What is it?
If it was up to me, Andy Lutwyche would be knighted for Services to Maths Resources. I do not think there has been a single person who has had a more direct impact on the activities and tasks I use in lessons, and I know my students are better off for it. From Clumsy Clive to Crack the Safe, via Codebreakers, this man keeps on producing the goods. And now, to round off another year of Resource of the Week, Andy is back with a brand new type of resource: What was the question? Here, There are four sets of four problems where students have the answer but there are blanks in the questions which require filling in. Sounds simple enough, but the clever design of the questions really makes the students think hard, and promotes some fascinating discussions. This particularly member of the series concerns Venn Diagrams and set notation, and certainly got me scratching my head (in a good way!) as I was working through the problems myself.
How can it be used?
Andy explains in the notes how he uses these activities as starters or plenaries to his lesson to promote deep thinking and great discussions. For me, they could even form the main body of a lesson. Imagine you have taught the basics of Venn Diagrams and set notation. Students know all the symbols and a fairly confident at answering questions rering them to complete and interpret Venn Diagrams. This activity is then perfect to help take their understanding to the next level. Essentially students become questions creators tied to the constraint of the answer. This is challenging enough, but this activity also compels them to consider whether the question they have come up with is the only possible correct one, or whether there are a few/infinitely more out there. This is a wonderful activity, from a wonderful series, from a wonderful author.
Thanks so much for sharing