Thursday, 14 September 2017

It's the little things that matter

My inquiry has come to a point now where its the little things that matter. The small steps we take, the teachable moments in class, and the 'warm-ups'. These are the things that matter and I (and we - as a class) need to do well. Attending to these, and planning well for these will really help towards my goal of embedding knowledge into learners - for the long haul.

As part of this, I've been trying to think of engaging warm-up activities which require students to move around in order to create experiences which will help them remember the learning better.

Here is a warm-up activity we did for Geometry - Transformations last week.
Outcome - This activity really helped students to complete their set tasks and activities manipulating shapes by rotating them, flipping them or sliding them side by side. Students were able to use the warm-up activity to help them sort out what their shape will be doing based on the task they had to do. Check out some of the poses we had. 
So although we don't give warm-up games in maths too much thought, let me tell how useful it can be, as that 5-10minute game (especially if it relates to your lesson for the day) can do a world of wonders!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

CoL teachers leading staff meeting @ Pt England

Monday nights staff meeting was led by our CoL teachers. We had Matt and Andrea lead the intro for the whole staff before we split up into teams and each of us 5 CoL teachers were allocated a team to lead. I was with Team 4 who are 5 teachers from years 5&6.

Team 4 were very responsive towards what I had to share and the task they were to complete. Some of the things they found interesting were: Some of the blogs they read about Maths from other schools resonated with them as it was the same situation they are experiencing in class. Another commented about now nice it was to be given PD time to read and learn from other teachers as it gives them ideas to try out in their class or triggers other ideas rather than being stuck in their own world of inquiry.
It was great to hear this feed back and feel how grateful the team felt that there are teachers who are putting themselves out there in terms of their teaching practice for others to learn from.

Thank you to Team 4 and my fellow CoL teachers for writing such reflective and detailed blog posts.


Thursday, 31 August 2017

Hands on Geometry

Still following on with my inquiry:

Will providing more opportunities to 'create' learning in maths help to embed strategies and mathematical concepts for students?. 

We tackled geometry this week and I spent a lot of time thinking of how to deliver the learning so that it was hands-on and engaging for students - but still getting the outcome required for level 3 or 4 of the curriculum. I ended up with a task similar to one found on the NZ maths site. Here is one of my students slides she posted on her blog -


I was quite impressed with how students responded to the activity. Students were ALL on-task and they all managed to complete their task before the end of the week. In terms of embedding knowledge, I addressed this by going through key ideas and learning at the start of every lesson and at the end of every lesson. Now students are able to say what they have learnt without any prompts and use their slides to explaining what they are talking about.

One of the things I could definitely do better next time would be to be more specific with my instructions and work space to do this kind of activity so students are not hitting each others models over due to lack of space on their tables. Otherwise overall, a very successful outcome and I am really eager to see what I can cook up for my students for next week. 

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Manaiakalani Annual Hui - Kahui Ako

As part of the Manaiakalani Annual Hui on Friday, CoL teachers were invited along as part of the poster session at the end of the day. Here we created 'science fair' type display boards about the main parts of our inquiries and made sure it was 'easy to read' and follow for others. Teachers and education facilitators who attended the Hui took part in a bingo game which required them to travel around and take interest in the boards/ screens being displayed. In order to get their card stamped, they had to look for key words in our blogs or boards such as the labels we use as part of our own 'learn, create, share' Manaiakalani Teaching as Inquiry framework.


I really enjoyed myself and while explaining to the various viewers the twists and turns of my inquiry I was also quite surprised to realise new ideas taking form from seeing it all displayed on a board. Some of the feedback I received from people were that they really liked my reflections - documenting not just the good parts but also what didn't work out and what I had to change as a teacher in order for my inquiry to move forward. I would have loved to get around and see more of my fellow CoL teachers and their displays but we sure were kept busy in our Achievement Challenge #4 corner (which was a good thing too!). I will definitely be keeping an eye out for their blog posts to see their displays too! Here are a few snap shots of bingo players leaving messages on my blog.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Term 3 Checkpoint - Staff Presentation

One of our roles as a CoL member is to keep our staff informed of the progress we make in our inquiry and our findings so far. Here is my presentation giving an overview about the different phases my inquiry has gone through. I also shared some of the successes I've had with my students as well as the failed attempts at trying new things.

So right now in my inquiry, I am looking at how I can provide more opportunities for 'create' activities in maths that can be completed within a reasonable amount of time. This is in the hopes that providing such opportunities would create experiences students would remember and recall the learning that went along with it.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Strand data - Pre test

One of my 'points of interest' that came out of one my previous post about MidYear GLOSS outcomes was: 1) Parents pointing out that STRAND work in maths was one of the weaknesses when they got to high school. 2) We had no formal way of measuring how much progress students actually make in strand.

To address this Team 5 (Year 7 & 8 block @ Pt England) decided to create our own asTTle test which covered curriculum levels 2-4 about geometry and measurement. We used this as a pre-test for the start of this term and the plan is to create a similar test for the end of the term to see how much progress students make.

Here is my Year 7 and 8 data as well as data for my 'target group' and my 'extension group'.
 
 
A closer analysis of students Individual Learning Pathways will help to target areas in which they need support in. But this is a great starting point for my teaching and I look forward to comparing it with my end of term data.