Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Some Baseline Data

PROBLEM: My kids struggle to explain and justify their thinking and reasoning in maths.

WONDERING: How can I develop the mathematical dialogic discourse ability of my children?

This week I recorded my target kids collectively solving a problem. My goal was to capture and measure their ability to explain their thinking and inquire about other's. I noted done each time each child used any of the phrases, or similar phrases below. The kids worked on the problem for 15 minutes and this is their results.It's worth noting that two of the target group were not there that day. Their row has been marked with a -. 






It's interesting to see that the children did try to express what they are thinking however it often wasn't backed up with a reason. The word 'because' was seldom used and the others were left to infer the mathematica thinking and process from what was said e.g "You add 20 to 100 and then you....". Equally interesting is that only one child asked for further information/explanation from others as they expressed their thinking.

This married up with what I have been seeing anecdotally so it's nice to have some actual data. We clearly have a long way to go in developing a community where kids can confidently express their thinking and inquire of others. My next steps involve explicitly teaching the kids how to express and justify their mathematical thinking. My kids need to view each other as both a learner and teacher. They need to connect with the idea that they can learn from their peers and that what their peers have to say is valuable.






Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Inquiry update: Let the recording begin!

PROBLEM: My kids struggle to explain and justify their thinking and reasoning in maths.

WONDERING: How can I develop the mathematical dialogic discourse ability of my children?

While I had every intention last term of recording my students in order to measure their mathematical dialogic discourse ability, due to the business of school life and external factors (a baby being born 5 weeks earlier than expected) this did not happen. 

However it's now week one of term two and I will be recording this week! It's going to be great to have some baseline data on my kids, a reference point to build from. I only wish I had done this earlier as anecdoatally I have already seen my target kids become more confident in their ability to engage in mathematical dialogic discourse. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Measuring my kids dialogic discourse ability

PROBLEM: My kids struggle to explain and justify their thinking and reasoning in maths.

WONDERING: How can I develop the mathematical dialogic discourse ability of my children?

As mentioned in a prior post,  to measure the dialogic discourse of the ability of my kids I will be recording my target group during their maths lesson and I'll be noting down each time a child uses specific justifying and explaining language and each time they inquire about others people thinking. Below is a list of questions and statements I will be listening out for. If you think I have left something out I'd be keen to hear from you.






Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Measuring and Tracking Progress

PROBLEM: My kids struggle to explain and justify their thinking and reasoning in maths.

WONDERING: How can I develop the mathematical dialogic discourse ability of my children?

One issue I had was working out how to measure the mathematical dialogic discourse ability of my kids. Anecdotally I could see that they struggle to explain and justify their thinking but how was I going to get quantifiable data. I discussed my problem with Dr Rebecca Jesson and we came up with (well she came up with) this solution.

I will record my target group during a maths lesson then I'll listen back and note down every time a child uses specific (which is yet to be decided) justifying and explaining language and each time they refer to the context of the maths problem when explaining their thinking.  I will also be noting down how often they need teacher prompts to draw out an explanation. By doing this regularly I should be able track and measure the kids mathematical dialogic discourse ability.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Target group PAT data

PROBLEM: My kids struggle to explain and justify their thinking and reasoning in maths.

WONDERING: How can I develop the mathematical dialogic discourse ability of my children?

As mentioned in my previous post my target group is made up of 3 boys and 3 girls. Below is a table of their Term 1 PAT maths data. While my focus is to develop the dialogic discourse ability of my children I hypothesise that if this happens then their mathematical knowledge and ability will also increase making them more proficient mathematicians.




The target group were selected because they struggle to vocalise what they are thinking. It's interesting to see that the struggle to explain and justify your thinking and engage in dialogic discourse is evident across the varying academic levels.


Monday, 12 March 2018

Student feedback

Recently I gave my class whole class a survey to complete around speaking in class. I wanted to hear from them their thoughts about sharing their thinking and speaking in class, how difficult they find and what makes it difficult etc.

Below are some of the interesting trends collected from my target group survey responses. My target groups responses to all questions can be found here.

- Every target child noted 'I'm afraid of what others will think of me' as a reason for what stops them from sharing their opinion in class.

- 4/6 noted 'They don't want to get a wrong answer' as a reason for what stops them from sharing their opinion in class.

- 4/6 said their equally happy sharing their thinking in front of either gender. 2/4 noted it would be easier sharing the thinking in groups f the same sex as them.

- Overall they are not interested in listening to others thinking


It's evident from these responses that I we have a lot of work to do in creating a supportive mathematical community where kids feel safe to share their thinking and one where they value the thinking of their peers.


Wednesday, 7 March 2018

My target group

PROBLEM: My kids struggle to explain and justify their thinking and reasoning in maths.

WONDERING: How can I develop the mathematical dialogic discourse ability of my children?



My target group is made up of 3 boys and 3 girls. They were selected because they struggle to vocalise what they are thinking but more importantly they are kids who work well when given a task and would be up for a challenge. Three of the children are naturally quieter than some which may be a contributing factor to them struggling to share their thinking.

My next steps involve hearing from the children themselves. I want to find how they feel about  sharing their own opinions and thinking, how easy they find it and if they find it a challenge what are the contributing factors that make it a challenge. Watch this space.