Abstract maths concepts for Australian students

Maths Doesn’t Have to be an Abstract Concept- Angles

Sometimes when working in remote community schools it might seem like some concepts will never have real application for remote students who choose to live and thrive in their own remote communities.

Angles might be one of those for some students. So connecting the concept to students lived experiences is really important. They can see how angles have been used traditionally by their old people, the uses in their current lives and the potential to use them in future careers or activities.

Do you know how angles may have been used traditionally? Although Bruce Pascoe doesn’t go into angles themselves- his book Dark Emu shares some of the amazing traditional tools and ways of life of First Nations people in the past. Reading Young Dark Emu with your students might spark ideas of how angles may have been used in the past. Some of the things might be the right angle for fish traps, the angle of the sun/moon/stars for seasons or hunting, the right angle to carve a spearhead for maximum outcomes.

Can you think of any ways angles are used in everyday remote life today? The right angle to kick a footy to get it through the goals, what angle to cut a cake to share it evenly, reading the time and more.

By linking your topics to your students culture, real life and life experiences you are more likely to increase engagement, retention and encourage rich learning.

Your First Nations teachers, or assistants may be a great source of knowledge and activity ideas. They might have some interesting ways to use concepts out on Country- such as finding rocks with different angles to sort at a waterhole, taking pictures of all the different angles in branches and deciding what each would be best for (cubby house, a possum to hide, tree climbing), creating fish traps etc.

Our Teachers Pay Teachers resource ‘Angles in Real Life- Aboriginal Australian Context’ (TPT store or online shop) is a great little resource pack to support you in introducing this concept and increasing student engagement in the topic.

It is also a great ‘jumping off point’ to further research traditional First Nation tools, modern uses or current careers. You might do a hands on investigation of the best angle for a spear head, or you might research how and why fish traps were used for example.

How do you introduce angles? Do you have a great activity idea?

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Hi, we are Hakea Hustler and Carl Merrison

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