Mathematical Wizards

Room 5 “Our place” inquiry provided us with the opportunity to investigate and learn about the shapes in our local environment.

First, students were given a shape and they had to independently identify and sort 2D shapes by their appearance. We worked in small groups to create these shape posters which teach us about the names and attributes of each of the 2 D shapes (i.e. sides, corners) and examples of these shapes in our environment. 







Next Room 5 students worked in the same groups to go on a Scavenger hunt of shapes around the school. Each group was then given the challenge of going out in our school place to find their own examples of their shape. They also had to use mathematical language to explain why they thought their object should be classified as that shape (justify). 








Elyse’s wheelchair wheel is a circle shape because it has no sides. It is a circle so it can roll. (Laura)

The senior playground disc is a circle shape because it has no sides or corners. It is round so you can keep your feet on it easily. (Max.S)

The Enviro fence is a diamond shape because it it pointy on all four corners. (Benjamin)

The senior playground railing is a square because four sides that are the same. It is not a rectangle as it does not have 2 short and 2 long sides. (Aria)

My leaf is a diamond shape because it has four sides. It has a pointy top and bottom. (Tane)

The monkey bars are a triangle shape because it has three sides. It has the same number of corners as it has sides. (Falanisi)

The climbing wall is a rectangle shape because it has four sides. Two are short and two are long. (Alysha)

Then the students were given the opportunity to be creative with shapes. Through “Arty shapes” students were asked to create their own pictures and explain what they had created.  

I created a Kea bird who steals blue stuff and rips peoples tents. (Kian)


I created a robot with a cannon, sword and a razor sharp blade. (Falanisi)


I created two sparkling robots playing soccer. (Leela) 




During the “Our Place” inquiry this term we also collected information about where the students in Room 5 lived. Then we created a pictogram to display the data we collected.  We then used the data display to make statements about what we observed. Here are some of the findings we made:


Is it true that Wairakei Village and Taupo town have the same number of people of Room 5 living there.  Response - no because Taupo town has 3 and Wairakei Village has 2. (Cameron)

What is the difference in the number of people who live in Room 5 between Kinloch and Acacia Bay? Response - five people live in Kinloch and 4 people live Acacia Bay. The difference is 1 person. (Max.P)

Is it true that the Farm area has 10 more people living there than Taupo Town. Response - there are 13 people who live on the farm and 3 people in the Taupo Town. The difference is 10. (Jackson)

Is it true that there are more people living in Acacia Bay then Wairakei Village? Response - yes there are 4 people in Acacia Bay and only 2 in Wairakei Village. (Charlie)

One day I worked with a small group of students in a maths workshop about Position and Orientation Level 2 Robots - students explored movement and direction concepts in the context of using coding (sequence of instructions) a robot to move around a grid. The instructions focused on the position language of forward, backwards, right, left and quarter turns. 

Before we got started we, Frankie, Leela, Lilee, Kian, Jackson, Ben and Max talked about the fact the robots do not think for themselves. The only reason they move is because someone has given the robot a set of instructions. Without these instructions the robot can not do anything. We brainstormed the answers to the following questions: what is a robot? What are they used for? Why are they used? Can robots think? Do they have a brain like a human brain? If not, how do they know what to do? What sort of instructions? We discovered a robot has wires, metal, body and a head. Robots are used for technology, science and to work in factories for building things. Robots help to do things because they don’t get tired and they can do dangerous activities. Robots can’t think for themselves so people tell the robots what to do. People write programmes and codes which tell the robot what to do. They use instructions like forwards, backwards, left, right, end.








Keywords: rectangle, square, triangle, diamond, hexagon, circle, corners, sides, parallel, Curriculum links: Mathematics - Geometry - Shape, Digital Technology - Computational Thinking