Saturday, May 28, 2011

RISPs: Rich Starting Points

Ahhh, I like these. I think they'll be a good addition to my practice, mainly in pre-calc, which I'll be teaching in the fall.

Jonny Griffiths, whose pages I've been exploring, gives these  definitions:
Rich: "pregnant with matter for laughter."
Starting: "making a sudden involuntary movement, as of surprise or becoming aware..."
Point: "that without which a joke is meaningless or ineffective."
- Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary
Jonny seems to be a maths teacher in the UK. He uses these problems in his classrooms. RISP seems to be a common term in the UK, from what I can tell. Each RISP is in a pdf, so you have to dig in to find the ones you like. 

Odd One Out gives a list of 3 numbers or functions or ..., and the student's job is to give a way in which each one of the 3 could be considered the odd one out. If the list were 2, 3, 9, the students could say '2 is  the only even number', '3 is the only triangle number', '9 is the only composite number'.

Building Log Equations uses cards, which students use to build equations, and then the students decide whether their equations are always, sometimes, or never true.

I'd love to get the first book on his list: Starting Points for Teaching Mathematics in Middle and Secondary Schools, by Banwell (and others). But it starts at about $50 used. Maybe the UC library has it.

Have fun digging!

1 comment:

  1. These are amazing, Sue! I've already downloaded the free e-book version of his set of RISPs and started combing through them. Thank you for sharing this find!

    - Elizabeth (aka @cheesemonkeysf on Twitter)

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