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.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Maths Vocabulary Retention

A common trend I'm seeing in maths but also other learning areas is that my kids are struggling to retain new vocabulary. It is evident form conversations with other teachers from within our school and cluster that this issue is wide spread.

An example of this was when looking at area and perimeter no child could tell me what either were, however, I knew last year I had covered it with half of them. The kids recognised the words but were unable to explain what they meant or were. Once I explained what each word meant many said things like, "Oh yeah that's right we did this last year" etc. Unfortunately this is not an isolated issue. The kids recognise vocabulary but cannot connect to it's meaning/definition. As a teacher seeing children get questions wrong in tests because they don't connect with the language even though you know it has been covered is really frustrating.

So this begs the question: What can I do to help my kids retain new vocabulary? How do I make it real for them? How do I help them make connections between the words and their meaning?