Friday, 23 February 2018

Getting the non-talkers to talk!

This year, my professional inquiry is going to be focussed on Oral Language. Too many students in my class struggle with finding the words to express themselves or share a story. I want to help them learn to speak in sentences and to understand what a sentence is. I want them to extend on their ideas and include more details. We will be working on having a conversation between two or more parties, that includes thoughtful questioning.

The challenge I face is that many of the children are not used to sharing their ideas themselves. They are willing to give one word answers to questions directed at them but not initiate their own sharing.

I hope that by regular, daily encouragement and scaffolded questioning, the children will at first, at least improve their confidence to share.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Reflecting on my Maths Inquiry for 2017

This final term has gone so fast!

I have been reflecting on my journey this year and the progress that my class has made on the whole. I am really proud of how so many of them have stepped up to show their readiness for Year 3 next year.

Looking specifically at my Inquiry focus of Making Maths more Fun and Engaging for Students, I feel I have for the most part accomplished what I set out to do. I have a group of particularly enthusiastic, self-motivated, high-achievers in Maths who actively enjoy achieving new personal bests. Even the lower achievers academically, seem to enjoy practising Maths at their level and seeing the progress that they themselves are making at their Basic Facts too.

Next year, I would like to include more Strand Maths in my teaching on an ongoing basis rather just in short blocks throughout the year. I have held back from focussing in these areas in the past for fear of it impacting negatively on Number Knowledge, Add/Sub, Mult/Div and Place Value learning but I now feel more equipped to incorporate these elements alongside a Strand focus such as Measurement.

While not all my students have progressed to 'At' or 'Above' the National Standard in Maths for their level, I feel attitudes have improved towards Maths across the board and a good number of my students will continue to practise their Basic Facts at home over the holiday period.

Jo Knox PD with my target group
Addressing that monkey/banana problem from JAM.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Celebrating Accelerated Shift for One Learner in 2017

Dorothy is taking our Manaiakalani staff meeting this afternoon. She has asked us to reflect on a learner that has made accelerated shift in our Inquiry topic this year. Here is my slide celebrating shift for one of my learners in 2017.

I am particularly proud of how his engagement in Maths made a complete turn around from Term 1 to Term 4. He now enjoys and is excited to be doing Maths in class.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Maths Inquiry - Term 4.

Term 4 is already one week down and only eight more to go! With such a busy term ahead of me I think it is important to keep my Inquiry goals realistic and achievable.

I have started this term's approach to Maths by thinking about engaging the children with WHY we learn Maths and the implications their knowledge base has on their daily lives. Week 1 was a whole class focus on money. It was great to see who had prior knowledge in this area and just how many could apply their skip-counting in tens (for instance,) to counting up their 'real world' money. They all enjoyed the hands on element of getting their own little 'wallet' full of real-looking money, which resulted in a high level on engagement with the tasks.

With testing coming up there needs to be a focus on revision but also on doing their best in the test. In previous tests I have found that while I know they have the knowledge or strategy to solve a problem they don't always know when to apply that. So, revision through problem solving is my focus for the first part of the term with the second half switching to fun, engagement and strand knowledge building.

Monday, 18 September 2017

My End of Term Inquiry Presentation

I have been reflecting on the very pleasing progress my class has made this term in both their basic facts knowledge and attitudes to Mathematics. I prepared the following presentation to share my findings with my Inquiry group today:

Friday, 18 August 2017

Jo Knox and the Maths Wall

We were fortunate enough to have Jo Knox spend some time with our team this week, explaining and modelling the teaching of fractions. Particularly in moving Stage 2-4 kids on to Stage 5.

I have been struggling to find a specific enough inquiry to focus on this term, instead I have been feeling overwhelmed with ideas and pulled in all sorts of directions as to what I want to work on first, or problems that I am currently facing.

As I covered fractions earlier this year, and intend to revisit them more in depth next term, I instead want to focus on another point that Jo made in our session. She showed us an impressive video of a teacher's Maths Wall, and how that teacher uses the wall on a daily basis, over a short space of time to revisit and cement learning across a wide range of Maths learning areas.

This got me thinking about the value in daily rituals, where learning is taking place in a brief but meaningful way. I want to explore how I can develop this idea in my own classroom. I like the idea of sneaking more learning in throughout the day, in fun and engaging ways.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

My Inquiry: Planning for Maths

Ahead of meeting in our Inquiry groups for the end of term, I was reflecting on how much I have learned at the Digital Fluency Intensive, and also the amount of time this has taken me out of the classroom for. I am really looking forward to having my Fridays back in class so that we can finish all our learning for the week off properly together!

I have learned a lot about working smarter, not harder, when it comes to using digital devices and want to bring this over to my planning process for Maths. I have found planning for Maths to be more time consuming and laborious than planning for Reading or Writing. Here are some challenges I have identified and my presentation on what I could do to address these.

  • Planning for Maths seems to take so long!
  • NZ Maths - teacher instructional lesson
  • Explain Everythings to follow-up
  • 4 x groups, and the varying confidence and abilities within those groups across different contexts
  • Can I make a resource to cut this planning time down and streamline my thinking?