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. 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

DMiC Session 2

In this afternoon’s session Dr. Hunt wanted the teachers to share whatt we have being trialling in our classroom.

What are we doing in our maths lessons?

What’s working, what’s problematic?

Here are some key points of Dr.Hunt’s response to our discussions.

-Teachers are at the stage of gathering evidence. When we are testing children we should also be noticing what they can do and apply in a problem.
-We should be asking children to repeat other children’s idea, encourage participation with others.  Children have to justify what they said for example: "Why did you say this?”
-Getting children to talk more, listening, focusing, paying attention.
-You are arguing with that idea, disagree with that thinking not with your partner.
-Explicit talking:  I disagree with this idea because……
(That’s a good thing to do because you’re learning.)
-When children are recording their thinking, don’t draw pretty pictures.
Social grouping and strength grouping should be carefully constructed. Groups of four (or 2 with young children.)
 -First launch the problem….
The problem can be in written format and then supported by digital sound byte. One challenging task (if any student can solve it on their own it is not challenging enough)
Encourage recording and multiple representations.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Lauching a problem

Last week I decided to use Bobby Hunt's method of launching a problem to a group of children. I wanted to find out what the children already know and how well they work with each other in terms of talking about the ways in which they solved the problem. This was my very first attempt at teaching a maths lesson this way.

 What I noticed was:
1. Some engagement when I read out them the problem to the group. They were enthusiastic and shared some knowledge of what they new about caves and bears.
2. Some children could stay on task much longer than others.
3. One boy almost completed task and attempted to share his workings but the others were so restless and distracted that the others missed out on learning the strategy he used to solve the problem. He did the learning, the others missed out.

Problems I encountered:
1. Some children in the group found it difficult to focus and concentrate on the set task.
2. They ended up playing with the lego's and started play fighting with the dinosaurs, going completely off task.
3. They could not work in pairs.
4. The whiteboards and markers was not a good idea. The resource was not appropriate for the age level of the children.(should have used marker and paper)
5. We spent a long time on the task which led to self management and behaviourial problems.

This is a new approach to teaching maths and I am still learning about:
How it all works and what it needs to look like in a Year One class.
I am continuing to do readings on DIMC and have those conversations with my colleagues about what I doing with my learners.
Continuing to reflect on my practise and inquire about what I need to do next to make this work.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Focus Inquiry for 2018

I have a class of delightful Year One children. Many of them started school last year and I have a few new entrant children. I consider myself lucky as I have worked with most of the children last year in my CoL role. I see this as a huge advantage for both the students and myself. In saying that I still encountered a few surprises for example, I have 12 boys and only 4 girls. There are about 6-8 children that tend to dominate our class discussions while others are still developing their confidence to participate in discussions.

Our school wide focus is Acquisition of language.

My inquiry will focus on the CoL Achievement Challenge:
#6. Lift achievement in maths for all students Year 1-13.

I will be focussing on language, mathematical terms and concepts. Children will be having conversations, discussions and will be able to explain their thinking to each other.

I have six children in my target group and four of them started school last year. Over the next week, I will be assessing the children's Maths knowledge and strategies.