C. Fonseca, J. Mateus

Research Unit for Inland Development - Polythecnic of Guarda (PORTUGAL)
There are different types of mathematical tasks, but they all have the primary aim of involving students raising their interest and critical spirit, because, only thus, they can make an effective acquisition of knowledge/skills. The tasks may be proposed by the teacher, challenges set by the student or may arise as a result of a collective dialogue. It is of fundamental interest, in the whole process, the reflection inherent at task.

In this work we present a reflection about the concept of mathematical task and we mention the different types of mathematical tasks. The work to be realized can be considered as a task, by the student, in a given time interval, with the aim that it should develop his capacity, for example, represent, relate and operate, solve problems and research in the context of the various mathematical subjects and having regard to his connection to real life situations, which are familiar. The proposed objective can be achieved using different types of mathematical tasks, namely, games, exercises, problems, projects and researches. These types of tasks are not tight, as they are considered problems suitable for a given level of education, it may be a simple exercise in later levels of education or even for certain students. These and other considerations have to be considered in the preparation and presentation of tasks. Moreover, in the actual informatics context, the agents in teaching/learning process have a great diversity of software that allows different strategies to teach mathematics.

We explore the use of tasks in the classroom, using the software EXCEL, in the subject Organization and Data Processing to Basic Education (1) in Portugal. Examples implemented in classroom are presented as well as a critical analysis of the results. Furthermore, in this work a dynamic geometry software, GeoGebra, is explored in tasks. This interactive tool is considered important in New Mathematics Program to Basic Education in Portugal and some experiences will be reported, that is related with its use by teacher and student.

[1] In Portugal Basic Education include Primary Schooling and Secondary Schooling.