Friday, 11 August 2017

COL - my process so far

Let's walk it through:
1. Identify the challenge: acceleration of maths in year 7 - 10
2. HOW?   Empower students by showing them their data 
(Lenva & Jo)
3. Process: 
a. Identify areas of success / difficulty
b. Identify the WHY it was difficult 
c. Learn how to work through this - solve it!
4. Capture evidence of HOW to solve the problem 
5. Share providing evidence AND teach the next student!
Below is an example of student carrying out numbers 6 and 7.  Go here to see more from Hosea.

This week we have been learning to use 'screencastify'.  This was to explore the use of 'Screencastify' to explain how I/we problem solve.

 Can you see how I worked this problem out? Give me feedback if you think there's something else I could have added in my speech or screen capture.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Target group update - data from end of term 2

We've had a series of team meetings this term where we've had the chance to share our data in maths.  Alongside this our 'hunches' as to why behind the results.  As a team we agreed that in our efforts to teach basic fundamentals in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division we didn't branch enough into the 'ratio and proportions' area.  This meant our gloss testing showed a specific weakness in the solving of problems relating to fractions that sits in ratio and proportions.

Also - linking back to previous posts, the only going development needed in students being able to interpret word problems and be 'explain' ready when they do solve them!

Below I have data of my target students as of the end of term 2.

Boy 76E7At
Boy 7E6E6Below
Boy 856Well below
Boy 8E7E7Below
Boy 765Well below
Girl8E7E6Well below

Green movement up - still not accelerated however.  Yellow no movement and red - slipped back.  This is based on gloss testing.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Student efficacy and achievement relate!

1. students see someone like them showing other students their work -  explaining how they solved a problem.

In my research for good practice in raising achievement in maths came across an article titled 'Assessing students’ maths self efficacy and achievement' by LINDA BONNE AND ELLIOT LAWES.

I found this very interesting and it confirmed what I have heard in my Pt England Inquiry group as well as COL within schools group.    Something most if not all teacher believe to be key to engaging students so that we can deal with the detail in teaching and learning.  This being the level of confidence or in this case self efficacy in maths.

What do researchers say self efficacy is?
s.1 Self-efficacy can be thought of as part of the key competency, managing self, which is “associated with self-motivation, a ‘can-do’ attitude, and with students seeing themselves as capable learners” (Ministry of Education, 2007, p. 12). 

One of the leaders in self-efficacy research and theory development, Albert Bandura, described self-efficacy as: people’s judgments of their capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types of performances. It is concerned not with the skills one has but with judgments of what one can do with whatever skills one possesses. (Bandura, 1986, p. 391)

Good practice for effective teachers I believe is the making sure students feel safe and capable of learning in your classroom.  This promoting self efficacy for our students.  When reading further through the article, there was provision of a list of practices that would promote self efficacy.  I believe that using the screencastify app will support point no.1, 3, 6 and 7.   Those points left out I imagine could be catered for in timely feedback from the teacher, student peers and whanau.

 A recent New Zealand study (described in Bonne & Johnston, 2016), based on work by Siegle and McCoach (2007) and Schunk and Hanson (1985), suggested that students’ self-efficacy is likely to be strengthened when: 

1. students see someone like them showing the rest of the class their maths work, or explaining how they solved a problem 
2. students have strategies for coping when learning is difficult, and when they make mistakes or fail 3. students know what their learning goals are, and understand what they need to do to achieve their goals 
4. teachers give students feedback about the progress they are making towards their learning goals, and let them know what they need to do next to help them achieve their goals 
5. teachers encourage students to reflect on the role of effort in their learning, and—when appropriate—prompt students to attribute failure to insufficient effort, and encourage them to try harder and persevere when learning is difficult 
6. students’ attention is drawn to the specific skills they have developed 
7. students are enabled to develop internal standards for evaluating their own outcomes, rather than to rank themselves in comparison to others 
8. if a teacher—or a parent—found maths difficult when they were at school, then rather than commiserate with students, they challenge students to improve their maths—expect them to succeed, and give them the support they need to do so.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Explain ready as students - next steps.

Graeme Aitken: Collaborative Teaching as Inquiry Image from collaborative inquiry presentation given to school leaders at Manaiakalani Hui Term 2.

As the term kicks off I've used this inquiry flow chart to focus myself on what the next part of my inquiry will be. You open the lid with investigation from your hunch, you may find you were right OR close, or maybe - that the issue is something else!

The start of my inquiry?
Using student data WITH students to support achievement in maths. What has unfolded is a careful selection of words and phrases from me as a teacher to model how we interpret our data from formative assessments so far. These being gloss, IKAN test and small group work.

On expecting students to articulate back to me via blog posts and conversations I have picked up that the students were able to identify the strand area of weakness. This was hugely motivational and built confidence in a number of nervous students. However the next problem became obvious. It's the next level of detail we are actually after! So if you say - 'Proportions and Ratios' is the area of weakness in number - what IN proportions and ratios is the problem area. What are the building blocks that lead me into understanding fractions (proportions) and then ratios? Students goal: to be 'Explain Ready'. Using collaborative teaching inquiry model from Graeme Aitken I have come up with the following to guide me through the next steps for my inquiry.
Inquiry that Hannah West shared in our Pt England School inquiry groups.   Thanks Hannah for your great ideas around screencast!    Will show what we come up with soon!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

'Explain Ready' with OTJ's.

Year 7 & 8 had a busy end to the term with their technology expo, gloss and running records, parent interviews and more! In the space of reporting to parents it is necessary to be 'explain ready' with various pieces of data and knowledge in the area of maths. Maths was our selected curriculum focus for our parent interviews. Some parents found this odd as in the past 2 years we have reported as home class and literacy teachers. Given the lower numbers of parents who attended most ended up visiting both their child's literacy AND maths teachers. So it was a win win situation!

 In reporting about maths this prompted me to look very closely at what the students understood to be their strengths and weaknesses. Further to this to offer my advice as to what needs to happen next in their learning. Regardless of my ability in this teaching area parents hold us - the teacher - in a high position of authority and knowledge.   Being well prepared with explanations of OTJ and next steps are a priority when reporting to both parents and students.

 My target group findings after gloss in May: 
1. A common theme for students in my target group is the need to develop skills to interpret word problems. To understand what the question is actually asking in terms of mathematical operations and the sequence in which to work the task out. An example of word problem that stumped students in this target group: 24 pegs, 2 pegs used to hang out 1 piece of clothing. How many pieces of clothing can you hang out? Approximately 2/3 of group were stumped. When I did the work of interpreting this to the equation '24 ÷ 2 = ?' students immediately answered correctly '12'.

 2. Secondly there was an obvious need to develop their basic knowledge around ratios and proportions. This stood out as the lower strand in the gloss test.

These are two areas I will target with the group in the new term as well as their home learning for the week.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Screen casts that 'Explains and shows' my understanding

Following on from our staff meeting led by Dorothy Burt we had our own Pt England group inquiry session.  In this session we are invited to share and reflect on progress today with our own individual inquiries.

I will share about the findings of a colleague around the use of capturing screen casts that display a student working through a problem.  In this you will see their working out with a voiceover that is captured at the same time.

The idea I plan to implement with my target group is this very activity of having students capture their explanation of maths problems they tackle.  

Plan of action:
1. Demo working out a problem they find easy using screen capture
2. Demo working out a problem that is challenging for their maths group

I will need to support this process well with helping students to  identify specifically a problem to solve.   Also the skills needed to capture their explanation/working out well so that their example is a clear example of 'Rewindable Learning' for their peer group.

Screencastify - tutorial video

Friday, 16 June 2017

Whanau engagement a big part of solution

Whanau engagement is a fundamental part of student achievement and well being at school.   Our efforts to understand one another is significant in not only engaging students but maintaining the levels of motivation and interest from the students AND their whanau over years of schooling.

Families@PES is what we now call our 'Home school partnership' meetings.  In this post I will refer to the Families@PES night June 14th 2017.  The special focus of this meeting was achievement in maths for all our students.

Toni Nua one of our assistant principals led this evening.  Starting with the good news - any support we can offer as whanau around maths matters!  This was great as there have been some miscommunications over the years of the 'old way' not being good for our students.   Instead - it's another strategy to offer our children.   Greater to this was the fact that we all - teachers, parents and whanau need to 'talk' a lot more!  For example - when we're doing chores around home, travelling to and from shopping trips - there's so much maths talk we could be having.

I had the chance to work with parents of year 7 & 8 parents who attended this night.  I shared my findings after having completed a set of gloss tests with students.   Language is greatly lacking.  Gloss is a test that uses 'Word problems' for students to show their ability in the three following areas:
Addition and Subtraction
Multiplication and Division
Proportions and Ratios

I showed parents an example of a gloss question.  They were very interested and were keen to learn what their children face in an assessment.   I was able to explain with the test in hand the challenge our children have with interpreting word problems.
'Andrea can fit 5 basketballs into one sports bag.  How many bags will Andrea need to store 40 basketballs?'
Some students will become stuck - yet when showing them the number sentence 40÷5= they could say the answer immediately.  So how can we all help?   Heaps and heaps more 'talk'.  Gifting of language to our children is needed.  Research relating to the time some of children enter school show very low word knowledge compared to children the same age in other parts of NZ.  Let's get talking - explaining with our children!

This will be an aspect of the maths I will address with my maths class in the new term.

The evening closed with parents feeling more empowered to support their children and helpful reminders that in the busyness of home life we can plant many more words/phrases and conversations that will better support their children towards achievement in maths.   All parents left with a maths activity pack that was explained and used prior to leaving this evening.

We've since received feedback that it was a useful evening and the packs are a great help!   Another great resource in our whanau to support achievement for our tamariki.