Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Building a common language

Now that our students know the class norms of DMiC (Developing Mathematical inquiring Communities) it is time to step it up and demand mathematical language and interaction from all students. I have been thinking about this a lot over the last three weeks and as a result of my observation in class and the professional learning we have had I am going to introduce some conversation scaffolds.

The idea behind these scaffolds is 3 fold. The first set aim to provide correct mathematical language and sentence structure for sharing an idea. They also aim to give students who still struggle to find a place to start or their voice to share a guide to join in.

These prompts are reminders of what the children already know but at times forget as this process is still becoming 100% embedded in our classroom. 

The second set of prompts is about increasing the level of back and forth conversation within the small groups. I have noticed that students in my class will take the first idea and stick with it without agreeing or disagreeing. 

I choose these prompts because it is clear that we need to develop more talk around the strategies being used to help the whole group understand the mathematical thinking. 

I added these prompts because of the professional learning we did yesterday and the need to now push kids to ask Why and think beyond the how of the mathematical thinking but why did we choose that strategy. I also provides the opportunity for critique and rethinking. 

My next step with these cards is to get students modelling how to use them and adding QR codes to the cards so that students how are unsure can watch the video and see how these can help them converse in mathematics. 

Monday, 6 August 2018

DMIC Professional learning

The Journey

As we begin to feel more comfortable it is time to let go of some of the things we have picked up. It is time to think more about what every child brings to the mathematics learning. 

When we think about our social group it is not as much about how 'good' they are at working with numbers but about all they bring. Do they talk a lot and are good at sharing? Are they all very quiet and need a chance to speak? 

It's time to:
-Think about how they work together
-Do the Boys and girls work well together
-Keep quiet and give the kids time to talk and 'wait time'
-Give opportunities to talk with turn and talk etc. 
-Try to keep your language inclusive, 'we' your groups learning. 

Justifying and Arguing Mathematically
This is about extending students thinking and pushing kids to reason and explain. It is time know to choose justification norms which we can now add to our mathematical discussions. I believe it is time to build on our group norms and add to the norms. This may be We provide reason for our mathematical problem solving, or We agree or disagree with mathematical thinking and explain why. 

As a school and a team we could build up and back of questions and prompts that will require students to justify and argue. 

Require that students prepare wats to re-explain in a different way an explanation to justify it. 

We talked about how we as teachers can make justifying happen. I have been using these reasoning prompts: 

This comes towards the end and often the kids are struggling to focus. You may want to jump straight in a leave the warm up until the end. What questions with extend the generalisation.
-Does it always work?
-Can you see any patterns? What are the patterns?
-How is this the same or different from...?
-Would it work with all numbers?
-Look at multiple examples is the rule the same?
-Could you do this with.....?
-Does it still work...?

Thursday, 2 August 2018

CoL Reflecting What Now? Conversation 3

So what now? I have talked about where I am at and now I believe this conversation needs to look at what next. 

As we come into term 3 I feel like some of the conflict is lifted. Now is the time to bring it together, step it up and keep moving forward! 

As I look at refining my intervention I thought of 5 things that I am doing but that need stepping up or changing. 

1. Focusing the activities even more to make sure they provide the best opportunity for recycling of language, use of language and development of understanding. I will do this by making the language central to the task. I have a few ideas about how I want to do this. Firstly making sure the language specific to the learning is visible in written and oral forms.  Secondly given students a chance to create example of language. A fraction is....... explainer videos. This could ideally big picture -My wish- lead to a word wall that is digitally interactive. 

2. Planning more closely at the language. This links closely to point 1. I need to think even more closely about the language in my problems and activities and make sure this is clear in my planning. 

3. Providing discussion scaffolds. I know that conversation and discussion is a struggle for many of our learners. I want to add to the stills our children have been learning in DMiC. I believe that students having a physical scaffold they can hold and touch will support this further. 

4. Providing texts that support mathematical language. This is around building a link between literacy and mathematics. I want to connect the mathematical language, concepts and ideas to a story or text. This would provide a context for problems that are real while building the knowledge that mathematic is across the curriculum. 

5. Using video recording and analysis to really understand at the quantifiable level the impact of the action that I am taking. This would happen over a two week cycle as we rotate or learners every 2 weeks to develop a classroom culture that we are all  one class with two teachers who learn in different ways each term. 

I believe this is accelerate learning because it is just stepping up and adding to what I have already been doing but really stepping it up!

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

CoL Reflecting on my actions Conversation 2

As we continue to explore our inquiries it is important to look at what has worked, what has changed and for who. I have been thinking about this a lot. What is my impact and how do I really know that I am having one. Yes I know that sounds a bit strange but it is really important to me that the things I plan and run through over and over in my head are seen by the children as having the desired impact and if they are not why. 

What have I done differently:
-I have introduced frameworks for discussing the norms of mathematics in the classroom. I have intentionally been discussing this framework daily with the kids to build a knowledge of the language and develop a positive mindset for my learners. This is something I first saw in Rob Wiseman's Class.
-I have been choosing vocabulary that I know the children struggle with and unpacking it for the learners in the launch of the problems. I have been thinking carefully about the vocabulary in the follow up activities for the children to ensure that language is recycling of language.

I know that I have done something differently because we are all taking on new a approach to mathematic. I am constantly reflecting and considering What Next?

I feel that I always want to do everything but that is not reality is it. For that reason I believe that a lot of the changes that have happened have been the intended changes however there is always times where things do not go to plan.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

CoL Reflection on Inquiry Conversation 1

This term we have been challenge to think back to help us move forwards and to make sure that our theories and practices are clear in our minds as we move forward into term three. At our recent CoL meeting Dr. Rebecca Jesson provided some scaffolds to help us to this effectively. 

1. I have been engaging with a range of research including the resources and models from CS unpluggedliterature on vocabulary development, Our DMiC professional learning and mentoring as well as the wonderful support from Dr. Jannie van Hees. As a result my inquiry and approaches have drawn on different pieces of this research. I have tried to include the recycling of vocabulary as this was a point the Jannie explain is very important for vocabulary retention. I have done this through the use of our class mantra and using topic specific language in our problems that we unpacked through our problem launch.

2. One thing I have noticed throughout this process is that I am testing a lot of new ideas however the data I have been collecting is mostly anecdotal. As such I am not following the research based principles as closely as I have done it past projects. I believe the elements of reflecting of self and how my action have impacted is still there however my theories have changed a modified throughout the process. I still believe that the problem is a lack of topic specific vocabulary in mathematics makes it challenging for kids to attack larger problem.

My theory is that through exposure to, use of and recycling of this language in guided and independent work in multiple contexts students will develop a deeper understanding of this language increasing their ability to solve larger problems. 

3. I have learnt so much... I feel like I have been in a state on conflict in my inquiry for two terms and I have tried so much and much of it from anecdotal evidence has worked well for a number of learner. However now it is time to collect more specific evidence and look at a group over a two week period in which I am front loading language in the DMiC launch, using specific language in the problems, providing opportunities to use a recycling the language in group discussion and independent tasks. 

Friday, 27 July 2018

CoL Meeting Rebecca Jessen

Rebecca Jessen- Planning and predicting: THEORY is everything.

So far we have work alongside a number of people to develop Theories.
-What language learning is going to go on in their heads.
-What is going to happen in my classroom program to make the learning happen.
-What am I going to do.

If we consider Dolphins as the model for what we are doing as Inquiry. We can only see the Dolphins (Learning) when they pop out of the water. Our theories should allow us to know where the Dolphins will pop out. But we know in reality the Dolphins always pop out not where you expect them to.

Now is the time to lift the game on what is working. It is about looking at each children and revisiting the theory in relation to each child. Why did it work better for some learners then others.

You only know if something works in a particular situation is by TRYING it out. 


Where is the mismatch between what was planned and what actually happened. What did they kids think I did. 


What it boils down to: 
1  - Figure out the students’ strengths and needs 
2 - Use the existing research base to plan something different that is likely to use strengths to meet the need
3 -DO the different thing
4-Which engages the students in a different way of learning
5-Which results in learning.

I had a great discussion with Rebecca about what I am doing how it is work and what conflicts are happening for me in my inquiry. 
-We talked about stepping it up by making the activities more focused. 
-videoing and analysing discussion
-Planning more closely at the language. 
-Providing discussion scaffolds. 
- Providing texts that support mathematical language. 
-2 Week cycles of analysis. 

I have a lot of ramp up this term and I am so excited to Ramp it up and see what We (My learners, Myself and of course you). 

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Col Meeting

As we launch into the second after of the year we must again consider what makes learning, teaching, children and teachers successful in education and life.

One of the things we need to remember is that one of the Pou that holds importance is that teachers and in fact I believes students should be evaluative. They are evaluative through evaluating ourselves, our practice and success based on the success of our learners.

As we learn it is important to remember that we are influences and we must with care and love support each other as teachers and inquiries to be great teacher, because great teachers make children learn.

What do we need in Term 3?
Term three is an amazing time as we are for the most part settled as a class and the pressures from wider school activities (Fiafia, production, School wide testing).

If it is not visible it failed. We are aiming to crank up learning this term and our Manaiakalani goal of visibility  is so important. It makes it possible for all Adults involved with a children to crank up learning together supporting a bigger shift for our beautiful learners who are pushing themselves as much as we push them in there learning.

We have been talking about Language and the importance of language. Language learning is at time taught in a boring way. We need to make learning exciting.

We must also remember that importance of the language of learning and the language of success. We have a large group of children who speak G.I Cheechee because their first language is not English, Tongan etc.

As we spend more time in this community we learn the language G.I Cheechee and then when we are tired you speak it to the kids. We must remember we need to build the language of success. One way is to repeat it back to them.

The cultural history of our children no so far back there is a history of language amounts of language being produced.

We know that to accelerate students need to:
-Finish work
-Get feedback
-Have scaffolding
-Have scaffolding removed and gain independence.

So how?
This is a question I always have and I want you to consider it with me. Russell talked about connecting language to the known environment. Do our kids know the correct word for the things they involve every day. It may be that there is a problem in the community that the learners can take charge of. Twice a week is the magic number. We need to make sure we see kids twice.

Blogging Twice a week in the the summer holidays show high gains, so we need to do this in our classrooms.