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12 ÷ 4 = 6 ÷ 2

12 ÷ 4 = 6 ÷ 2

Cristina Milos (an IB PYP teacher in Rome, Italy) devised this prompt for her grade 4 class. She asked the pupils to prove the equation is true and also to determine whether it would be true for other cases. Students then explained their findings. The inquiry, Cristina reports, produced a great deal of excitement amongst the students.

You can follow Cristina on twitter @surreallyno. She regularly shares pictures of the mathematical inquiry her class undertakes.


Open inquiry
Amelia O’Brien used the prompt 12 ÷ 4 = 6 ÷ 2 with her grade 4 class. The pupils structured personal inquiries with "we wonder" questions (see the photo below) and their detailed notes demonstrate the creativity and energy with which they generated mathematical ideas. At the end of the inquiry, pupils shared their findings. Amelia reports that the class was involved in “rich and engaging learning" and, in general, love to learn mathematics through inquiry.

When Amelia used the inquiry prompt, she was a PYP teacher at the Vientiane International School (Lao PDR). She is now at the Luanda International School (Angola). Amelia has run workshops on using Inquiry Maths prompts in the primary classroom. You can follow her on twitter @_AmeliaOBrien.