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, 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.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Back to the drawing board - My new wondering

As mentioned earlier my Manaikalani COL inquiry wondering was "How can I use Developing Mathematics Inquiry Communities (DMIC) pedagogy to develop the vocabulary of my kids? The focus was on developing my kids general vocabulary using DMIC maths.

Having done some research into vocabulary development I have since decided that trying to develop general vocabulary requires different pedagogy to that of  DMIC maths. I was also challenged by Dr Rebecca Jesson to think more about the problem I'm trying to solve before I think about how I'm going to go about solving it e.g vocabulary development pedagogy or DMIC maths. This was great advice and I have now identified the problem I wish to inquire in to.

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

In fact the struggle to do this in other areas too however it is particularly poor in maths (my hunch is if it improves in maths it will also improve in other areas). This lead me to a new wondering. 

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

This year I will be endeavouring to find a solution to this problem. Any thoughts/ideas you have on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Venturing into DMIC maths

I have taken the plunge and have introduced DMIC maths in my class. DMIC maths sees the students actively engaging in problem solving and taking more responsibility by actively listening, justifying their thinking and inquiring into others thinking to help them with their own understanding.

DMIC maths has every one as participating equally as part of the community or whanau.  Every one shares their thoughts, every one asks questions and everyone is in charge of developing their own mathematical understanding.

Venturing into DMIC maths has been a challenge for both myself and the kids. The kids have been used to the teacher telling them how to do things, which strategy to use and when to use it, so to turn that upside down, having the kids being active participants rather than a passive sponge, is foreign to them. They have been reluctant to talk, share their thoughts or challenge other's thinking but the good news is we are seeing progress.

Equally I'm used to teaching specific strategies for specific problems. I'm used to telling them the information I think they need to know. So to take a back seat and actually listen to what the children can work out together without jumping in with my way of doing things is a struggle.

We're into our 3rd week of using DMIC pedagogy and the kids are slowly getting use to it (as am I). Discussions are being had and mathematical thinking is starting to be challenged. I have seen glimpses of what it could look like once our mathematical community/whanau is alive and thriving.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Manaiakalani COL Inquiry 2018

“Recognising and spreading sophisticated pedagogical practice across our community so that students learn in better and more powerful ways...”

The Manaiakalani Community of Learning is working together on this task using the expertise existing in of our community of learning.

Like last year I have selected the following CoL achievement challenge for 2018.

#6. Lift the achievement in maths for all students years 1-13.
More specifically my focus question is : How can I use Developing Mathematics Inquiry Communities (DMIC) pedagogy to develop the vocabulary of my kids?
The teaching as inquiry framework I will be using in 2017 has been specifically co-constructed for Manaiakalani schools using our familiar Learn Create Share structure.
The elements in this framework share close similarities with other models New Zealand teachers use.

I will be labelling my posts as I update my inquiry throughout the year to make the content easy to access.

LEvidence, LScan, LTrend, LHypothesise, LResearch, LReflect,
 CPlan, CTry, CInnovate, CImplement, CReflect,
SPublish, SCoteach, SModel, SGuide, SFback, SReflect

Label Key:

Learn - Gather Evidence
Create - Make a plan
Share - Publish
Learn - Scan
Create - Try new things
Share - Co-teach
Learn - Identify Trends
Create - Innovate
Share - Model
Learn - Hypothesise
Create - Implement
Share - Guide
Learn - Research
Create - Reflect
Share - Feedback
Learn - Reflect

Share - Reflect

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Dr Jannie Van Hees and Dr Bobbie Hunter PD

Today Dr Jannie Van Hees talked to the COL teachers about how to better develop the language acquisition of our children. She had a lot of great things to say but what really stood out for me was closely it aligned with Dr Bobbie Hunters PD on Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities DMIC. DMIC see's the children doing the speaking, explaining and justifying their thinking.

Both Dr Jannie and Bobbie had these goals as part of the social norms of the classroom:

 - Every contribution is valuable
 - No hands up
 - Everyone's effort is honoured (by teacher and children)
 - Children valuing/taking seriously/actively engaging with other children's thinking.

This Year I will be endeavouring to make these social norms part of my classroom as I explore DMIC maths with the lens of language acquisition.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Inquiry 2017 Summary

This year I have been inquiring into how I can improve my kids mathematical number knowledge & engagement using the Learn Create Share pedagogy. Below is a summary of what impact my teaching and inquiry had on my children.

What happened for my children and what evidence do I have?

My kids had an increase in their Number Knowledge and Number Strategies 

 - PAT data: When initially looking at the PAT data the results for my target group were not amazing but there was some shift in their scale scores.

However when looking more closely at the data I discovered  4/5 of my target children had 100% increase in the amount of number strategy questions they answered correctly and 3/5 children had 150% increase in the amount of number knowledge questions they answered correctly.

 - GloSS data: The shift in PAT was also mirrored in the children GLoSS tests

Increase in levels of engagement and enjoyment in maths
Anecdotally the children are more engaged in their maths and they are enjoying themselves. There is a nice vibe around the class, the children are more confident and have greater agency over their learning. These observations have been corroborated with data drawn from a student survey:

What did I do to make this happen?

These changes have come from a multi-pronged approach:

Use of materials with small group: In the children's small group session with me I have used materials a lot (particularly after having PD with Ko Knox). My target group are either below or well below the standard. Using materials has been effective in teaching new mathematical knowledge and concepts. The materials helped the children concretise new learning and mathematical concepts.

- Hands on follow up tasks: As a continuation from their sessions with me the children's follow up tasks required hands on application of what we had been working on. These hands on tasks again helped concretise new learnings for the children. The hands on aspect of the task also made them more enjoyable particularly for the boys.

- Create to learn tasks: The children really engaged with the create to learn tasks. The visibly enjoyed creating and working with each other. By themselves the create to learn activities were not sufficient enough to improve the children's learning but when combined with the use of materials and hands on tasks they were effective in consolidating new mathematical concepts.

I want to investigate things I can do to help my kids retain new learnings and knowledge. Often we will cover a concept/strategy and the children will demonstrate their understanding of it yet when asked about it in a months time their understanding is not as strong. Is it a matter of utilising rich learning tasks and going over the material multiple times throughout the year or is there more to it?