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# Summary:

Sometimes Mathematics needs to be unboring. I feel sorry for the classroom teacher who has to manage all the boring mathematics stuff as a matter of course. Sometimes it is important to pick the fun stuff. This is an activity that has a real skill development as well as a good fun element. You know the mathematics concept of graphing requires tally marks and keeping score and drawing graphs – Good grief, I am falling asleep already. The kids will love this activity – well they do when I use it. I have used this activity with a group of upper primary kids but, honestly, this could be applied to any class up to senior secondary.

• Identify questions or issues for categorical variables. Identify data sources and plan methods of data collection and recording (ACMSP068)
• Identify and investigate issues involving numerical data collected from primary and secondary sources(ACMSP169)

# Lesson:

Introduction:
1. Don’t teach the skill of the mathematics involved at first. I simply tell the kids to count the number of times they hear the words Al, Alan and Steve. The mathematics? Well they had to work out the maths involved themselves at the start.
Body:
2. As the students watch, they must count the number of times they hear Alan, Al and Steve.
3. Simple you say? Well just try it.
4. Have students work in groups to compare strategies and answers. Have them explain why there is such a difference.
5. Repeat as necessary  until most of the group get the correct answer.
6. Try splitting into groups of three. One count Al, one on Alan and one on Steve.

Conclusion:

1. Graph the results

# Assessment:

• There is no assessment of this particular lesson but it could be incorporated into any data assessment instrument.

# Resources:

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I started with Education Queensland in 1973. I spent a few years teaching year 6 and 7 classes in Brisbane before taking over my first principal position at my one teacher school in 1979. I progressed through the principal ranks serving in small country schools, regional high schools, secondary departments until I earned my final principal posting of my city school (830 kids) here in Gladstone where I still live. After 38 years with Education Queensland I retired from full time work in 2010. During that time I taught in every classroom from Prep through to Year 12. I am now exploring classroom practice and effective teaching in classrooms.