Book Review: Mathematical Modelling – A Collection of Classroom Tasks

Mathematical Modelling: A Collection of Classroom Tasks is a comprehensive guide for primary and secondary teachers, providing them with eight modelling tasks to use in their mathematics classrooms. These tasks were developed and tested with students during a Mathematical Modelling Outreach event hosted by the Mathematics and Mathematics Education Academic Group at the National Institute of Education of Singapore.

The book is designed to guide teachers through each stage of the modelling cycle, allowing them to effectively scaffold the learning journeys of their students. Additionally, the book provides teachers with notes to help them facilitate critical questioning and thinking in their classrooms. The recommended facilitation structure for the tasks includes mathematical concepts, skills, processes, metacognition, and attitude, all of which are key areas of focus in the Singapore Mathematics syllabus. Furthermore, the facilitation structure emphasizes the importance of creating meaningful learning experiences for students, enabling them to engage in in-depth discussions of mathematical ideas.

The tasks presented in the book are based on real-world contexts, offering rich mathematical opportunities for students. Additionally, these tasks serve as platforms for students to develop 21st-century competencies, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills. By engaging in mathematical modelling activities, students can enhance their mathematical literacy and develop skills that are highly valued in the modern workforce.

One of the key benefits of using mathematical modelling in the classroom is that it allows students to see the relevance of mathematics in their everyday lives. Modelling activities provide students with an opportunity to apply their mathematical knowledge to real-world problems, thereby making the subject more engaging and meaningful. Furthermore, mathematical modelling activities foster creativity and innovation, as students are encouraged to think outside the box to find solutions to complex problems.

The tasks presented in the book cover a wide range of mathematical concepts and skills, from data analysis and statistics to geometry and algebra. Each task is designed to challenge students at different levels, providing opportunities for differentiation and personalization. Teachers can choose the tasks that best suit the needs of their students, and modify them as necessary to ensure that they are appropriate for their class.

Overall, Mathematical Modelling: A Collection of Classroom Tasks is an invaluable resource for mathematics teachers. The tasks and facilitation structure provided in the book enable teachers to effectively implement modelling activities in their classrooms, thereby enhancing their students’ mathematical literacy and 21st-century competencies. By engaging in these activities, students can develop a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and skills, and become better equipped to succeed in the modern world.

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