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 :)


Monday, 31 July 2017

End of Term 2 reflection

On the last week of Term 2, we met in our inquiry groups to discuss how our inquiries were going. I shared how my inquiry was going, and some of the trends I was seeing in my data. It was really exciting to share that my target group had changed, and that my focus on proportions and ratios had paid off for some of the children. In terms of my next steps, I am looking at how I am making the learning clear for the students in my class. I have an expectation of students reaching stage 7, but if they don't know what that looks like, how can we expect them to reach it? I have started by showing the students the difference between a stage 6 and stage 7 strategy in addition and subtraction. I will keep you posted on how this goes!!




Sunday, 7 May 2017

Staff Pd, Term 2 week 2

Today we had Jo Knox in speaking to us for Maths PD. The objectives of the PD was to

- Identify clear links between Number framework with national curriculum levels and National standards

 -Know how to use assessment data


Knowledge and strategies intertwine.

Knowledge:
Number Id
Number sequence and order
Grouping and place value

IKAN is a tool to assess knowledge

Strategy:
Add/sub
Mult/Div
prop/ratios

GLOSS is a toll to assess strategy

"The primary purpose of assessment is to improve students learning and teachers teaching as BOTH student and teacher respond to the information that it provides"

-How is this assessment informing our planning and teaching?

Formative or summative assessment?

Formative assessment, including diagnostic testing, is a range of formal and informal assessment procedures conducted by teachers during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment.

Summative assessments are used to evaluate student learning, skill acquisition, and academic achievement at the conclusion of a defined instructional period—typically at the end of a project, unit, course, semester, program, or school year.

Exploring Number Knowledge:
Numeral ID, Sequencing and Ordering, Grouping/ Place Value, Basic Facts:

Important pieces of information we should know instantly- or so the Ministry says. Jo disagrees, so took away the time limit on certain sections of the IKAN
Advantages: It is quick
Disadvantages: time pressure, chn have to look up and down, questions go too quick.

Reflection: Maybe IKAN is just to be used for specific chn to provide a snapshot
Maybe give chn to option to sit back with their marked test and they can fix up the ones they know (not wasting time learning what they know) and then pick two things they want to learn based on their mistakes.

Spider graphs for GLoSS and IKAN
These are great to show the glaring gaps, where students are aiming for, and their strengths. Be careful if the kids are working well below, as their lines will all be in the middle and might discourage them.

How do I use the data to inform my planning?
IKAN class summary sheet: shows gaps (highlighted)
Highlight all data, including names
Data: sort range: column d. 
This will sort from lowest to highest stage. Will show some common gaps in knowledge that you can fill as the Teacher.

PAT tests:
Individual reports give stanine, where the chn sit on the bell curve, black correct answers, light is incorrect, transparent is omitted. Red line is the average. The key will show you whether the test was too hard or too easy. 





Thursday, 9 March 2017

Mid term post: What are the steps I am taking to improve student outcomes?

Kia Ora! So far this term is proving to be a busy one filled with interruptions, however there have been some significant changes in the way math is run in Room 4!

The biggest change I have made is implementing a workshop based math rotation. This provides 20 minute sessions where children work through basic fact activities, Maths whizz time, a 20 minute rotation with me, and then 20 minutes on their site, working on their maths tasks.

The rationale behind this was that I felt the kids were lacking engagement in their work, and were spending too long on one activity, without actually finishing anything!

This rotation also provides the opportunity for the kids to finish their activities, and move onto 'may do' activities, where they feel like they have choice in what they are learning.

So, it is still early days, but I have already noticed the kids engagement levels are up, and because they can check in with me each day, they are held more accountable for how much they are getting done. It also means that hopefully we can get through more content and accelerate their learning!!

 (Kids using modelling books from teacher workshop to work through their presentation)
Stay tuned to see how we go!!