Professional Development Programs

To discuss any of the options below contact:

Doug Williams
Tel/Fax: +61 3 9720 3295
Mobile: 0401 177 775
Email: doug@blackdouglas.com.au

Our services are available outside Australia.

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Taste & See

Use the ideas, activities and principles in the Free Tour. Look for any influence they have on your children's learning. Try to establish the environment described in Calculating Changes in Brief. You probably already have calculators and if you don't have Poly Plug you will be able to adapt.

Mini-PD

Arrange a short professional development session (~2 hours) so your staff can experience the materials and ideas. This will provide the basis for staff discussion about future involvement.

Alternatively, purchase site membership and/or Working Mathematically with Infants then arrange this workshop to stimulate staff involvement.

For inspiration, read this short story from Boroondara Park Primary School. The staff decided to implement Working Mathematically with Infants and found that working with the children in this new way was an in-house professional development experience in itself.
The thoughts above are starting points. If you are looking for lasting change, consider the professional learning options below. Each has a link with additional information stored in the PD from MC Workshop Library. Also explore the rich slideshows opposite. They were produced by teachers participating in 6 day programs to explain the changes which occurred in their schools.

One Day & Six Day Programs

  • Engineering 'aha' Moments in Number
    Designed as a one day, student free session for the whole staff. Hands-on, stimulating, exciting with time for planning classroom trials. Poly Plug purchase is essential for this course and Calculating Changes membership is desirable. Can be used by a single school or a cluster of schools. More information in the link.

  • Working Mathematically with Infants
    A one day course for teachers of Years K - 2. The course uses Threaded Activities and Investigations to enhance young children's number sense and enthusiasm for learning mathematics far beyond what teachers normally expect. Poly Plug purchase is essential for this course, preferably as a Working Mathematically with Infants kit and Calculating Changes membership is desirable. Can be used by a single school or a cluster of schools. More information in the link.

  • Engineering 'aha' Moments K-8
    This 6 day course is designed for clusters of schools and systems. The program develops key teachers (at least two from each school is best) who become in-house leaders of curriculum shift and teacher change. This program can also be used very successfully by a cluster of two or three neighbouring schools with a common objective. It links the work of Calculating Changes, Mathematics Task Centre & Maths300 through the framework of all students learning to work like a mathematician in best practice classrooms, but the overall thrust of the course is enhancing children's number sense, concepts and skills beyond what is normally expected for the age. Purchase of Poly Plug, Tasks and Calculating Changes membership is essential for this course. More information in the link.

    Advantages of this approach are:

    • a focussed key team to keep the project 'bubbling' in the school
    • professional development occuring as close as possible to the teachers' work environment
    • professional development independent of the availability of an external consultant and therefore more easily integrated with other demands on the school's time
    • reduced professional development costs per school
    • key teachers able to take their leadership expertise with them when they move schools

    Nic Dale's Story: describes the affect this program had on one teacher and his school.

Discussion Lessons

Programs above can be supported and enhanced by Discussion Lesson days.

In a Discussion Lesson our leader:

  • teaches the class for one session while at least 2 teachers observe the children learning
  • debriefs with the teachers immediately after the session to draw out and expand on the learning in the session and how it occurred
  • challenges the teachers to run the same lesson with another group and organise a reporting back session with each other
It is usually possible to organise 3 Discussion Lessons per day, assuming each lesson is 50 minutes with the children, followed by 50 minutes with observing teachers.
Journal Article
  • Aha! Teaching Maths is Simple
    An article based on work from Calculating Changes published in the Spring 2010 issue of Primary Mathematics, a journal of the Mathematical Association, UK. (PDF)

Teacher Presentations

Carramar Primary School

  • 'Aha' at Carramar
    Brett Lewis, Principal, Carramar Primary School, Western Australia shows how Predict A Count was threaded across many year levels and relates its use to outcomes required by the State curriculum documents. (PowerPoint) Find Predict A Count in the Free Tour Activities.

  • Claire & Natasha take a Multiplication Journey
    Claire (Year 2) & Natasha (Year 3/4) illustrate key elements of a multiplication learning journey planned to establish and maintain learning links across the years. (PowerPoint)
Renmark Junior Primary School
  • Predict A Count Year 1/2
    A description and analysis of the activity threaded over 5 lessons. (PowerPoint)

  • Predict A Count Year 2
    This Year 2 teacher 'squeezed' her trial of something new into one week. Even so, there is sufficient evidence to show the learning that can generate from this Threaded Activity. (PowerPoint)

  • Win A Flat Year K/1
    Reflections of a Reception/Year 1 teacher. (PowerPoint) Find Win A Flat in the Free Tour Activities.

  • Sorting Tangelos Years 1 & 2
    The activity Calculating Excursions suggests we stay alert alert for opportunities in the wider school program that encourage kids to calculate. Renmark is a citrus growing area and sometimes there are bags of Tangelos in the school. (PowerPoint)

  • Cookie Count Year 2
    Cookie Count is assigned as a Year 2 Investigation in the WMI manual. This Year 2 teacher details the 6 lessons her class spent with this problem and the mathematics involved. (PowerPoint) Find Cookie Count in the Task Cameos.

  • 4 & 20 Blackbirds Year K/1
    Charmaine explores this Investigation with very young children. In the WMI manual it is listed as a Year 2 investigation, so be surprised by what these children could do. (PDF) Find 4 & 20 Blackbirds in the Task Cameos.
Other Schools
  • Predict A Count at Brown's Wells
    Here the activity is used right across this small rural school with two classrooms - Year R/1/2 and Year 3/4/5. Some special 'aha' moments are described. (PowerPoint)

  • Place Value at St. Brigid's
    Melissa explores Win A Flat, Predict A Count and Counting Machines over several weeks and describes lots of learning. (PowerPoint)

  • Move Around at Loxton North
    These teachers agreed to use the same activity (appropriately adapted) at every level of the school. (PowerPoint) Find Move Around in the Free Tour Activities. A video of Move Around at a different school can be found in Cube Tube.

  • Task Cards at Winkie & Barmera
    Teachers at both Junior Primary and Upper Primary level explore the use of Mathematics Tasks to encourage children to learn to work like mathematicians. (PowerPoint)

Calculating Changes ... is a division of ... Mathematics Centre