Monday, 22 October 2018

Term 4 Update - How is this looking?

What have I found out so far?

This term our topic that we are focusing on is art. There is lots of mathematical language that is associated with art that I am trying to incorporate into both reading and maths. In order to make sure that my learners are getting to understand new vocabulary and retain this vocabulary is repeatedly using these words across contexts. My gumboots group who are reading at standard have completed a reading which has discussed the vanishing point and talks about the different shapes, lines and techniques used in art. This reading group has had the opportunity to discuss these words with me as well as each other and find their own meaning for these words. In comparison to my other group who have not been able to read texts at these levels they have had less exposure to this vocabulary so when discussing line and shape during our maths lessons they require longer periods of time to process this information and also use these words. 

Where am I going for the rest of the year?

In order to make sure all of my learners are getting access to the same vocabulary and also language acquisition I am needing to make sure that I am finding readings that have these words accessible for all of my readers. When it is hard to find anything that has this vocabulary in it I will need to make sure that I am using these words in class discussions, group discussions and also creating readings that give my lower readers access to this information. 

How am I going to know if this help?

I will be able to see at the end of the term if my learners have retained any of the vocabulary that we have used. If they are able to use these words in sentences and also explain them to someone else. In order to see if this works with my lower groups I will be able to compare this to previous terms where they haven't had as much access to the vocabulary if this has any difference in how they are able to communicate and share ideas. 

Sunday, 19 August 2018

What value have I added to my children?

Term 3 Inquiry Update:
What value have I added to my children so far and how can I accelerate this going forward?

This year my focus has been on getting my learners to use and understand mathematical vocabulary. I have struggled with trying to figure out how I can measure this and be able to show progress. However this term as a class we have already had several breakthrough moments with our vocabulary in mathematics and also using this language in other areas. 

Although some of these moments in the classroom have been incorrect I have still seen my learners try and use this vocabulary in other curriculum areas. An example of this was the new word perimeter that we had learnt about during maths. This was a new word for my of my learners not very many of them knew what it meant and were quite puzzled with the word when we first talked about it. As the week went on I incorporated this word more and more often during our maths lessons and tried to use this in literacy as much as I could to. The breakthrough moment was when we had a kiwisport squash lesson where the coaches asked what the top line was called on a squash court and the first answer my learners gave was "the perimeter" this of course was incorrect but it was great to see they were trying to use this word in another context.

By using this word in many different subject areas my learners have been able to add this new word to their own vocabulary list. It has a main use in mathematics however it is an important word to help us understand thing. I am turning my focus this term on how I can use these words with my maths and literacy learners who are with me all day. I am hoping to see that by the learners being exposed to this language more often and in multiple curriculum areas they will be able to retain the words and their meanings. 

I have also noticed a huge increase in my learners confidence in being able to share their ideas with each other and explain how they got the answer to a problem. They are no longer using words like "plusses" or "minuses" they are using terms like addition and subtraction as well as multiplication, making tidy numbers and rounding and compensating. By using this vocabulary they are able to understand what it is that they are being asked to do and also how to solve a problem in the best and most effective way. We have come a long way since the beginning of the year and I am excited to see how this inquiry unfolds for the rest of the year. Hoping to see that there will be an increase in vocabulary due to using the language in maths and literacy. Watch this space!

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Parrant Inquiry 2018 Term 2 Final Update

This term I have had a break through with some of my learners and using DMIC maths in the classroom. We had to go back to basics and learn things like how to show that we are listening and how to share ideas with each other. This is still an ongoing process however my learners are starting to show that they are able to share their ideas with each other and also question each other on how they got the answer. It has also been great to see the learners being able to use language and terminology that supports their learning and show that they understand the learning strategies. 

I think we have made some progress in class this term. I need to work on making sure that I am able to show the learning and what is happening and come up with an effective way to show this in data. I will focus on this next term and have a pre and post test at the beginning and the end of the term to see which vocabulary they are using and what they need to work on to strengthen mathematical language.  I would also like to continue to focus on making sure that I am using this vocabulary in other subject areas to strengthen this language and make it stick. 

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Parrant Inquiry 2018 Term 2 update

Term 2 Inquiry Update

This term I have had a real break through with my maths class. We have set up group norms and what DMiC will look like in room 8. DMiC has been working well in our class as I am able to see and hear my learners using this new vocabulary when figuring out the answer to the story. They are using this vocabulary in their discussions with each other and also with explaining how they got the answer. When I first started this new way of teaching I was worried that I was going to loose my low achievers from pitching the lessons to my higher learners. However what I have found so far is my learners being able to explain how they got an answer rather than just telling me the numbers. My learners who usually sit back and let everyone else have the conversations have started to speak up. 

In relation to my inquiry for this year it has helped me to be able to see my learners using the vocabulary that I am wanting to see this year in the classroom. It started from my learners having conversations about this is a plusses question or I plussed 10 and 12 and got 22. My learners are now starting to say I added 10 books to 12 books and ended up with 22 books. They are starting to use the story to help rather than just looking at the numbers. 

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Term 1 Inquiry Update

This year my focus is on how to get my learners to use and understand mathematical vocabulary. I have had some interesting moments this term where I have assumed that my students know something and moved on to the next stage. Is this where the holes are creeping into their learning with my teacher assumptions? I have thought about this over the course of the term and has been something that I have had to work on as a teacher and make sure that I am knowing where my learners are with their vocabulary and making sure that it not the only thing holding them back from succeeding. 

How will I measure this? 
This is somewhat still a question that I am asking myself at the moment and trying to think of some creative and successful ways to measure this and see that it is working otherwise what is the point right? Some ideas that I have so far is a test before the we have completed the strategies and then after to see if the constant use of vocabulary has worked. I did find last year during our school space inquiry that my learners picked up information very quickly about the planets with being able to see the information displayed on the posters on the wall. They were able to tell me information that we hadn't even discussed in class which is why I am trying to use the word wall in my class and hope that will make an impact as well as discussing it further. I think I have managed to create a class environment where the learners are gaining confidence in being able to ask me or the class if they come up with a word they are unaware of. 

Where to next? 
I will continue to use my word wall in class and make sure that I am directing my learners attention to it when they are stuck for a word. I will also make sure that my learners are exposed to this language in their word problems so that it is something that they are hearing and seeing more in the class. I will also continue to keep getting my learners to explain what the question is asking them so that they are thinking about the vocabulary and what is actually being asked of them. 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

2018 Maths Inquiry

This year I will continue to inquire into my mathematical teaching and how to improve in my own practice so that my students are getting the best out of their teaching time. This year my focus question is: How to get my learners to use and understand mathematical vocabulary. I have found from the beginning of this year that there are many terms and vocabulary words that my learners are still unsure of in year 6. 


I want to focus on ensuring that my learners are getting all of the vocabulary they need in maths in order to succeed. I am going to set up a maths vocabulary word wall so that all of the new terms that we come across and discuss as a class will be accessible to my learners at all times. I also want to make sure that my classroom is a space where my learners aren't afraid to ask questions when they are unsure of the terms that I have used in my teaching. We have been working as a whole class to make sure that we are asking questions if we are unsure and also when answering mathematical questions we are referring back to the items that we are using in our problems so that they have more meaning and the knowledge will hopefully stick.