Thursday, 16 November 2017

Inquiry 2017 Summary

This year I have been inquiring into how I can improve my kids mathematical number knowledge & engagement using the Learn Create Share pedagogy. Below is a summary of what impact my teaching and inquiry had on my children.

What happened for my children and what evidence do I have?

My kids had an increase in their Number Knowledge and Number Strategies 

 - PAT data: When initially looking at the PAT data the results for my target group were not amazing but there was some shift in their scale scores.

However when looking more closely at the data I discovered  4/5 of my target children had 100% increase in the amount of number strategy questions they answered correctly and 3/5 children had 150% increase in the amount of number knowledge questions they answered correctly.

 - GloSS data: The shift in PAT was also mirrored in the children GLoSS tests

Increase in levels of engagement and enjoyment in maths
Anecdotally the children are more engaged in their maths and they are enjoying themselves. There is a nice vibe around the class, the children are more confident and have greater agency over their learning. These observations have been corroborated with data drawn from a student survey:

What did I do to make this happen?

These changes have come from a multi-pronged approach:

Use of materials with small group: In the children's small group session with me I have used materials a lot (particularly after having PD with Ko Knox). My target group are either below or well below the standard. Using materials has been effective in teaching new mathematical knowledge and concepts. The materials helped the children concretise new learning and mathematical concepts.

- Hands on follow up tasks: As a continuation from their sessions with me the children's follow up tasks required hands on application of what we had been working on. These hands on tasks again helped concretise new learnings for the children. The hands on aspect of the task also made them more enjoyable particularly for the boys.

- Create to learn tasks: The children really engaged with the create to learn tasks. The visibly enjoyed creating and working with each other. By themselves the create to learn activities were not sufficient enough to improve the children's learning but when combined with the use of materials and hands on tasks they were effective in consolidating new mathematical concepts.

I want to investigate things I can do to help my kids retain new learnings and knowledge. Often we will cover a concept/strategy and the children will demonstrate their understanding of it yet when asked about it in a months time their understanding is not as strong. Is it a matter of utilising rich learning tasks and going over the material multiple times throughout the year or is there more to it?

Monday, 6 November 2017

One child's acceleration

Today in our staff meeting we selected one child that has made accelerated shift this year and highlighted how we used Learn Create Share to support this shift. Below is a brief "impact burst' about one of my children.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

The power of co-constructing the WALT

One of my significant takeaways from PD with Jo Knox was how she co-constructed the WALT with the children at the end of the lesson. The WALT was written in language the children used and could understand.

I have since done this with my maths groups and it is working a treat and has a number of benefits.  By co-constructing the WALT the children are reflecting on their learning straight after the lesson and it has helped them cement the lesson content.

I have also seen higher levels of engagement when co-constructing the WALT.  By not letting the cat out of the bag at the start of the lesson there is an element of the unknown. This unknown creates a level of curiosity within the children which leads to greater engagement.

Finally, it has empowered the children and given them greater agency over their learning which can only be a good thing right?

If you haven't done this with your class you should give it a whirl. At the very least it's nice to mix things up a bit for both you and your kids.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Further PD with Jo Knox

Today Team 5 teachers had another PD session with Jo Knox.  She modelled two lessons using our our kids. There was a lot of great stuff that I took away from the session. Below are some of my top takeaways/learnings.

Decipipes are an amazingly effective tool for teaching fractions and decimals. I had never used or seen them before but I will be from now on. Jo used the Decipipes in a number of ways from physically modelling a decimal number to adding decimal numbers to converting fractions into decimals. Decipepes were great for the kids to physically see how 1 can be split into tenths, hundredths and thousandths and how fractions can be converted into decimal numbers for example 1/8 into 0.125.

Jo split the group into three smaller groups of 2s or 3s and got them to complete a task. When the smaller groups shared back to the larger group she got the two other smaller groups to either model with the materials what was being said or to record what was said on paper. This was a really effective way of getting the others in the group not to switch and to hone in on what was being said.

Co constructing the WALT at the end of the lesson
Usually I start my lessons by highlighting to the children what we are trying to learn today. To my surprise Jo didn't do this. Instead she co-constructed it with the children after the lesson. She asked them what they were learning about today/what the focus was etc and when the children responded she recorded it in kids language e.g WALT add decimals by taking some from one number and add it to the other to make whole numbers. Clearly Jo had an idea about where she wanted to take the lesson however co-constructing it with the children after the fact made them reflect more on what they learnt and enabled student agency.


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Term 4 is here!

It's crunch time! In two weeks time we will be starting our final round of testing and I'll be able to see how much progress my kids have made and how effective my teaching has been. In order to prepare my kids for their tests I won't be covering anything new but I'll be consolidating what we have covered this year. Hopefully in consolidating their knowledge and strategies any small gaps or misconceptions can be addressed.

Post testing I will again be looking at fraction and decimal knowledge as this is an area that needs further development for my kids. We will be looking at converting fractions into decimal numbers and adding/subtracting decimal numbers.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Perfect Punch - Ratio Lesson

The learning intention for this lesson was to solve word problems involving decimals and to justify your thinking. The video shows snippets of the whole teaching process from the introduction of the problem to the children explaining their thinking to the class. Check out the full lesson plan and child generated content here.

An interesting issue that arose was the children didn't read the question properly. The question asked was,  'How much of each drink would Jack need to make punch for 30 people' but the children read it as, 'How many batches of punch does Jack need to make to serve 30 people'.  Once the error was highlighted they were able to join the dots and do the maths but the problem was they didn't realise the error themselves.  This is a common issue for our kids, they struggle to understand either the vocabulary in the word problem or knowing what it is asking them which then has a detrimental effect on their maths. My next steps involves  unpacking the word problems with the children and guiding them to make sure they fully understand the problem before proceeding with solving it.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Quick Maths Update

Life at Pt England has been full on recently. We have all been busy making movies for our film festival and practising for our school production Live Stream. In the middle of this we have been trying to continue on with normal lessons which is easier said than done but we're getting there.

This term in maths we have been focussing on measurement and geometry. I really like measurement as it works with number really well. It is practical and the kids generally get excited about it which is nice to see.

I have also been GLOSS testing my target kids to get a gauge of how successful (or not) my inquiry has been in regards to raising their achievement. I'll let you know the results once I've done.