Pure Investigations: Making the Most of It (1989)

MAKING THE MOST OF IT offers a range of support material to encourage students to undertake a pure investigation within any mathematics scheme. The material has been designed and tested, as extended tasks, in a range of classrooms. A total of about twelve to fifteen hours study time, usually over a period of two to three weeks, was spent on each task. Many of the ideas have been used to stimulate work for a longer period of time than this, but any period which is significantly shorter has proved to be rather unsatisfactory. The pure investigation tasks are, perhaps, rather different from the other two main types of extended task, those of a practical nature and those of an applied nature, in the sense that they allow students to seek out the pattern and beauty of mathematics without being constrained by real life.

The lead task in this book is called Barriers. It is based on a real life situation and provides a rich and tractable environment for a pure investigation at GCSE level.

Extended Tasks for GCSE Mathematicss

These materials were first published in 1989 to offer practical support to mathematics teachers in implementing Course Work in GCSE and in responding to other changes brought about by the National Curriculum. The Midland Examining Group has been involved in a joint project with the Shell Centre for Mathematical Education to produce a series of books containing ideas for Course Work assignments and guidance for carrying them out.

Although the references to GCSE Coursework and MEG Mathematics are obsolete, these books remain a valuable resource to anybody wanting their students to tackle extended mathematicsal tasks and investigations.

The set of materials comprises -

  • The Teacher's Guide,
  • 8 Topic Books,
  • A departmental development programme ('IMPACT').

Each of the eight topic books contains a lead task, discussed in detail with teacher's notes and examples of student work, as well as a number of secondary tasks, providing ideas for other assignments. The Teacher's Guide and IMPACT (Improving Mathematical Practice and Classroom Teaching) provide additional support of a more general nature for those involved in GCSE Mathematics Course Work.

Note: We are aware of an issue with the downloads for this series which causes them to appear at very low resolution in Preview on Apple Mac machines. If you are affected, please try opening them using an alternative PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader or Google Chrome.

Page updated 25 July 2013 - Contact publications@mathshell.com.
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