Sunday, 27 August 2017

clarity in the classroom- in all areas

This morning we started our maths session off with a look at our maths whizz graph, and how as a class we were doing. We once again looked at last weeks progress, and celebrated the significant shifts we had made as a class. Then we had a look at what our weakest are was. We could clearly see it was rapid recall in times table and division, so as a class, decided this would be the best option for our focused learning. 

We are currently (on average) working at 9.52 years, and have set a goal that our average will be up to 10 years old by Sunday. It is an optimistic goal, but I felt it was important to set high goals, so as not to put a 'glass ceiling' on the kids. 

Upon reflection, I think maybe I should be looking at these gaps on math whizz a bit more closely, and tailoring my site work to match their focus on math whizz. This would mean that all work links, and chn are getting consolidation from both means of maths.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

significance of focused tasks in Maths Whizz

In my previous post I mentioned how I was using the focused task section of Math Whizz to fill gaps and boost learning. I noticed the biggest area for improvement was solving word problems, so Week 5 was the week of that!

I set the task on Monday, and talked with the kids about the graph, and our average age in word problems. Then we talked about our goal and how each child needed to get through 4 progressions in order to get a green tick next to their name!

It is now Wednesday and the shift has been amazing! In 3 days, the kids have moved nearly 4 months! We celebrated this as a class, and talked about if this was the shift in 3 days, imagine the shift we could see for the remaining 5 weeks of Term 3!

NB: Math whizz is used as a supplementation tool, not as a substitution for lessons and teacher time. It is just making sure the tool is used so that it is as effective as possible.

Mid term thoughts and hunches

This week we have been reflecting a fair bit on our inquiries, and how we are impacting student achievement. I have noticed a real sense of excitement in maths, where the kids are starting to feel like the goals are attainable for them, now that they are beginning to understand what each stage looks like.

I spend a bit of time at the start of each lesson going over a 'strategy of the week', in order to try and make learning more visible for the kids. We look at that strategy in stage 6, and then look at the equivalent strategy in stage 7. This is to try and bring that clarity into my class, that will help the kids know where they are, where they need to be, and how to get there.

The kids seem to love this (student voice pending) and enjoy the 'challenge' that stage 7 work presents. Obviously this is still way beyond some of my kids, but there can't be any harm (surely!!) in exposing them to it. In fact, research says this is exactly what we should be doing.

I have been looking a but more into math whizz and how effective it is in my class. I have had a muck around with it and realised I can set focussed topics! It also has a feature that shows where students are struggling. It shows that in my class, my students are working at an average of 9 years old in solving problems! This shows me that my kids don't understand word problems presented to them, or don't have the prior knowledge necessary to answer them!

I have been reflecting on how often I am exposing my kids to these in class, and realised that even though I know that is good practise, it has been the last thing on my mind!

So, next steps are to collect that student voice to see if kids know where they are at, and expose them to/explain to them how word problems work!

Stay tuned to see how we go!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Term 3, week 4 sharing- inquiry question changing!

Today we met in small teams, and shared what we were up to with our teaching inquiry. It was a really good opportunity to get a look into what other teachers were up to in their classes, and we were able to notice some trends appearing across the school.

I shared with my group my next steps for my inquiry. I felt my inquiry question was too broad, so now I am looking at what impact making the learning clear for students will have on their progress.

This is focused around previous PD I have done around the book 'clarity in the classroom' by Michael Absolum, and looks at how I am making the learning transparent for the kids, so they know where they are, where they are going, and how to get there!

Have a look at my powerpoint below to get a bit more info, and see my next steps to evidence this!

My next post will hopefully share how that has worked, and hopefully I will have some evidence to back it up!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Digital Immersion: Term 3; Connected learners share

Kia Orana,
Today I attended the Term 3 digital immersion PD. It was a fantastic day where we explored the 'share' element of our practise. Above you will see a connect 4 activity that we completed, to practise the way we 'share' online. Feel free to have a look through. Below I have attached the slideshow that Fiona took us through. 

Overall it was a fantastic day with a lot of learning. I actually wish we had multiple of these a term!

Thanks for reading :)