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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Checkpoint 1 - Māori achievement in Numeracy

What is happening and why?

Last week, we met as a syndicate to share our inquiries and what we are currently trying to do in our classrooms to work towards the goals of these inquiries.  We were given guided questions to help us reflect on our programmes.  

My inquiry is all about building positive learning relationships with my students, while building up their sense of self within te ao Māori.  It is through greater engagement that we gain greater clarity of needs and greater sense of collaboration to meet those needs.  Whanaungatanga and Manaakitanga is the essence of all I do in Room 10.  

However, we need a context to base this on, and so this term and next term, we are focussing on achievement outcomes of students in maths.  Will building greater relationships help us to accelerate our student outcomes?  

Knowing the students is the first step - and so this is where we link back to the syndicate meeting that took place last week.  In which we, as a team, are trying to gain a sense of who our learners are, and what our programmes look like currently - to identify any areas for change.

Where are we at with monitoring our target Students? How are you accelerating students learning for maths? How are you recording evidence?
I have started to retest students for some current data.  Interestingly, all have experienced a summer slump - which is not helpful to accelerating achievement outcomes as we have to first go back and then go forward.  I recall a statement made by a literacy facilitator that we had many years ago and who I respect greatly "Do not teach backwards, teach to the level and make them catch up quickly.  We don't have time to go backwards."  So I have kind of had this in my mind and gone straight to level 3 and 4 teaching.  For the very able groups, they have adapted quickly however for target groups, it's taken a little while - but we have identified urgent needs in multiplication facts recall - which is manageable.

This fits into the second part of that question - of how I am accelerating students - I am moving fast, with purposeful steps and I am best friends with the NZMaths website and searching for what level 3 or 4 looks like for a particular strand or concept.  This underpins my practice.  I need to gather the evidence and capture the students doing these things.

I am trying to plan lessons that integrate many strands or concepts to have multilayered questions and to make links to real life problems or outcomes.  I found this worked exceptionally well with my high ability group.  And I believe that it can work with my target group - they just need more practice and reflection on metacognition and think aloud strategies to support their critical thinking.  They also need support in learning their basic facts so that they are not held back by their number knowledge and can unpack more complex problems.  Knowing this and identifying this, will help me to put this in place.

Which leads into the third part of this question - and possibly the most exciting.  In which we are trialling digital modelling books and screencastify as my biggest forms of evidence gathering.  Screencastify I believe has the ability to transform how we have recorded creates in Numeracy and I thank Ashley Schellingerhout for her innovative find!

Here is an example of a question posed for my high ability group (slide 26) - trying to mix fractions, statistics, squared numbers etc.

What is not happening and why?

Where to next? What are you going to try and do next week to accelerate students learning? What will you change in your teaching? What will you continue doing? Why? What evidence are you using to support these steps? 

Next up - I have had two maths observations from colleagues this week:  Lesa, Archana and Aireen - I will use their feedback to inform some next steps.  
I will continue to design richer tasks for learning that require critical thinking and a collection of strategies and strands so that I can capture a greater range of evidence.
I will continue to test target students and track progress.
I will continue to build a sense of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and ako in my class.  So that learning and success become encouraged and expected.
I will try to form greater relationships with whānau - perhaps through phone calls, whānau evenings...I'd like to start with these in Term 2.

The use of SOLO in Maths - to help me form my questions and or help when designing my follow up tasks or creates.

What am I going to do to influence what is not happening and why?

I can influence all of the above!  Will keep my professional relationships up with staff so that I can call on them for support, ideas and help.