Thursday, 16 February 2017

Inquiry 2017 - Accelerating learning for our priority learners

Kicking off our inquiry for 2017, many of us teachers are eager to make a difference in shifting student data out of the below and well below category. But how? What can I as a teacher do to help? How can I change my teaching to cater for them? What is a priority learner? - How do I identify them? Where do we start?

Here is my starting point for my inquiry for 2017. Priority learners - Who are they? and what makes them a priority? I have identified my priority learners as that group of students who are sitting 'just' below the National Standard. I've identified these as my 'priority learners' because they have the best chance, with particular focus at filling the gaps, of achieving the standard. 

Having identified who my priority learners are, now I needed to decide what to do with them. Our school wide focus for inquiry is around mathematics. So looking at student data from 2016, I've identified a group of students who are 'AT' for addition/subtraction and multiplication/division, but are just below standard for ratio/proportions. My thinking is, if I target the learning needs of these students, the rest of the students who surround them in their groups (and will be getting the same targeted teaching/learning) will benefit from it too and therefore (hopefully) make a shift in their learning too!

Now I've reached the stage where I look at my own teaching, and inquiry into what approach I take with this group of learners that will accelerate their learning so they make more than a years progress within a normal schooling year. 

This is what I have come up with:

"Will devoting more time to number knowledge, accelerate the rate in which students pick up strategies and mathematical concepts?"

I have identified 2 areas already, based on the results from students IKAN test. Areas of concern are their place value knowledge and fractions. 

This year I have also picked up a new role as a CoL (Community of Learners) within schools. As part of my role along with "teaching as inquiry" I am also looking into what digital affordances we can provide for students which can't be done without chromebooks. 

So along with my inquiry into maths - targeting number knowledge, I also want to create activities which involve our "Learn, Create, Share" model rather than substituting activities which students can still do without the use of a chromebook.

It is no small feat what we are trying to do, but as I delve more into my inquiry and start putting things in place, I hope to update you with positive progress during this process. So watch this space!!

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