Friday, 23 March 2018

DMiC lesson with my mentor

Last week my DMiC mentor Don, came to my classroom for an hour to support me with my group of learners. It was a really good session and Don was patient, very helpful.

 Problem that I launched: 
 There were 18 children in a bus. At the bus stop 4 children hopped on. How many children in the bus now? I had a group of 6 children and they were paired with a partner. Each pair was given a blank paper. 

Don suggested I give them counters and a pencil to show/write down their thinking. I read the word problem and talked about it making it a real life story (picture this in your head, imagine). Don asked to me ask the children ”Do we know what we are trying to find out?” One child said “How many children in the bus.” Other children in the group had to repeat ” We are finding out how many children in the bus altogether?” Children had to work with their partners and then share back to the group. Findings: It was interesting to observe and notice behaviours of the children in that group (social interaction with each other). Some worked together as a team, made certain that they took turns. Another pair worked on the problem by themselves whilst the other two children just played with the counters. It was really difficult to sit back and watch without talking as much. Don said to praise children who are taking turns, talking to each other, telling one another what they doing, telling someone that they cannot hear him/her or to repeat what they said. We also worked on unpacking the vocabulary in the word problem. One child made 18 children using counters and took away 4 counters. We talked about what hoped on meant. They made 18 children and 4 children but then did not understand what altogether meant.

 My focus over the next few weeks is: 

 I need to create opportunities in my class where children can have these conversations. Children need to start talking to each other about their learning, thinking, problem solving. I also need to work on selecting problems that are of interest to the children for example: instead of using bus stop I could say for example: How many children at church, or in the pool, on the field. I need to find out what about my pupils likes and interests which will then lead to engagement. I also need to ensure that they understand the word problem, the language, unpack and scaffold mathematical terms and language and words for example: altogether, hopped in, left over, share evenly/equally.
 Don suggested:
 -We do our planning as a team and work collaboratively.
-When working on an activity on the iPad-work in pairs- increase confidence to talk and have --conversations with each other. Record children’s learning making it re-windable. Share on Apple T.V. and blog.

 My next steps:
 -Encourage children to have conversations, they can work in pairs, groups to complete tasks, read your PM reader to a friend, retell them the story in your own words.
-Continue to work on scaffolding mathematical language.
-Continue to talk to my colleagues, get some ideas of what they doing with their children and do some research.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Counting in 2's

This week my focus for my learners was to learn to count in 2’s.

The children worked with their partners to make a number by counting in 2’s. They used materials to complete this task.

What I noticed:
- They worked well with their partner because I deliberately paired them together using my OTJ’s (overall teacher judgement) specifically taking into account children’s:
v character and personality
v social behaviour
v strengths
v weaknesses

There was: 
-Higher level of engagement.
-Turn taking and taking to each other.
-Talking and supporting their partner (He couldn’t write the number 2 so I showed/helped him.)
-staying focused for a longer period than previous lessons.
-watching what others in the group were doing when they were stuck.
-use of mathematical equipment.

My next goal for this group is to work with a buddy and do a similar task with less support from the teacher and eventually this will lead up to completing an iPad activity supporting the learning. (Counting in 2’s). Children can record their voice within Explain Everything and count in 2’s.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Launching a problem- Second attempt

Following on from our session with Dr. Hunt and some of her suggestions I decided to have another go at a Math’s lesson.

This time round I selected 6 children and deliberately and constructively grouped children into pairs of two. I asked them to sit in specific places around my teaching table and explained how our math’s lesson would like for example taking turns, talking and helping each other and then having to explain to the group their thinking and how they worked it out.

I used the same problem Dr. Hunt used in our session.
Sheet 1- How many dots can you see?

How many dots can you see?
Each pair was given the same sheet.

Pair A&B counted the dots one by one and got 7.
Pair C&D are two very quiet and soft spoke girls. One of the girls actually surprised me with her knowledge of numbers and counted by pointing to two dots saying 2,4 and her partner said 6 and they both stopped at 6 not knowing how to add the other dot when child B who was listening to them quickly said 7. Pair E&F counted the dots one by one and got 7.

When I asked them to do it a different way:
Pair E&F counted 2 4 and then said 7.

The others counted one by one.

I then handed the group another sheet.  
Sheet 2- How many dots can you see?

They all counted the dots one by one.

I asked them if they could use another way of counting.

They could say 2,4,6 but then stopped. I then said 8, 9 and the children joined in 10,11,12,13.
I asked them to look at the 4 dot pattern and one boy used his fingers and said 4 and 4 makes 8 but we could not go further.

What I noticed was:
-       I paired the children correctly.
-       They were better focused at the table.
-       The problem launched was appropriate.
-       Having a copy per pair worked well.
-       Children can find patterns of 2,4.
-       They can notice dice patterns 5
-       They talked and helped each other see the pattern.
-       Two problems were enough, they were starting to get restless and loose focus.

-       They can count in 2’s up to 4 or 6.
-       They revert back to one to one counting because this is how they can get it correct.
-       They interested in the final answer and don’t want to get it wrong.
-       Lack of number knowledge-counting in 2’s up to 20, counting on from the largest number.

I was quite happy and surprised at what I noticed from this session. For me, the grouping of children is what made this work. I think the talk we had about what I expected from them at the beginning of the session was important. It set the scene for learning, talking, supporting and engaging with each other. I need work on my timing of session so that children don’t get restless. As a teacher doing Math’s this way, I feel that I lack the knowledge and skills of how I need to approach or support children when they are stuck and don’t know what to do next.Talking to my colleagues seems to be very helpful and encouraging.