3-Act Tasks: Part 2

In the previous post, I discussed using 3-Act tasks as a way of opening up your tasks.

Below is a link to an article about implementing this with primary pupils (click on the photo and then download the pdf) and also a video clip so you can see it in action (click on the second photo to be taken to the video link).

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 20.56.31.png

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 20.58.07.pngIn the next post I’ll share some websites where you can find some examples of 3-Act Tasks at both primary and secondary level so you can implement this in your own class.

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Opening up your activities: 3-Act Tasks

This is going to be a series of blog posts aimed at exploring ways to ensure that many of the tasks and activities that we’re providing our pupils with are open ended.  This can be done in a variety of ways hence a series of posts rather than just one but essentially we’ll be exploring things like trying to get multiple representations of mathematical ideas; how one task could be accessed by learners at different stages of development (great for those multi-composite classes and small schools in particular) and in this case how we can go beyond just recalling information and performing a calculation.

First up is a video from Dan Meyer speaking at the NCTM Annual Meeting earlier in the year about something he’s called 3-Act Tasks.  These originally started with secondary school pupils but there are now plenty of primary schools using them too.  It’s quite a long video but definitely provides food for thought and is well worth watching all the way through!

It would be great if people could comment on what they thought and if you try any of the examples come back and say how it went.

Thanks to all those who have completed the survey in the last post already.  It’s great to get people’s feedback and there have been some really helpful ideas.  If you haven’t completed it yet, there’s still time… it only takes 2 minutes!

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PD in your PJs!

I’m trying to gauge interest in an online professional development opportunity for teachers and PSAs in Highland.  If you might be interested or want to know more, please could you take the survey below.  The survey should take approximately 2 minutes to complete!


Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 08.38.26

Posted in Professional Development | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome Back!

You’ll have noticed that there has been a bit of a lack of new blog posts since the schools went back but we’re back up and running and regular posts with content that you’ll hopefully find interesting and informative will resume!

Kirsten Mackay who has been working as the Numeracy Development Officer in Highland over the past 3 1/2 years has now gone back to class teaching and has taken up a promoted post within a local school.  She’s done a huge amount of work within Highland during her time.  Hopefully we can continue to build on what she’s done already and continue to create a culture of maths enthusiasm and support high quality teaching and learning across Highland and perhaps beyond!

We are fortunate to now have two Development Officers going forward.  I (Sarah Leakey) started in post last week and my colleague (Helen Moss) will be joining me soon.

If you need to contact me I can be found on: sarah.leakey@highland.gov.uk.
If you and your pupils/school have been up to anything that you’d like to share on the blog, please do get in touch.

I look forward to working with as many people as possible in the near future.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deputy First Minister’s Summer Holiday Challenge!


Scottish Government colleagues have advised that the Challenges will be delivered to primary schools this week.  It will also be delivered to holiday clubs and libraries and will be available at some of the Glasgow2018 venues.  Gaelic versions will also be issued.

As with the previous Challenges, the content has been very generously created by the primary school specialists within the Scottish Mathematics Council (SMC) for the Deputy First Minister.

Pleae follow these links for more information:

DFM Summer Holiday Challenge 2018



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Numeracy Development Officer Posts

Exciting job opportunities for next session!

Follow these links for more information:





Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Productive Struggle in Maths

Have a look at this interesting article about learning from failure in maths:

How “Productive Failure” in Maths Class Helps Make Lessons Stick


I found these points particularly useful to bear in mind when planning learning experiences in maths and numeracy:

  • Children need to draw on existing knowledge or intuitive understandings from their own lives to explore problems – not just from formal learning in school
  • Failure is part of learning – and therefore is not seen as something shameful
  • Tasks must be set carefully to be challenging enough to create productive struggle, but not so challenging that children will give up
  • Tasks should have multiple ways to solve problems, not just one “closed” path
  • Children will be motivated if they can relate to the problem – try to use contexts that are meaningful to them
  • Creativity is developed through struggle – teaching procedures too early can lead to rigid thinking and reliance on only one method

I also love this short clip from Robert Kaplinsky on Productive Struggle:

It would be great to hear your thoughts – please share by comment, email or on Twitter @HNumeracy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment