MLATS Learning and Teaching Mathematics: Number

MLATS: Mathematics Learning & Teaching for Success

Saturday the 9th of August 8:30am-3:30pm

Presenter: Sarah Ratcliffe

The Rationale for MLATS

The teaching of mathematics is a complex business, and in the busyness of school life, teachers often do not have time to reflect on the teaching and learning cycle, on what is working well and on what could be improved. Additionally, many teachers have expressed a lack of confidence in their own mathematical knowledge, which in turn impacts on their teaching of mathematics.

The interplay between school mathematics and the development of numeracy is complex. MLATS core course offers a broad introduction to the teaching and learning of mathematics and numeracy, and seeks to help participating teachers identify the mathematical knowledge that students should be learning, and makes explicit the teacher’s role in supporting all students to be successful.

Our broad range of other workshops and short courses are designed to meet the needs and interests of teachers.

For information about MLATS and courses available please see the link attached. http://mlats.com.au/

We need to report to the achievement standards in ACARA and be mindful of IB curriculum too.

Sort and classify activities (newspapers, houses, categorise and sort houses by number/ patterns, relationships)

When/ How do we give our students the opportunity to:

  • Identify and describe attributes
  • Identify and describe relationships
  • Think logically to classify and order
  • Handle data

 Thought: Being confused means that you are learning.

 Being Successful means:

50% confidence

25% attitude

25% IQ

(I shared this with my students and they were so surprised and relieved!) This was one of my highlights.

I don’t need the answer I want the process.

Students need to construct meaning for themselves.

Students need the factual and procedural knowledge but they also need to know when to apply these in everyday problem solving tasks.

EMU: Extending Mathematical Understanding Intervention program. Something worth looking into at St Andrew’s School. http://www.ais.sa.edu.au/__files/f/133092/Extending

I am concerned with students whom I have worked with who have difficulty with number concepts and Sarah (Course leader) suggested that they might have dyscalculia. I had not heard of this term so did some brief research about it. Here is what I found.

What is dyscalculia?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyscalculia

http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/dyscalculia/what-is-dyscalculia

http://www.dyscalculia.org/math-ld-books

Formative assessment: A discussion about how we assess mathematics formally came up in this session. We have one summative Maths assessment per term and base some of our results on testing and general maths tasks in bookwork, on iPads and through observations. I liked the idea of introducing Maths Journals, which is something we can do quite easily using the iPad in the 1:1 program currently running in Year 6.

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Ideas for the Journal:

Prompt reflections in Mathematics. (Links to IB: Reflective & Thinkers).

I challenged myself by…

Next, I want to…

I worked…. Because…

Next time I will

An activity I thought would be great for our buddy class visits:

Write a procedure on how to draw a graph. If you had to explain how to draw a graph to Year 1 students what would you tell them?

Mathematics Inquiry Cycle:

Provocation and reflect

Investigation and reflect

Share ideas and reflect

Test, draw conclusions and reflect.

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MLATS rules for working:

  • Choose to work alone, in a group or with a partner but everyone must do their own recording
  • You can choose to use concrete materials or work without them
  • You must seek to understand what you are doing
  • If you need help, follow the procedures to get it.

What do we mean by numeracy and mathematics?

Numeracy is the practical use of mathematics in context.

Developing Number Sense:

Counting

Estimation

Subitising (the ability to know how many are in a collection without counting)

Place Value

Part-Whole Relationships

Four Operations

How can we develop estimation skills?

Handful Grab Game. Estimate and counting games. Refer to MLATS booklet.

Mental Computation: Do this every so often but make sure to go through the processes afterwards. This is important for developing quick thinking strategies as well as going over different strategies each student has used and trying them in the next mental computation quiz.

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I found this image about Adult usage quite interesting but not shocking. We as adults use calculators, estimation and mental computation strategies before written strategies. Yet we are getting our students to record and write their Mathematical thinking in their books all of the time. We need to create a balance here and make sure that we are giving students the opportunity to estimate, use calculators and solve mental problems.

My goals after this workshop:

I always like to set myself a few goals after a workshop and at least attempt one or two of them within that week.

1. Year level Maths Survey and Data Collection task. How are our students feeling about Mathematics? How do they prefer to learn? Ability Ranking data.

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2. Maths Journals/ Reflections after the lesson. This won’t simply be a separate book but at the end of the lesson allow for reflection in their maths book or on their iPad.

 

3. Mental warm up strategies as per my PLP Goal (See Heather for demonstration lesson asap). Go through the mental guides in the MLATS booklet.

Resources:

The Van de Walle Professional Mathematics Series.

Two of Everything. (JP Book)

Open Ended Maths Activities: Using good questions to enhance learning in Mathematics. 2nd Edition. Peter Sullivan and Pat Liburn.

Ontario

About Teaching Mathematics: Marilyn Burns

Origo: Thinking Caps

www.origoeducation.com

Maths Solutions: http://mathsolutions.com/about-us/marilyn-burns/

All Hands on Deck

Number Pieces Basic app.

 

Have You Tried Turning it Off and On Again?

The 1:1 iPad journey has been one of huge learning curves for my students and myself. We have constantly been working out how to resolve technical iPad issues, and one of the most common starting points and our class tagline is “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

Digital Leaders

This week in Genius Hour (http://www.geniushour.com/) a couple of my students created this clever poster display for our classroom. They like to be referred to as my Tech Support Team but I am also flagging the idea of Digital Leaders within Upper Primary at our school.

One of my goals will be to begin working with Digital Leaders within my ICT Club (Co-curricular lessons) to establish a team of students who can assist their peers, teachers and other staff members with their technical difficulties. This may also extend into students running mini tech lessons in classes. This idea was born after following Nick Jackson @largerama (http://largerama.creativeblogs.net/) , who I saw at a CEGSA Conference in 2013 promoting the idea of Digital Leaders in schools. Nick also came to our school to meet with leadership to discuss options for our school.

These are some exciting ideas, which have created high levels of student engagement. I also believe that this kind of learning is purpose driven, allowing students to take responsibility for themselves and others, and importantly it gives students the opportunity to develop leadership qualities.

For more information about Genius Hour:

Language and Literature Unit: Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence

For the last two years my team and I have been developing a Middle Years Programme (MYP) unit of inquiry in Language & Literature based on the novel and film “Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence” by Doris Pilkington and directed by Phillip Noyce.

I was introduced to this inquiry unit by my colleague Andy Peartree (http://anderspearz.edublogs.org/) who had historically taught this unit to Year 6’s in previous years. Paul Huebl and myself enjoyed team teaching this unit in 2013, but this year I have been teaching the subject to all students across the year level on my own.

I have adapted the unit and made some changes and thought it was worth sharing with others. I have attached the following documents:

1. The MYP Unit Planner: Language & Literature T2 RPF 2014

2. The Task (Comparative Essay) and Assessment Rubric: Rabbit Proof Fence Rubric 2014

3. The Novel & Film Study documents:Rabbit Proof Fence Novel & Film Study 2014

4. Essay Planning Document: Individual RPF Essay plan

5. Rabbit Proof Fence Display Posters: Rabbit Proof Fence signs

Within this unit we have been exploring the MYP Statement of Inquiry: Films and novels convey the same message to an audience.

We have been comparing different texts to see if the same messages can be conveyed. I have used the film and novel, “Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence” and the picture book, “The Rabbits” by John Marsden and Shaun Tan, to see if the theme and messages about the Stolen Generations were conveyed similarly and which medium was the most powerful.

We have had some pretty amazing and powerful reactions from students, especially after watching the film and looking at the following clip to anaylse the director’s work about the abduction scene:

My students are now in the process of analysing the film, doing guided reading sessions and making text connections with “The Rabbits” by John Marsden and Shaun Tan.

RPF photo copy

The final assessment and response to this unit will be a written piece (comparative essay) responding to the following questions:

Did the novel or film communicate the story “The Rabbit Proof Fence” better? Why?

        

         Compare the ways the film and the novel explore your chosen theme.

 

Explain why you think that one communicated the theme better than the other.

This is the first essay my Year 6 students have written so quite a bit of scaffolding has been required. I’m looking forward to reading their completed responses and final reflections about the inquiry statement after this assignment.

Staff Professional Learning Plan: The Process in 2014

This year our school has developed a new Staff Professional Learning Programme to aid professional refection and refinement within our own areas of work. This process will allowed us to self-assess and monitor our professional needs. It will also assist us with the process of meeting AITSL Standards.

http://www.aitsl.edu.au/

The Process of Evaluation & Goal Setting is as follows:

The whole evaluation process breaks down into seven identifiable stages.

1. Meeting 1: Introduction to the process. Teacher self-reflection and assessment of Teacher Professional Standards. The teacher reflects on their practice and completes the self-assessment tool and domains.

2. Preparation for Lesson Observation/s: 
The teacher meets with the member of the Leadership Team acting as supervisor to negotiate a lesson observation. Lessons will be filmed.

3. Student surveys: The teacher organises with their supervisor a time for the supervisor to administer the  student surveys with their class. Student surveys and lesson observations provide valuable feedback on teaching practices and areas that the teacher wishes to focus upon.

4. Review of Data & goal setting: The teacher collates and reviews the Self-Assessment of Teacher Professional StandardsStudent Surveys, and Observation Notes and builds their journal/portfolio in order to begin generating SMART GOALS using a set template.

5. Meeting 2:  The Action Plan
Review and Goal Setting: Teacher and supervisor meet to discuss the teacher’s action plan and SMART goals.  
The teacher and supervisor meet to review collated data and documentation. Goals are to be written in reference to the focus area within the AITSL professional standards and as SMART goals.

6. Meeting 3: Goal setting sign off: Teacher, Principal and supervisor meet to agree on collated data and SMART goals. This should occur within two weeks of meeting one.

7. Goal review meetings: 
Teacher and supervisor meet three times over the next 12 months to review and monitor progress of SMART goals.

I have been working through each of these steps and am currently up to Stage 5.

I am going to create a blog post about each step of this process to provide evidence of my journey and professional learning.

This is one way of formally documenting my progress to provide evidence for my school’s leadership team. I will also find this process useful to keep track of my goals and tick some of the AITSL Standard boxes.

Wish me luck!

My Personal Pedagogical Profile

Personal Pedagogy

As part of my school’s development of school vision, staff have been dedicating time to explore their personal pedagogy. This has been done through our IDEAS program to assist staff in developing a Professional Portfolio to benefit school direction.

These are some of the questions we have been asked to consider and respond to:

How do my personal talents and gifts shape my pedagogy?

What counts as a specialist ‘knowledge’ in my work?

What is my personal pedagogical philosophy?

3D Dimensional pedagogyhttp://www.eqa.edu.au/site/powertotheprofession.html

We were asked to participate in four tasks to assist us in discovering and refining our personal pedagogy.

This post will explain each of the tasks undertaken personally and my professional stance on my personal pedagogy.

 Task 1: My Motivation for Teaching.

Teaching for me has always been about developing relationships and bonds between students, families, staff and teachers. Once relationships are built we can work together to achieve common goals. Teaching and learning involves making connections with individuals to assist them with their personal development. I believe in the development of the whole child, not just the ability to meet curriculum outcomes. As an educator I am passionate about realising the potential and strengths of each child to assist them in achieving their goals. I believe in valuing the individual and helping them to contribute to our world in their own positive ways. The process of learning opens the world and mind. We are all on a learning journey and as a teacher I love to inspire, motivate, navigate and join in on the journey of lifelong learning.

Task 2: My Experience.

I have been teaching in primary schools for ten years. During this time I have taught across all year levels. I am a R-7 teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator. I am currently working at an independent school, teaching Year 6 students.

I am continuously working towards developing my knowledge and understanding of the International Baccalaureate program in order to assist me with my teaching strategies. I have been working in the MYP( Middle Years Programme) for the past two years. In particular I have been developing my MYP planning skills and exploring the possibility of taking on specialty subjects across my year level. At this stage I would like to specialise in Humanities, Language A and Personal Development. I have been encouraged to explore the MYP further, attend more professional development and take in as much as possible, whilst also making sure that I am meeting the National Curriculum standards.

During our IDEAS session we were asked to reflect on an event that changed the way we teach. In the last three years I have been working in an Independent School, previously I worked in public education. This change of workplace has had profound effects on my teaching and learning. I went from working in a low socio-economic school with underprivileged students, with challenging behavioural and learning needs (full classes of 30 students) to a highly accomplished school with privileged students varying in academic abilities (Average class size of 20 students). This had huge ramifications on my teaching practice. I have had more time to focus on my teaching skills as opposed to my behavioural management strategies. I have also been able to cater for individualised learning, smaller class sizes have allowed more time to refine my strategies to cater for differentiation within my class.

I have identified that there are similarities between my students from both schools. Every child is an individual who requires guidance on their learning journey, in particular their social and emotional development. I believe that social and emotional well-being is of significant importance within education. Developing students ability to be resilient, confident, organised, persistent and get along with others (You Can Do It Education. The Five Keys of Success: http://www.youcandoiteducation.com/whatis.html) is of great importance within all areas of learning. I have been teaching using the YCDI Programme for the last 5 years and have noted that the majority of my students have made academic improvements as a result of developing themselves in these areas. Using the positive habits of mind and developing self-confidence, setting personal goals and aiming to achieve them. It is due to my experience within this area of teaching and learning that I have developed a keen interest in studying counselling, to understand and assist my students with their development. I am considering studying part time in the near future to further my qualifications within this field.

Task 3: My Personal Profile

Part of the IDEAS staff task was to use the Myers Briggs model to identify our personality profile.

For more information about the Myers Briggs Model follow this link: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/tt/t-articl/mb-simpl.htm

An online Myers Briggs Test can be found here:  http://www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html

I formally completed the Myers Briggs test in 2010 and was identified as an ENFJ. After our IDEAS session I still identified with the ENFJ preferences. This is what the letters stand for and how I identify with them.

The E stands for Extraversion:

This means I focus on the outer world of people and things. I am energised by what goes on in the world and I prefer to communicate more by talking than writing. I need experiences in the world in order to help me to understand it.

The N stands for Intuition:

This means I look for meanings, relationships and possibilities that go beyond the information from the senses. I look at the big picture and try to grasp overall patterns. I am an expert at seeing new possibilities and I value imagination and experiences.

The F stands for Feeling:

I make decisions based on person-centred values. When making decisions I consider how important the choices are to myself and others. When conversing with others, I tend to become sympathetic, appreciative and tactful. I value harmony and work hard to ensure my environment is harmonious.

The J stands for Judging:

This means that I prefer to live in a planned and orderly way. I endeavour to regulate and control my life by making sensible decisions, setting up routines and structures, being organised and settling or resolving issues when they arise.

I believe that my personality profile adequately mirrors myself privately and professionally. The main characteristics that reflect my teaching strategies are as follows:

  • Learning lessons through experiences- hands on learning, real life lessons, relevant and engaging content where students experience and participate.
  • Building relationships and developing students personally, especially in regards to their social & emotional well-being.
  • Balanced- organisation, planning, structure, predictability and routines which lead to consistency.

Task 4: My Assumptions, Beliefs, Philosophies that inform my practice.

This task saw us identify our personal beliefs about teaching. Here is an image of the task completed:

Personal Pedagogy

We also studied five different philosophies of teaching:

Type B: Behavioural Education- education for compliance and standards. People: Skinner & Tyler

Type C: Comprehensive Education- general education for life. People: Aristotle, Socrates, Plato & Piaget.

Type P: Progressive Education- education for problem solving in society. People: Dewey, Sizer & Spady.

Type S: Social Change Education- education for transforming society. People: Freire & Illich.

Type H: Humanistic Education- education for self actualisation. People: Carl Rogers, Maslow & Montessori.

My dominant philosophy of teaching lies within Type H, however I have strong identifications with Type S too.

Here are some links to information about educational philosophies associated with Type H:

Carl Rogers: http://www.simplypsychology.org/carl-rogers.html

Maslow: http://web.cortland.edu/andersmd/maslow/homepage.html

Montessori: http://www.montessori.org.uk/what_is_montessori/the_philosophy

Here is my personal pedagogical philosophy based on the work I have done over the course of Term 4:

My Educational Philosophy

Students learn in a variety of different ways and as a teacher, I plan to meet individual needs. I am willing to learn new practices and teaching methodologies to assist my students with their learning goals.

To ensure I cater for the diversity within a classroom, I plan and program individual student learning goals to allow for differentiation. I work with students to set their own learning goals as well. I believe students should be aware of their personal achievements at school and also have input to what they want to learn about. I am keen to use structured and purposeful inquiry methods to teach students how to be life long learners to make relevant connections with our world.

I believe it is important to know where students are beginning in their learning journey in order to assist them with where they need to go. Therefore, frequent assessment and testing is critical in a child’s development. It is vital to keep this data to measure student successes and to build upon those successes. My assessments enhance accurate reporting to parents and fulfil my teaching duties and accountability.

It is my duty within the classroom and school setting to provide a stable and friendly learning environment for my students.  A nurturing and collaborative classroom environment will enhance student learning opportunities. I want my students to experience their own learning journey with some direction and guidance from myself to keep them on track with their learning goals and to extend them further. I want to be the facilitator of learning but also learn from my students. They have a world of knowledge and understanding from their own experiences in life. We are life long learners in a connected world.

Most of all I want student learning to be relevant, fun, engaging and purposeful. We never know what kind of world our students will be living in in the future, so developing life skills such as problem solving, creativity, ingenuity, cooperation, collaboration, risk taking, inquiring and effective communication can play an integral role in the development of a child for success in their adulthood.

Please leave me some feedback, I’m new to blogging and appreciate constructive criticism. Always craving to learn from others, please retweet me to educational professionals.

Jade Vidovich

Catering for Differentiation: Not just a saying, evidence of action.

Catering for Differentiation

Earlier this week a parent emailed me about their child’s IEP (Individual Education Plan). The parent questioned what I was doing to cater for their child’s learning needs and asked if I was actioning the plan. I wrote the IEP with assistance from our Learning Support Team and the school counsellor, I have actioned the plan to support the learning and behaviour management of my student.

This email allowed me to reflect on my practice and provide evidence of catering for differentiation within my response to the parent email. I think that as educators, we often differentiate without realising that we are doing it. It comes naturally; we alter our plans and teaching methodologies to suit individuals. These are my modified emails/ responses to outline how I catered for one of my students.

Email Conversations:

Parent Email 1:

Hi Jade,

The current unit of inquiry requires an investigation of Maori and Australian experience with settlers. Could you please email me the process steps you have provided to (student name) to undertake this work (as per the IEP)?

Regards, Parent

My 1st Response:

Hi Parent,

Absolutely.

1. We began this assignment on Monday and the first step was to brainstorm prior knowledge about the Maori people and Aboriginal Australians. To cater for Student’s needs in this particular task I allowed (name) to work with a partner, other students chose to work in small groups, which I know doesn’t always suit (name’s) learning style/ needs. They created Venn diagrams comparing what they already knew about the two cultures.  We also wrote down some questions we had about these cultures ready for our next lesson to direct our lines of inquiry.

2. Today we will begin to inquire into Maori & Aboriginal Australian history. I have pre-selected some video links for (name) (and others) to view along with some printed texts, this will ensure time is not wasted searching online and students will mainly focus on the questions they developed on Monday. We will share the inquiry process in groups or partners. In (name’s) case I will encourage them to continue the investigation with a friend and ‘check in’ on their progress at intervals throughout the lesson.

3. On Thursday we will continue the inquiry process. Again I will provide texts and some sites for (name) to read/search. The main focus here will be looking at the impact British Settlers had on both Maori & Aboriginal cultures and how they differed.

Class discussions will also take place to share learning and understandings; I have created guiding questions & prompts to make sure everyone is on the right track. Notes will be taken independently on their understandings from discussions.

4. On Friday, students will individually reflect on their findings and answer this question on their blog:

How was the collision of cultures in New Zealand different from Australia?

 This will involve comparing and contrasting how the Aboriginal and Maori peoples reacted and dealt with the arrival of British settlers.

It is important that in your response to the above questions you discuss both the differences themselves as well as the reasons for them.

 Your blog post will need to include a bibliography of websites and texts used.

This is an in class investigation, not a homework task. All students will be given this week to complete the task.

As always I will be supporting (name) with redirection, tuning in tasks and providing relevant texts for their use. The benefit of working with a partner will allow them to use texts selected by a peer too. (Name) has appeared to be quite interested and engaged in this topic based on reactions from Monday.

I hope this has been suffice, it is actually refreshing to write down this process for you as I usually do it naturally without communicating it. This is something I must remember to blog about as part of my personal professional reflection on my practice, of course omitting student and parent names.

Thanks Parent.

If you have anymore questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

Hope to hear back from you soon.

Regards

Jade

Parent Email 2:

Hi Jade,

Thanks, but I meant the list of steps on ‘how to do this assignment’ for my child.

I.e.

1. Write a list of what you know about aboriginal Australians and settlers.

2. Write a list of what you know about Maori people and settlers.

3. Create a Venn diagram.

4. List questions you need answered.

Next lesson:

5. Search xxxx

6. View xxx and write down important points.

7. What key words or phrases would you use to search the Internet to answer your questions?

Etc.

From the IEP I thought (name) was to have a ‘to do’ list. (Name) is a bright student who needs direction – They completed their homework last night then we spoke about the school-based work. The ‘to do’ list will guide and teach them how to do research.

It was the same problem last year as (name) didn’t understand how to do the research and work was left to the end.

Could you please help (name) with a list of steps to follow?

Thanks Parent.

My 2nd Response: Humanities Task Week 3

Hi Parent,

I have attached a checklist for the inquiry process we have been doing in class. It is a ‘to do list’ which will hopefully guide (name) through the process. I will keep on developing this process, I feel that some steps may need to be broken down even further, which I can do verbally if need be. These are my initial attempts and I will be speaking with the Deputy Principal about receiving extra support from the school as I am finding it challenging to dedicate more time on developing this by myself and would appreciate some guidance and feedback with this. I want to develop a template of ‘to do lists’ that I can update easily and regularly, just need time to get this done and I’m hoping that Learning Support can assist with this process.

Appreciate your support

Will chat with you soon.

Regards

Jade

Parent Email 3:

Hi Jade,

Thanks so much, this is what is needed. I am happy to help you develop these if the school is not so helpful.

Regards Parent

The parent was pleased with the checklist and process provided. This is an ongoing process to assist one student with his learning needs.

This is evidence of my communication method with parents and how I aim to collaboratively work with parents and other staff to assist and meet the needs of individual students.

So often teaching professionals use the term “catering for differentiation” but lack the understanding or evidence of how they actually do this. It is something that teachers do on a daily basis, sometimes without even realising it. I think it is important to reflect on moments like these to acknowledge how much teachers do for each individual child in their classroom. It is important to provide an education to our students, but it is more important to ensure that the education they are receiving is in fact suitable for their learning needs, styles and preferences. Are we catering for differentiation? Well in my case, I think so.

Words of Wisdom from My Students

My colleague Paul Huebl, stumbled across a brilliant teachable moment whilst demonstrating how to record audio tracks and insert them onto blogs. I thought it was a great idea and attempted the same task with my students too.

The task was for our students to provide words of wisdom to the Year 5’s in preparation for Year 6 in 2014. I asked my students to prepare a sentence about Year 6 and how to be successful within our year level. Students were encouraged to create their own phrases or find an inspiring line online.

This was out result:

Words of Wisdom

Here are the post it notes of their words of wisdom as a wall display in our classroom:

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This is where I found my inspiration: Visit Paul Huebl’s blog for the full post:

http://paulhuebl.com/

Blog Post by Paul Huebl:

As part of teaching my students how to record and mix an audio file as a substitute for writing a blog post, I created this. Making it up as I was going along, I thought it would be a good idea to have each of my students come up with ‘words of wisdom’ that they want to share with next year’s Year 6′s. I thought it would be interesting for my current students to reflect on something that they see as important for ‘surviving’ Mr Huebl as a teacher. All the kids participated with good humour and this is our result.