A couple of years ago I made a presentation to geography teachers about Core Maths. (One motivation for doing Core Maths is to support the statistical work that A-level geography students need to do.)
My colleague Scott, head of the geography department has admitted that he now “does core maths” in real life! When watching Scotland fail to qualify for the World Cup finals he heard the crowd singing “I’d walk a million miles for one of your goals” . As any self-respecting Core Mathematician should, he wondered how long it would take to walk a million miles.
Scott reckoned it would be sensible to walk 30 miles a day. He then told me it would take 92 years to walk a million miles. What’s nice is that I can use this with a core maths class. I could give them these figures and ask whether they are reasonable. Or I could play them the chant and ask for their thoughts: they might create a different question. The students could also decide on their own ‘daily-distance’ to walk. They might decide that it’s reasonable for people to walk long distances from the age of, say, 15 up to the age of 65 and could work out how far you would need to walk each day to cover the million miles. (About 55 miles per day – that feels like a lot!)
Over at the Quibans website there are lots of ‘Questions Inspired By A News Story’. They work in a similar way to this, with some sort of stimulus (usually from a newspaper or news website) and then some related questions to answer. This is ideal for Core Maths and can be used to work on problem-solving as well as to practise mathematical skills (such as percentages) in different contexts.
The tasks on the Quibans site can usually be projected in class. This question has been set up as a Quibans and can be found here. Do explore the rest of the site too.