Atomisation – Compound Shapes

Recently I used the word coined by Bruno Reddy, atomisation, to describe the process of breaking ‘solve two simultaneous equations’ into 13 different sub-tasks.


Even more recently. Ben Gordon used a similar approach to turn ‘find the area of a compound shape’ into 28 different sub-tasks!

I’m struggling to find anything missing… the obvious one that gets overlooked is ‘find unknown lengths between parallel lines,’ but it’s in there.


So, can anyone find anything that’s missing?  Can we split the atom any further, and turn 28 sub-tasks into even more?  (Assuming calculation / arithmetic is already secure.)



About Kris Boulton

Teach First 2011 maths teacher, focussed on curriculum design.
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2 Responses to Atomisation – Compound Shapes

  1. Pingback: WARNING – Variation in progress! – Teach innovate reflect

  2. Pingback: Taking small steps: the process of atomisation | Class Teaching

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