Unit 3 learning overview
You can use this overview to inform your planning and help secure children's learning of the mathematics covered in the unit. It includes investigating problems involving measurement, presenting graphs including line graphs and using ICT, drawing conclusions and suggesting extensions, carrying out experiments, predicting likely outcomes, and comparing outcomes against predictions and giving reasons for differences using the language of probability.
Children investigate a problem that involves measurement. For example, they consider: Does practice improve performance in PE? They discuss how they could test this. For example, they might agree some activities to practise for a week (e.g. timing a 100 m run, measuring a standing jump, measuring a throw, seeing how many goals out of ten can be scored from a certain distance, and so on). They recognise that they need to establish performance at the beginning of the week and at the end, and that this may affect the type of activity they choose. They consider how they will measure each activity accurately, design a recording sheet or database for their data (or create one, using ICT), and then collect their initial information. They practise the activities over several days and measure performance again at the end of the time period.
Children decide how to present the evidence most effectively to help them to answer the question. They use ICT to help them present graphs and charts quickly, and interpret their graphs and charts to draw their conclusion. They suggest and consider further questions such as:
- 'Which activity improved most with practice?'
- 'Was this a fair test? What could we have done to improve the test?'
Children create and interpret line graphs, for example to answer the question: 'What type of exercise results in the greatest increase in heart rate?' (linking to the science unit 'Keeping healthy'). Children determine several kinds of exercise to investigate, such as jogging, throwing balls, walking, skipping. Children speculate on what factors could change their heart rate. They predict and discuss what the outcome of the investigation will be and why. They practise how to measure their pulse to determine their heart rate. They agree how they will work together to collect the necessary data and create a data collection sheet. Children measure their pulse at rest, then carry out the activity for an extended period, stopping at timed intervals to have their pulse measured before carrying on.
Once all the data is collected, children draw a line graph (or create one, using ICT) for each activity to show the change in pulse rate over time.
They discuss whether it is meaningful to join the points and what the line between points tells you. They interpret their graphs and discuss issues that may affect its shape (e.g. stopping to have pulse rate measured). They answer questions such as:
- 'What sort of activity raised heart rate the most? Was this what you expected?'
- 'Does heart rate keep rising if you keep exercising?'
They suggest extensions to their enquiry such as:
- 'Does heart rate increase similarly for boys and girls?'
- 'How quickly after exercise does the heart rate return to normal?'
Children reflect on the data handling process and consider some of the limitations of their work.
Children review the language of probability, placing words such as certain, likely, even chance, unlikely and impossible on a probability line. They carry out an experiment with a hexagonal spinner with equal sections labelled 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. They recognise that each of the numbers 1 to 6 is equally likely to be spun. They spin the spinner 30 times and use a frequency diagram to record their results. Children compare results and answer questions such as:
- 'Which number is likely to occur most often?'
- 'Which score was the mode?'
- 'Are all the results the same?'
Children collaborate to bring together the results for the whole class. They produce a bar chart, using ICT, to show the frequency of each score. They comment on the results.
Children change the numbers on their spinner to 4, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6 and predict what differences this will make to the experiment. They order these statements according to their likelihood:
- 'On the next spin, the spinner will land on number 4'
- 'On the next spin, the spinner will land on number 5'
- 'On the next spin, the spinner will land on number 6'
- 'On the next spin, the spinner will land on number 7.'
Children compare the order of their statements with others, and discuss their reasons for placing each event where they have. Children then spin the spinner 30 times, noting the frequencies. They record the frequencies and compare them with their predictions.