Yesterday – the SLL got back into discussing what we found when we were asked to explore other curriculum areas that we did not have strengths in. I had chosen The Arts last week to look at and I was amazed at the amount of concepts and skills that teachers are expected to teach students in a block period….wow! Also the word technology in drama – as an example – reminded me that meanings for words that can common in each stream can be totally different. It reenforced in my head that a glossary is needed cross curricular for students to show what the meanings of terms and tools to use.
Yesterday we also were asked to read the essence statements in the NZC Curriculum document. I will be honest never actually have read that part of the document. It surprised me and I made me annoyed with myself that I had not done soon. The opening statement in Mathematics and Statistics: Mathematics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in quantities, space and time. Statistics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in data. Exploration is the broad skill that can be linked to other streams but reflecting on my teaching in recent years was the push for Year 9s to understand number and the vocabulary behind number. I was not allowing students perhaps the flexibility to be able to explore the links more with patterns and number because I was feeling the pressure for assessments and getting students to understand the concepts of number. I was putting the cart before the horse in a sense – I was thinking that if students had the basics than they can than move onto gaining the skills of thinking creatively, critically, strategically and logically. But those skills need to the horse that drives the students to love Maths because it gives the ability to organise, process and communicate information and enjoy the challenge (be creative, be curious).