Published 6 months ago by Ann Baker
I'd forgotten for a while just how exciting Week 0 can be. New teachers, new students, new challenges and lots of buzz.
I have already worked with more than 100 teachers in three days and the professionalism and collegiality has been impressive.
On Wednesday I worked with teachers from the Mt Gambier partnerships who voluntarily signed up for personalized inquiry around 'knowing their impact' and diﬀerentiation. Teachers framed inquiry questions linked to the Natural Maths philosophy and the high impact numeracy strategies identified in the education department's Literacy and Numeracy First statement. We will be collaborating throughout terms 1, 2 and 3 and presentations will be made later in the year. While at Mt Gambier I saw this book in the school library and couldn't resist. It's a simple counting book but with a special twist. At 11, one sheep falls onto the bed making it quite clear that eleven is made of 10 and 1 more. A segue into teen numbers that provides a meaningful context for having a group of 10 and some more.
Thursday was a day of problem solving in the Barossa with 60 teachers from several schools participating.
It was fabulous to watch teachers embrace the hands-on, visual approach and to see and hear them using the STAR problem-solving model. One of the problems we used is shown below, along with a very visual model of the problem.
The solution utilized some of my hands-on materials that we had been 'playing' with during the day and acted as a reminder that maths is a creative process and should not be limited or dictated by specifying approaches or materials made available.
Look at the photo and see if you can explain to yourself how it represents the problem and can also be used to prove and check the answer.
As a whole group we acted out the problem with people getting on and oﬀ the bus. We couldn't stop the early childhood teachers from singing 'The wheels on the bus… ' as the bus went along.
For more problem-solving ideas, check out our problem-solving series that is categorized by year-level.
On Friday, I worked with teachers at Coorara Primary School who are already working well with Natural Maths strategies.
The focus was planning units of work with built in pre- and post-assessment tasks leading to diﬀerentiation, shared learning intents (Top 5s) and ensuring student growth. For some teachers this was the first time engaging with the ACARA Numeracy Progressions.
Well done to all hardworking dedicated teachers this week. I think you will make 2019 the best maths year ever. Indeed, I think that should be the 2019 mantra.
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