Task Maths, written by Barbara and Derek Ball, was published in the early 1990s by Thomas Nelson to provide a mathematics programme for secondary schools covering the revised 1991 National Curriculum.
The course consists of five student books, one for each year, and parallel teacher resource books. Task Maths provides one set of books which are intended for all students. There are not different tracks for students judged to be at different levels of ability. The student's books for the Key Stage Three course are written so as to be manageable by students working at level three and yet make demands on students working at level eight (or beyond). The books for Key Stage Four similarly cover the full spread of attainment for GCSE.
The course is organised into tasks. Each task is presented in the form of several activities (which are graded) and the specific activities and depth to which they are taken is intended to provide the necessary differentiation.
The tasks are not ‘normal’ textbook chapters but are ‘themed’. This encourages the integration of the mathematics content. The material in some tasks may be useful to supplement work in current schemes. The books also contain many helpful sets of review exercises.
The student material is colourfully presented with frequent links to the type of software available at the time - particularly Logo, BASIC programs and the mini-spreadsheet ‘Spread’. While not identified as investigations, many tasks leave opportunities for extension and creative student input.
The teacher resource books contain answers and some teaching suggestions, for example discussion opportunities. The is also much cross referencing to the 1991 National Curriculum which is no longer relevant. Apart from the cover, these books are in black and white only – which has the advantage of making it easy to highlight.
This collection of resources was published between 1991 and 1993. The mathematical content is still very relevant but some of the teaching approaches may be at variance with those supported by National Strategy materials. Some of the software used, especially Spread, is unlikely to be available to most teachers although the ideas can be transferred to other, more recent, software.
HEALTH and SAFETY
Any use of a resource that includes a practical activity must include a risk assessment. Please note that collections may contain ARCHIVE resources, which were developed at a much earlier date. Since that time there have been significant changes in the rules and guidance affecting laboratory practical work. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance.
Resource by: Nelson Thornes