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Preparing for the New Year

Published almost 2 years ago by Ann Baker

Planning and Shopping

Busy getting my head back into planning and developing more on-line courses after the silly season. We've had an amazing time and are loving having guests in our gorgeous new home.


What do I want to do better this year, is a question going around in my head. Last year I made a big effort to be as curious as possible about what students were doing and thinking and why and I actively encouraged teachers to do the same. We can learn more about where students are at and what and how they are thinking and developing concepts by ‘kid watching’ than we can from other sources. The key to this is to be really interested and curious about what they say.

Learning to notice takes practice.

As I reflected on the push for curiosity and noticing it occurred to me that, while I am consciously doing that in classrooms all the time, I may not be modelling this as I work with teachers. Yes I listen and watch and plan what to say next and so on but do I stop and ask:

So one goal this year is to model the noticing process as I work with adults not just when I work with students.

Top 5s - Reflection Tool For Teacher Sessions

Recently, I ran a Leaders Day and I presented three Top 5s for the day. They were my intentions for the sessions and also served as a focus for reflection at the end of each session.

The process was very successful, and I had to wonder why I do not apply the strategies that I use when planning and reflecting in classrooms when I work with adults. If I want teachers to use the tools then perhaps I should model them at the adult level as well as at the classroom level.

So I have another intention this year and that is to create Top 5s for the sessions that I run.


Yes a girl has to shop.

On my list at the moment:

A new journal. I loved keeping and sharing my maths journal last year and have just enjoyed flipping through it as I plan for this year. I am going to include pages about the adult workshops this year not just the classroom activities. I hope you all keep your journals going, read last years, start a new one and share with us.

A flip chart so that I have nice smooth, large-sized paper to create anchor charts, as I work in classrooms and with teachers and of course some bright pens and blutac to go with it.

Lots of snap lock bags or zip lock bags for creating little maths kits, take home activates and provocations. Some of you watched me work with little measurement and magnitude kits last year all made with lots of cheap bits and pieces, so yes I have to go to all of those dollar shops in Adelaide again as well as consumables that cost next to nothing.

Lots of dice, mine always seem to have legs.

Wrapping paper, such a good source of cheap fun maths investigations.

And last but not least some new ‘mathsy’ picture books. I already have four new ones. Possum and Wattle and Kangaroo and Crocodile. While they are net meant to be maths picture books, the scope for exploring pattern, counting, symmetry, subitising, spotting doubles and rainbow facts abound. Ten Scared Fish and Bush Bash are stunning counting books with lots of possibilities.

What’s on your shopping list?

What are you planning? What are your 2018 goals?

Let us know. Have a great year with your students.

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