Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Effective Pedagogy in Mathematics/Pangarau

This term I have been looking at maths strategies that may be more effective in my teaching practise with my priority learners. This involves reading literature, asking questions about how well current strategies are working, searching my own and colleagues past practise for more effective strategies. Fiona Grant shared this wonderful resource which helped me get started.

It was an interesting read and  I think we can apply some of the key points to other curriculum areas like reading and writing. I would like to share some key learning points that I got from this article:

Key Learning Points:

  • Anthony and Walshaw clarify that we need to build on students existing proficiencies rather than fill gaps in students knowledge and remediate weaknesses. When planning teachers need to focus on students current mathematical competencies and interests as these constitute resources on which the teacher can build. I think this is a really important point. Sometimes we pay more attention to filling in the gaps that we neglect to look at what the child can do. I am sometimes guilty of this and will now keep in mind to plan and create activities that interests the child and at the same time build his self esteem, confidence and love for maths.

  • Ongoing assessment is an integral part of instruction. Teachers need to continually adjust instruction as informed by ongoing assessments. At the Junior level I use JAM testing data, group and class observations,my Overall Teacher Judgement (OTJ), Student Reflections, Student Profile Sheets to inform my planning and practise. Knowing your learner and their personality plays an important role in your OTJ's.   I often use this evidence to regroup and sometimes cross group my learners. This information also assists me and my colleagues in planning our Explain Everything activities .
  • They also state that when designing and selecting tasks the teacher has to take into account both the students current competencies and  interests and their long term learning goals.- In my classroom learning goals are visible and children are aware of  where they are in their learning  journey and where they need to get to by the end of the year according to the National Standards. This is an important  visible tool for teachers, children and their parents. I need to start referring to them more often as children make small shifts which are just as important. 
  • The image of effective mathematical pedagogy that emerges from Anthony and Walshaw's synthesis is of teaching as a coherent system. This pedagogical system encompasses: a non - threatening classroom atmosphere, instructional tasks, tools and representations, classroom discourse.  I feel that creating a happy and safe environment in the Junior classes are so important. Developing those rules and routines especially during the first term is essential. Teaching children about caring for their device (iPad) being CyberSmart , teaching them how to use the tools within Explain Everything are all essential skills that needs to be taught well for children to be able to work independently and successfully during the course of the year. Sharing children's work on Apple T.V.  Class Blog and Individual blog boosts self esteem and confidence. 
  • The available evidence also indicates that a strong network of colleagues constitutes means of support  for teachers. There is every reason to expect improvement in teaches instructional practises and student learning where teachers participate in learning communities whose activities focus on mathematical ideas and how to relate them to student reasoning.  I would like to work on this and develop it further, having those conversations within and across year levels. When we shared our inquiry within our teams a common thing that came up which was our children were  struggling with knowledge of number even at at higher year levels. This was quite an interesting topic for discussion which  led me to think about what I need to do at the Junior Level as we share a similar problem.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

How to use Google Slides for planning

This video shows you how to create a google slide, plan your work, duplicate and paste work across groups and how to link the slide to your site. I have chosen maths as an example but you can use the same skills and techniques in other areas like reading and writing, just with a bit of editing involved. The main idea is to get the first slide perfect for each subject area which does take some time but believe me it gets so much more easier for when you planning for the other weeks.I hope this video is helpful and please leave a comment.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

How to create folders in Google Drive

This movie explains how to create folders in your Google Drive. It also explains how folders can be shared so that all content within this folder is shared to: Anyone with a link. I hope this video is helpful and I will be creating more videos about making a slide within your shared folder for a specific subject, how to upload an Explain Everything activity to your Google Drive and linking your activity from your Google Drive to your site for learners to access.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Drawing shapes and One to One Matching on iPads

Children can make and duplicate shapes to match the number.

Continue to develop skills through Explain Everything Activity. 
This is a follow up activity to help consolidate learning. Children completed as an independent task.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Term One: Maths Focus

Learning to count sequentially from 1-10 .

Children are learning to count sequentially from 1-10 with the support of a number line.

Children counting  sequentially from 1-10 with the support of a number line.
One to one pointing and reading numbers.

During the term we have been learning to take photo's. Children were given a number from 1 to 5. They had to find objects around the classroom and match the object to the number, take a photo of it and write the number. This involved a lot of skills and children were supported by the teacher.

The next task will be a similar activity and children will be encouraged to complete task independently. 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Counting One to One using Materials- The Shopping Game

I have been focussing on One to One Counting on Materials. This week we played a shopping game. Children had to roll the dice, count the dots and find the number on the number line. Some children could find the numbers easily whereas some of them had to start from 0. One child went past the number she was looking for and needed support and prompting from the teacher. Children read their number and then go shopping. They need to buy the correct number of items to match the number and the dots on the dice.

Luisa needed support and uses the number line. She counts from 0 to the number she is looking for. I am pleased that she is trying and building her confidence with number. She also knows that their are resources available to help her work out the number.

Luisa went shopping. 
She one to one matched the items to the numbers on her dice. 

A number line is used at this stage to support children who are still developing their number knowledge.
Once they are confident you can try taking it away and ask children to visualise the number line in their head. (That will be  my next focus.)
You can always bring it back into the lesson if needed.

The children had lots of fun playing this game. At the end of the session they could recognise the number 1 pattern on the dice (easiest) and the number 6  (highest number on the dice). They had an opportunity to be creative in selecting the items and also pretended eating them at the end which was the fun part.

I could also make this activity more challenging by asking children to roll two dice, count, find the number on a the number line (1-20 number line) and go shopping.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Making Shapes within Explain Everything

This resource supports teachers and pupils with iPads using Explain Everything as a tool for learning. It is essential for children to learn these skills in order for them to become independent learners. Children learn to draw shapes using the shape tool. They learn to select a shape,colour the shape and manipulate the shape by pinching it to make it bigger/smaller.