Been awhile since I last blogged. The honest reason is that I have been busy and second truth – I have never been that strong at the written language. I shy away from writing and would rather doodle or make notes on photos. But I wanted to share some of my thinking and working around the mathematics curriculum in New Zealand.
One of my driving forces over the past year has been trying to de-bunk the mathematics curriculum when it comes to NCEA. Not de-bunking so that I may be able to teach to the standard but to be able to make it clear to students what are the driving concepts that sit behind the methods (skills). Teaching pressures (time, class sizes, resources) might cause friction in some teachers to push through the skills (AOs) and not help develop a student’s understanding of the concepts. Why is that important one might ask? Well mathematics is a heavily skill driven learning area. Skills that can be used in simple to increasing complexity contexts. I am not taking anything away from the problem solving thinking that is a key aspect of my learning area but one characteristic of problem solving is to be able to see the connections. From there my next question – “How could students personalise their learning through engagement?” Engagement is different for every student and knowing your learner is a key part. I can interact with my students and get to know them – which I do – and find how to get them engaged in mathematics but why not give them that tool for their tool belt? Next question – “How do I do that?” hmmmmmmmmmm followed up by ” Can this tool help students in senior school (qualification years) to generate a portfolio of learning which they identify assessments to be assessed against their portfolio?” Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy eh?
So hence the missing blogs…….
So where am I at with this…..
My teaching inquiry is around this….
I have been working on getting students to identify mathematics skills in the concepts in my modules but the big adventure has started this term in my spin. I have given full control to the students. During a kitchen table last week – Steve – asked our staff to look at deeper learning of our students in our modules. Here is a link to the powerpoint. I picked one from Increasing Curiosity. Can you guess which one?
From there – I developed a task for my first week of Transform My Ideas (the title of my spin). And well to put it honestly it bombed. Here is the document that used pulling from resources that I read about student lead inquiry. Going away and reflecting on my process and speaking to the ever so wise Cindy Wynn – I came up with Version 2.0. I realised that I thought my students were engaged enough in mathematics to come up with some Big Ideas, find some linking statements and question where mathematics skills within their Big Ideas.
So keep turn for the next blog and some evidence of Version 2.0.