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. 

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