In this edition of the News you will find:
From Kayak To Sphinx
Faces of Professional Development
Curriculum Shift: St Francis of Assisi, Calwell
Tasks of the Month
Task 162, Game Show
Task 163, Eureka
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- From Kayak To Sphinx
Malmö Högskolan, Sweden, has been building its teacher training courses around Learning to Work Like a Mathematician for almost two decades. The university has a task centre kit, a set of Poly Plugs, heaps of other materials and is a member of both Calculating Changes and Maths300. The staff weave these resources through their pre-service and inservice training programs and we have been invited to deliver a small part of the program each April over recent years.
This year Saied Alavei participated in a workshop for teachers of Years 7 - 9. The session led Saied to explore Mathematics Centre more deeply and as a result he cut up the wood from his kayak building to make a class set of Sphinx pieces. Now he, and his Year 6 children, are hooked. Read Saied's story, which has several great photos, in the Link List below.
- Faces of Professional Development
At the end of the first two days of six on Working Like a Mathematician in Number & Pattern for teachers of the Catholic Education Office Canberra Goulburn, teachers were asked to draw a face, and add a speech bubble if they wished, to indicate how they felt about this first phase of a program which will continue until November. These sample sketches give an idea of the value of the investment the diocese is making in its teachers.
These artistic expressions were backed up by other teachers with comments such as the following in response to How might these days influence your teaching?:
- Support students to share knowledge/ teach each other
- Lots of hands on ideas
- This has given me the tools and ideas to make everything hands-on first
- More investigation
- Exploring and letting the teaching go where the kids are going
- Model and encourage multiple ways of getting to an answer
- Asking valuable questions can unlock a simple activity
- Make me rethink my teaching strategies and goal setting
- More questioning
- Lots of class discussion and recording
- This experience has offered an amazing way to transform teaching mathematics in a 'hands on' way. I can't wait to use it!
For the third year, this six day progam is being provided by CEO Canberra Goulburn. By the end of 2013 almost every primary and secondary school in the diocese will have been involved. In their respective numeracy leadership roles Gina Galluzzo, Madonna Pianegonda, Fiona Pettit and Kel Hathaway in his technology role, work with the schools between segments of the course to encourage and support school trialling. This education team, the Diocesean leadership team and the school administrations are committed to developing a consistent, classroom-based framework for change around Working Like A Mathematician and providing key resources to support children to learn this way.
Within a week of the April meeting, Deborah Heath, St. Joseph's, Grenfell, was introducing the work of a mathematician to her Year 1 students. The children were asked to draw what they thought a mathematician looks like. Six year old Archie drew this:
When I got back from the WLAM course, I had a discussion with my class about working like a mathematician. We discussed things like recording and checking maths work. I told them the story about how long it took to discover the solution to Fermat's Theorem and how the people working on the theorem kept records and checked their work. After that I asked the children to draw what they thought a mathematician looked like, what equipment they would use and I asked them to write a sentence about what mathematicians do. Most of them, amazingly, came up with the problem solving idea.
It is a privilege to be working with CEO Canberra Goulburn in this adventure to improve mathematics learning across the system. If your system, region, cluster or school (anywhere in the world) is interested in constructing a similar program for curriculum shift please explore our Professional Development options through the Link List below.
- Curriculum Shift: St. Francis of Assisi, Calwell
Jamie Kemp & Belinda Rayment attended the 2012 version of the CEO Working Like A Mathematician course and have been working across the school since to support all teachers to become part of an improved way of learning for students. They have also supported all Mathematics Centre visitors by:
- adding photographs and comment to the Calculating Change activity Move Around
- providing Investigation Guides for Task 28, Plate Triangles and Task 112, Coloured Squares
(See Link List below for these activities or search 'calwell' with the Mathematics Centre Search function.)
By special arrangement with the organisers, and in order to strengthen their developing in-house professional learning, Jamie sent 14 teachers who had not previously been to the course to one day of the 2013 course. The school has a clear vision the curriculum shift it wants to make, as Jamie explains...
Our participation in the Working Like A Mathematician professional development has given our staff excellent support in both these areas. The PD teaches how to plan, teach and assess quality mathematical experiences within a problem solving framework. Issues such as differentiation, group structuring and dynamics, catering for different learning styles, ICT and resourcing have all been considered in this PD and are explicitly addressed.
||Our school has been focussed upon building teacher capacity in Numeracy pedagogy that engages and enthuses students and leads to improved student achievement. Research conducted at an Archdiocesan level as part of the development of a Numeracy Framework highlights the need for students to be involved in quality mathematical experiences/activities in order to develop deep understanding of mathematical concepts. Studies of other countries who are outperforming Australia in the area of Mathematics also identified that those countries have a strong problem solving focus in the mathematics curriculum. The challenge, of course, was where do we source professional development that can build teacher capacity in this area?
(This course) has come at exactly the right time for our staff and has played important role in developing a shared vision and setting directions for our community. We aim to send more staff to future PD to continue our progress on this journey.
Jamie Kemp, Numeracy Coordinator, St Francis of Assisi School
- Tasks of the Month
Two new cameos this month.
The Task Cameo Content Finder has been updated to include these tasks.
- Game Show re-enacts a game that was once part of an American TV show. A magazine writer wrote about the contestants' choices and advised the most likely choice for a win. She received a huge amount of mail about her advice, much of it from high level mathematicians, and most of that suggesting she was very wrong. She wasn't! The problem is counter-intuitive to many and the task encourages students to develop and describe their own view of the best choice.
- Eureka uses a gold hunting story shell to involve students in an number problem with multiple answers. All students can find at least one answer and the depth of the problem is to find all and be able to explain how they know that all have been found.
Click a photo to access its cameo, or access all current cameos through the Link List below.
- Did you miss the Previous News?
If so you missed information about:
- Cameo Updates: Task 13, The Frog Pond & Task 35, Crosses
- Workshops in Sweden & England
- Addo: New Maths300 Lesson
- Iceberg Information about two Tasks of the Month
(Tasks 158, 159)
- ...and more...
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