Ambitious mathematics for young Pacific learners:The Launch


Dr Jodie Hunter asks Years 3 and 4 students what the image of a tivaevae is. Cook Islands students recognise the tivaevae. These children become experts for the lesson, able to share their experiences of how tivaevae are made and when tivaevae have special significance. The tivaevae is ‘an amazing piece of art’. Because an image of a tivaevae has been used, children who do not have direct experience of tivaevae are able to quickly connect to the lesson context and learn from the knowledge of their classmates.

Implementation Alert

What works? Activating educationally powerful connections to the lives, experiences and identities of learners.

What does not work? ‘Allocating identities’ to learners. See Professor Roberta Hunter explain more in the Geometry - Connections: Tapa - Siapo - Ngatu section.

‘So, it’s got really clever maths in that!’

The problem is that there is a tivaevae pattern on a cushion, but the group of Mamas need to know how many leaves will be required for a large quilt.

The launch introduces the children to the mathematical problem and the technical language they need to understand and solve the problem. The Launch prepares them to move from images to numbers.

Dr Hunter draws the children’s attention to the mathematical nature of the ‘growing patterns’ sewn into the tivaevae.

DMIC mathematics problems are designed to engage children at progressive levels of difficulty so the problem starts with the 1st position of the growing pattern but also challenges the children to problem solve at progressive levels of challenge for ambitious mathematics. How many leaves will be needed for different positions from positions 1, 2 & 3, 5 & 7? Describe how many leaves it would have for the 76th position on the tivaevae?

The DMIC approach uses a range of strategies to engage a wide range of children in the teacher-directed discussion. So all children are prepared to actively participate in the group problem solving tasks.  The children have been challenged to take on the role of ‘Pattern Detectives’ using numbers to solve the problem. The collaborative problem solving task has been launched.