.

° They might help us understand the Bib Bang theory more.

° By understanding how prime numbers are the basic factors of composite numbers, we can see how numbers are connected or why they aren't.

° If people find out more about prime numbers, it might help us understand our world more.

° They are the building blocks of all whole numbers.

° Prime numbers are used to keep our money safe in banks when online shopping.

° It's interesting to learn how some animals 'use' prime numbers to survive more effectively.

° Some militaries pay a lot of money if you discover a new one, so we could become rich by understanding them more.

° They help us be better at enquiring into maths.

° They create other numbers like atoms create matter. So, we can understand how a number is made, we can understand its properties better.