Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Final Inquiry Reflection for 2015

The following is data based on end of year gloss testing. This is of my maths class, a total of 28 students, nine of which were in my ALIM group.

Things that I would like to focus on for next year: sorting my groups in to mixed ability, focus on fractions and incorporating strands - geometry and statistics.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Alim Impact Day Presenation

I've been privileged to have been part of the Accelerated Learning in Maths 1 programme this year.
A brief overview of the demographics of our school. We are in East Auckland and have a roll of around 650 students. The majority of the children are of Maori and Pasifika background with a small number of Asian and New Zealand European. We are a Manaiakalani cluster school and are a 1:1 digitally immersed. We base our approach on Learn, Create and Share. The resources that I used mainly were from the nzmaths site, figure it out books and the No Nonsense Maths Problem books. One activity that I felt helped with fractions was: Fraction Tagging. My focus question was: "How can I use problem solving with rich tasks to improve the learning outcomes of my target students?"

I initially chose 10 students but 1 student left so I had 9 altogether. The first week was spent setting up a treaty, creating a checklist for students to use when problem solving, having a reflection chart at the end of each lesson and sending home letters to parents.
Grouping students was important. I wanted to split children that were very chatty but also wanted confident children amongst the less confident.

I found that my "Maths Club" became more confident and began sharing their learning in class with other children. They were able to help others too. I also created a google form that I got my students to fill out. Some of the children's responses were that they really loved maths, maths was the only thing they were good at and one student loved maths because he could learn from others.
I mainly focused my teaching around fractions and proportions although I did teach multiplication and division strategies as well.

Thankfully enough, our CAP plan was already in place from previous teachers who had been through Alim so I spent some time going over it again. You'll see the data and my findings in the presentation below. If you have any questions please feel free to comment. Also thank you to Juanita and Sue for helping me along the way.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Monday, 3 August 2015

Reflecting So Far...

When I started out my inquiry I wanted to promote student discourse in mathematics. I did this by using Talk Moves. This required me to really pay attention and listen to students' when they were sharing their thinking in small groups. It wasn't easy because at times, like other students, I was confused.

However, after much practice and pulling children's thinking back to the problem and what the problem is requiring them to do, facilitating discussions became easier. Once a student shared, I would give the others in the group a raised eyebrow look and that would signal to them that they needed to ask questions eg. Can you explain how you got your answer? 

This rest of the group had to be listening when others were sharing. The children in my Integers group are leading their discussion when problem solving. If the problem is difficult then I would record their thinking on the whiteboard for others to see and this would apply for children that speak quickly. It helps others to take notice and think whether they agree or disagree with the speaker's thinking and answer.

This has changed my practice immensely. I am not talking or leading the discussion as much as I use too.

Where to next? I've focused a lot on teaching strategies through problem solving. I'm now going to focus on teaching number knowledge.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Stage 5 and 6 Strategies

I've been teaching children to recognise the way that they solve number problems and getting them to relate them to names. At the moment both the Integers and Exponents are very familiar and are more able at using Place Value and Tidy Number strategies.

Stage 5 Strategies

 Stage 6 Strategies

Thursday, 2 July 2015

ALIM: Accelerated Learning in Mathematics

This year, I am very fortunate to have been accepted to this programme. If you'd like to know more about it you can click here.
I have a group of 5 children that I have glossed prior to launching into teaching. My inquiry is "How will a focus on Rich Tasks in Problem Solving contribute to improved learning outcomes for my target students? I will be focusing on teaching fractions, proportions and ratios.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Term 2 Inquiry Reflection

Here is my reflection of my inquiry so far. I have included what has worked well, observations, what needs improving and where to next.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Progress with Integers Group

During the past week, I've been focusing on teaching division with remainders. The Integers have found this a challenge when the number being divided gets bigger. So, we started off small for example: There are 13 jellybeans to share between Karen and her sister. How many do they get each? How many are left over?
Without using materials children were able to solve this.
When I posed the question 53 divided by 10, Richard was able to use a different strategy and say that 50 divided by 10=5 and there were 3 left over. He knew that 5x10=50 (reversibility) and knowledge of basic facts.
Another question was 44 divided by 5. Machelle said the answer was 9 remainder 1. She said that 5x9=45-1 =44.
Richard disagreed. He said that 40 divided by 5=8 and there's 4 left over. Machelle had to repeat it back and she could see that was she had shared was incorrect. She showed understanding through discussion.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Teaching with Integers

During the previous weeks, I have focused on giving students opportunities to talk and share their thoughts. I had to gift them with examples of sentence starters:

You said ______________________, can you explain why did you do that?
Why did you  _______________________?
I don't agree because ___________________.
I didn't understand, could you repeat that please?

I also focused on not speaking too much and encouraged the children to speak instead. When a student shared their learning and ideas, I found that a lot of the children tended to agree and weren't really questioning or challenging what was shared.

However, children began to put on their thinking caps and had light bulb "a-ha!" moments. Discussions have been working really well with my Integers group.  Machelle is a good example. She is always commenting and asking questions. She would say, "you said ________ but that doesn't make sense because _____________". A few of the children are asking "what strategy did you use?"

By allowing children opportunities to direct the discussion empowers them and gives them ownership of their learning. It also keeps children accountable of tuning in and staying focused.

If children get side tracked during discussion, I redirect them back to the problem and ask them "what is it asking us to do?" If children are confident with their answers, (which is incorrect) I would get them to prove it using materials and prompting them along the way.

This has been a major change in my practice. I'm still learning to remember when to speak and when not too. It's hard but do-able. I'm also still learning to facilitate discussions in my lower ability groups.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Term One Reflection

Reflection: This term has been a very busy week but I've been enjoying my inquiry and looking at ways of improving my practise. Here is an inquiry presentation that I've made to explain what I've done and where I'm up to now.
 This is a short video clip of the Calculators group. These children are year 5 and 6 working at Stage 3 to 4 going into Early Stage 5.

This is a short video clip of the Exponents group. Again, these children are year 5 and 6, working at Early Stage 5.
Exponents T1 from Team 4 Pes on Vimeo.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Talk Moves

Talk Moves is a way of questioning and facilitating children discussions in Maths. However Talk Moves can be used in other learning areas.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Solving Number Problems

Last week, I thought really hard about the problems I was going to launch with my Integers group (who are my top group and who were AT the National Standard at the end of last year. To gauge where they were at we worked on this example together, here is a photo of Machelle's working out in her book.

Together we talked about underlining the most important parts of the problem that is going to help us solve it. Then they had to discuss with their buddy what operation they would use to solve this. Some children added 53+18 while others subtracted, 53-18. They talked about what words in the problem were clues. Children were able to say that Bella bough 18 of them and took them away and the words "how many are left?" indicated to them of what was left behind, what remained in the garden centre. Some children used ice block sticks to help them solve this. Others drew pictures and discussed with a buddy their working out.

I felt this lesson was successful. However, moving on from this I got the following problem from No Nonsense Maths Problems Bk2 Stage 6 and we had camp the following day.
Here is a photo of Amethyst's book and a link to her blog.
It was quite a tricky problem to unpack because of the way the problem was written. Again, some children added 75+38= while others said 75-38. If you click on her blog,you'll be able to see what she did to solve the problem. She shared this with our group and the others listened. Using talk moves, I asked children to repeat back, revoice and some questioned her working out. Amethyst then went on to prove her answer by using materials - iceblock sticks. The words "How many more does he need to sell?" compared to "How many are left?" is quite a stretch for some children's understanding. We took note of how this problem has lots more words than the last problem we had.

Where to from here? Keep focusing on problem solving, using talk moves, using materials, pulling the knowledge back to ensure children know how to break tens and encouraging active listening.

Monday, 2 March 2015

NZMaths: Mathematics Inquiry Communities

On the NZ Maths Site there is a video that reflects and shares exactly what I would like to be implementing more of, in the classroom. Click here to view

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Teaching Inquiry

This year as part of our professional development, we (the teachers) are looking at areas to specifically focus our teaching practice on. My inquiry is about assisting children in maths with cognitively engaging discussions in problem solving.

I really want to see my children thrive this year. In micro groups, I would like to see children take risks and not be afraid to share their ideas. I want the children to be active participators in their learning. I will use talk moves, solo taxonomy and other strategies so that children are thinking and articulating their thinking clearly.