Bowland Maths Assessment tasks.
One of my favourite resources hosted on the STEM learning website are the Bowland Maths Assessment tasks.
The tasks often feel immediate, and usually feature a great hook:
Not to be confused with the longer, more resource-heavy ‘Case Studies’, the Assessment tasks consist of 35 short activities, usually taking around 30 minutes to complete.
The Bowland Maths site states that “although titled 'Assessment', these tasks have been designed to be just as rich and engaging as the longer 'Case Studies'. To help with this assessment, each task comes with sample pupils' work and a "progression table", showing how pupils' work on this task can provide evidence of progress. These self-contained tasks take between twenty minutes and an hour.”
Bowland Maths aims “to make maths fun for students aged 11-14, and help to develop thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills. The maths emerges naturally as pupils tackle problems in various interesting and exciting problems. The topics range from the real world to pure fantasy”.
The materials were designed to be used by a teacher in the classroom – but they include many problems and activities that can be done at home. They are very different and some are much easier than others. One of my students favourite was the Cats and Kittens resource:
Often this prompted some good initial discussion, prompted by the question- what information do we need to answer this? Thankfully, that information is provided:
The teacher material includes a handy progression matrix, sample student responses and suggested teacher feedback if your students produce similar work.
You can find the assessment tasks below.